Home > News > News Releases > Saint John Common Council remains focused on long-term financial accountability and approves the City’s newly developed budget monitoring policy

Saint John Common Council remains focused on long-term financial accountability and approves the City’s newly developed budget monitoring policy

25-May-2020

Common Council today unanimously approved the recommendation from the Finance Committee for a Budget Monitoring Policy for the City of Saint John. The policy will support the achievement of the objectives identified within the City’s Long-Term Financial Plan. 

Adopted by Common Council in December 2019, the City of Saint John Long-Term Financial Plan is a first of its kind for an Atlantic Canadian municipality, and is part of a broader financial strategy for the City to help address its financial challenges. The plan was produced as a result of two years’ worth of collaboration and visioning from the Finance Committee, community and Common Council. The plan includes a comprehensive financial assessment of the City’s challenges and opportunities, a suite of best practice financial policies, the establishment of long-term financial targets, and a financial health scorecard that measures results and ensures strong fiscal management. The plan also outlines eight steps to keep the City focused and diligent about its finances: eliminate debt, reduce debt levels each year, fund reserves, follow financial policies, facilitate provincial reforms, focus on growth, diminish infrastructure debt, and monitor progress.

“We will continue to act in the best interest of our taxpayers, now and into the future,” said City of Saint John Mayor Don Darling. “Our costs have been increasing at a rate we cannot sustain, and it is our responsibility to ensure that we control costs responsibly and spend within our means while delivering quality service to our community.”

The Budget Monitoring Policy further enhances accountability of the Long-term Financial Plan, and strengthens cost control measures that require separate monitoring and management of personnel and non-personnel budgets. 

“Addressing the City’s financial challenges will require discipline and long-term focus,” said Councillor David Merrithew, Chair of the City’s Finance Committee. “The newly adopted Budget Monitoring Policy further strengthens long-term financial planning for City services through increased accuracy, accountability, measurement and accomplishment of the annual budget process.”

In a report to Common Council, Finance Commissioner Kevin Fudge adds that an effective budgeting process is an important tool to properly allocate resources, make decisions, monitor business performance, and forecast future financial performance. Limited resources can be managed well through an effective budget process. The City’s long-term financial plan and supporting policies will support the achievement of such a process in both the short and long term.

The Long-Term Financial Plan can be found here.

The new Budget Monitoring Policy can be found here

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