City Council did not approving the next four year operating budget as expected Monday, instead narrowly voting to table it for two weeks so "the entire budget can be reconsidered."
It'll be a couple of weeks yet before the City's next four year operating budget gets final approval.
That was expected to happen Monday (Nov. 26), however Councillors voted instead to table it to their December 10th full meeting of Council so "the entire budget can be reconsidered" even after six days of debate last week.
Mayor Chris Spearman asked Council to drop a million dollars from the base budget of the Lethbridge Police Service Monday afternoon and that spurred a motion from Councillor Joe Mauro to hold off on budget approval for now. His motion passed narrowly, 5-4. Mauro says now all 98 budget initiatives will be reconsidered on December 3rd back at Finance Committee. He notes if a Councillor now wants to reconsider one of those initiatives, then the proper thing is to go back to Finance Committee, where a two-thirds majority will be needed to either approve or defeat any of those initiatives.
Councillor Ryan Parker, who chairs the Finance Committee voted for the tabling motion and says if a member of Council wants a chance to go over what was presented over the six days of deliberations, it's important that happen especially when your dealing more than a billion dollars over the 2019-2022 budget cycle.
On the flip side, Councillor Rob Miyashiro was one of four not in favour of tabling. He told Council that Finance Committee already debated these initiatives and stated "we are risking becoming the most wishy-washy Council. In my opinion we are looking stupid."
City Council must have an operating budget approved by December 31st.
Coun. Joe Mauro: