It was the moment we've all been waiting for. After a year that stretched city resources to the limit in the wake of a global recession, what was the 2011 city budget going to look like? Optimistic was the watch word of the evening, perhaps with the word "cautiously" prefacing it. In brief, the City is returning much of the cuts made in the 2010 budget - including those five days off that caused so much controversy - as well as hiring additional hands at city facilities. On the downside, this is going to cost taxpayers 5.67 per cent more for 2011.
On the other hand that could be as much as 8.8 per cent. In a presentation by Chief Administrative Officer Hans Loewig to City Council, he said that revenues were returning "somewhat" to pre-recession levels, and that in 2011, revenues would increase by about 3.13 per cent. Loewig called the 5.67 per cent "a truly sustainable budget figure. [...] It represents a series of compromises and deliberations over many months."
One of those compromises is no 20-minute transit service in the summer months, and no stat-holiday service either.