Present projections are for around a $52-million revenue gap for 2024. About $25 million of this could have been avoided by not purchasing downtown land for the arena. But wait, councillors will be saying, that money came from the sale of city-owned land (mainly new home lots), not taxes.
Yes, but council could have used that same money to pay for any number of other capital items in next year’s budget. In fact, reserve money was used to help balance the budget in other years. Some councillors think it was irresponsible of administration to release preliminary budget projections with large shortfalls.
However, these projections are the consequences of councillors’ own actions, notably their preoccupation with a second arena.
Jonathan Naylor, Saskatoon
City hall responsible for shortfall
Mayor, council and city managers: Look for new jobs. You are obviously not fit to manage what has been entrusted to you. Surprise, we have a shortfall of $75 million ($52.4 million next year and $23.2 million in 2025). You are responsible for the shortfall. Now find a way to resolve it, other than raising taxes again.
Would you run your own business not knowing what you owe? Not for long. We now need referendums on all major projects as these spendthrifts cannot control their desires. Now, needed infrastructure will have to be paused, so your project dreams had better also be stopped. This includes the library and arena.
It’s a lame excuse that the pandemic caused this, while other cities went through the same pandemic and we are led to believe they came through stronger. There are lots of things that could be done, but we have to do what must be done.
Allan Isted, Saskatoon