The mayor has made more than $35,000 in cuts to his office at Kamloops City Hall amidst an anticipated property tax rate increase.
The mayor and council’s $272,000 budget for travel, contingency and other expenses, excluding remuneration, has been reduced by 13 per cent.
“Every department had to cut and so did the mayor’s office,” Mayor Ken Christian said.
City of Kamloops corporate services director Kathy Humphrey said the mayor perused the budget items and made cuts to travel ($6,300), contingency ($4,000) and Sister City Uji Japan ($25,000).
“The mayor cut some external contractual, which is basically like consulting money and stuff that they have at their disposal, a little bit in there,” Humphrey said. “He cut a little bit from the sister cities budget, which is the money that they spend on receiving and going to Japan as part of the Uji sister city. So, they haven’t done that in a couple years and he decided to set it up to be once per term for council instead of potentially twice.”
The cuts were small compared to the city’s overall budget, Humphrey said, but significant relative to council’s budget. She added the mayor “walked the walk” after staff were asked to review budgets in city departments.
“I think that shows leadership from city council,” Humphrey said.
The reduction was part of the recent provisional tax rate decrease, which saw the rate lowered from a 3.4 per cent increase to 2.3 per cent. Council is still mulling another one per cent increase in the next month, however, due to proposed supplemental budget items.