$60M budget cut means fewer catered meals, tighter office budgets for Calgary council members
Mayor and councillors will absorb $700,000 in spending reductions
The $60-million spending cut approved by Calgary city council this week includes reductions of more than $700,000 from the offices of the mayor and councillors.
There will be new guidelines resulting in fewer catered meals, a reduction in council members' communications support, and changes in translation and interpretation services that council members use for communicating with citizens.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi says his office is giving up one job position.
"I come in under budget every single year, which is great. I'm proud of that. But I am taking some cuts to a number of the accounts within my office and I will likely not be filling a vacant position, which is about a seven per cent cut to the personnel in my office," he said.
Coun. Jeromy Farkas says it's only right that the elected officials share in the cost-cutting.
"I don't think our meals need to be provided for hardly as many meetings as we have here so I think it's just the start and it's sort of low hanging fruit, literally," he said.
Nenshi says he wishes that there could be a more thoughtful and planned way to reduce city spending rather than a sudden decision well into a budget year.
But he says the cuts are happening at council's direction.
More cuts are expected this November when council makes adjustments to next year's budget.