Mission’s finances to be reviewed by task force

Terms of reference for the core services review approved

A core services review task force aimed at finding savings of up to 10 per cent of departmental expenditures for the municipality moved forward Monday evening as council finalized its terms of reference.

The core services review was part of the new council’s electoral platform, and will be overseen by Mayor Ted Adlem and Couns. Jeff Jewell, Nelson Tilbury, and Larry Nundal.

Although a politically neutral background and objectives was provided for the terms of reference, Jewell moved that it be amended to explain more explicitly the reasons for the review.

“All of the newly elected Council ran as members of the Citizens for Responsible Municipal Government (CRMG), pledging to hold the line on spending and taxes, and promising to conduct a Core Services Review as a guide to achieving tax relief and financial sustainability,” reads an excerpt.

This initially raised an objection from Coun. Jenny Stevens, who said it was an unnecessary political statement.

“I don’t think we have to reiterate what we’ve been saying in this setting,” she said.

But Coun. Dave Hensman disagreed, saying, “People have have a tendency to forget things and it’s good to remind folks why we’re doing this.”

Despite Stevens’ comments, the motion to amend the text to include CRMG in the terms of reference was approved unanimously.

The core services review is expected to take six months to complete.

Finance director Ken Bjorgaard said in a telephone interview that no estimate on the cost of a core services review is yet available, but more information will be provided at the Jan. 23 regular council meeting.

Similar undertakings in other communities have cost more than $70,000.