Much gushing and praise have been made around the council table with respect to the prettying up of the town’s 2018 budget documents.
However, I found once you scratch the surface of clip-art and corporate colors to find specifics I was left with a huge sense of disappointment.
I didn’t even scratch that deep. Here is what I found when reviewing the 72 page 2018 Business Plan & Budget document.
On page 50 we are provided with a Time to Hire KPI, which is nice and all until you work backward to the 2017 Final Budget document “Consolidation of Departmental Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)” dated Tuesday, December 13, 2016 :
Notice in 2017 there were KPIs, complete with target and actuals going back to 2013 for these following items:
- Sick Days per year per employee
- Employee Turnover – Full Time Staff
- Number of Health & Safety Issues
Even a field search of the 2018 budget documents comes up with nothing for these KPIs.
Finding this omission to be strange I chalked it up to not being as close to the details and the new formatting so I sent an email to all members of council last Sunday asking them to direct me to the appropriate pages in the budget documentation that have the 2017 actuals and 2018 targets for these KPIs.
It has been a week since my inquiry and only as of last Thursday was confirmed for me by a member of council that the 3 KPIs in question are not contained in the 2018 budget.
No explanation was given, but I was informed that staff was asked to “look into it” and will respond back in a couple days.
A week, for figures that should be readily available during budget discussions, is problematic from a community engagement perspective.
Even more problematic is what is included in the budget vs what is excluded. Considering all of the effort expended on the formatting I can only believe that these decisions were conscious ones and not mistakes.
The concern I have is not what the KPIs are, or when staff will supply them. It is that they appear to have been omitted intentionally and no one on council noticed.
I have watched all of the youtube videos for the 2018 budget meeting and no member of council questioned the fact these KPIs were omitted or even existed prior to the 2018 budget.
I understand that members of council are given hundreds of stats and figures over the course of the year and receive hundreds of pages with regards to budget documents, which makes the budget documentation that is compiled and delivered for the public record of prime importance.
Instead of a critical review of the trends for these KPIs as a necessary part of approval council seems thrilled with the new direction of receiving style over substance in their budget documentation.
It’s a new low when faced with a pig wearing lipstick, this council is more than eager to line up and give it the french kiss of approval.
A pig that represents a 1.9% percent pressure on the tax levy.