Hamilton’s 2023 budget got final approval Wednesday by a 10-6 margin. A last-minute intervention by Mayor Andrea Horwath got the budget increase down to 5.8456 percent, down from just under 7 percent that had been expected. An emotional Mayor Horwath apologized for springing the changes at the last minute, noting that she has been dealing with a family emergency, but said she had been working with staff to see if additional sources of funding could be found to finance some of the initiatives that council had added to the budget. As it turned out last week’s provincial budget contained some unexpected funding relief, and OLG revenues that are shared with the City were better than expected. In addition, some accounting for employee’s costs was changed to create additional funds. The tax increase will work out to an increase of $262 for the average homeowner.
Those voting against the budget were Councillors. Jeff Beattie, Matt Francis, Ward 14’s Mike Spadafora, Mark Tadeson, and Tom Jackson. And in a bit of a surprise Brad Clark who had chaired the dozens of budget meetings also voted against the budget.
Major highlights included:
- The Police budget was approved by a 10-5 margin
- A motion to scale back a $2.6 million grant to the YWCA to $2 Million lost 7-9
- Expanding the livable wage provision to summer students was defeated 4-9
- The controversial $40,000 increase to councillors’ office budget was defeated on an 8-8 tie vote
Sad the mayor only acted under pressure.The cuts should have been seen before they sent out the bad news.tears for suckers.Cant buy it.