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Behind the scenes: how the process works

Budget 101

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Municipal staff in Clarington begin working on the budget over the summer months. Each Department reviews its activities and plans for the year ahead.

There are many factors to consider while planning a budget. You look at the past year's actual spending, do you need to adjust your operational budget? Are there new projects in the works that will require financing? Does a Department require new staffing? What about new trucks, new computers, phones, tools; all of these things are budgeted for.

Here in Clarington we are fiscally responsible, we understand that we are accountable and we track each dollar spent.

Once staff in each Department have come up with a budget the document is thoroughly reviewed by the Department Heads. They meet with their Divisional Managers to crunch the numbers and make sure that all items budgeted for are necessary and crucial to the Municipality. Following that meeting, each Department Head will then meet with the Chief Administrative Officer and the Director of Finance who, in turn, go over each budget with a fine-tooth comb. An education session is held for Council to review major items for the coming year in the fall. A list of priorities is made: divided into Priority A and Priority B items for Council to consider. The Finance Department compiles a budget binder which is distributed to Council two weeks prior to the Special General Government Committee Meeting which is dedicated to the Budget. Members of the public wishing to speak to the budget, can do so as a delegation on Friday, January 27, 2017. During that meeting, Council reviews the budget and ensures that it matches Council priorities. Amendments are made by Council to add, delete or amend the proposed budget. The final budget is then approved at the next Council meeting. From this tax rates are set and approved.

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