Need for Annual Service Reviews
A good budget preparation process must be preceded by an annual review of all services. Council should strike a Service Review Committee with a mandate to annually review each and every service in regard to need and efficiency. The Committee should be driven by Staff, chaired by a member of Council and most importantly have membership that includes at least two members of the general public and one other member of Council.
The Service Review process should examine each service under the following criteria.
1. Is the service essential?
2. Is the real cost-per-user accurately calculated from data and is it reasonable, and
3. Are the majority of rate-payers likely to support its continued funding?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘NO’, then the service should be considered for further review, elimination or significant downsizing. All services that survive the initial review should then be assessed for ‘size’ appropriateness. Are we paying for a brand new Cadillac Escalade when we can only afford a 1998 Chevy impala?