Director Comforts Cumberland Council on Finances
The new councillors on Cumberland Council are in a crash course on municipal affairs as county staff try to bring the newly elected officials up to speed on issues, policies, and procedures.
Last night’s council meeting saw the Director of Finance explaining the province’s system of measuring financial risk. Andrew MacDonald described the Financial Condition Indicators used by the Department of Municipal Affairs as a kind of report card for the province’s forty-nine municipalities.
MacDonald referred to a recent report from the CBC which may have given the impression that Cumberland was on shaky financial ground.
MacDonald said the details were true but the report was a year and a half old.
The province reviews thirteen indicators and issues a colour-coded report. Red is a high risk, yellow is moderate, and green indicates low risk.
The report from 2018-19 showed Cumberland with one red, five yellow, and seven green. That put the county in the lower performing group when compared to other rural municipalities.
MacDonald noted the report is good information but it is replaced with new information every fiscal year. Since that report, the county took steps and now reports the red is gone and the yellow has been reduced to two categories, while eleven are green, and MacDonald projects that all will be green by the end of 2021.
MacDonald smiled and told the new council he wanted to offer a little comfort in case anyone wondered what they got themselves into with the election.
The same CBC report pointed a finger at the Town of Oxford which was also judged low on the provincial list. However, Oxford has also taken steps to improve and the current picture shows the town is headed in the right direction.
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