Legislation is currently in place to prohibit deficit budgets and there are no arbitrary inflation increases to annual budgets. Capital budgets are financed out of reserves based on formula to build infrastructure.
I agree with the methods in place as listed, and I believe one area that needs to be explored is that of Zero Based Budgeting. Currently the method is service level orientated, looking at what it costs to deliver services and determining whether there would be reduced or increased services to conform to the budget. I would be interested in doing the following where possible:
At the beginning of the budgeting process for the fiscal year, re-evaluate each program as to its ongoing usefulness, relevance and method of delivery to the City of Saskatoon, start from zero and build from there. At the very least, you have quantified the validity of your programs and services and may prove that some should be terminated and others continued or expanded.