Support for FCSS

The Town of McLennan has given its support to FCSS (Family Community Support Services) in its bid to seek distinct society status.
Municipal officials passed a motion by Michele Fournier to extend the town’s funding agreement with FCSS into 2001, despite concerns from councillors John and Cheryl Kachuk.
Both councillors felt the town should consider dropping its funding support to FCSS as a way of helping to address the municipality’s current financial situation. The town’s contribution to the FCSS program for 2000 was $23,460, however $18,770 of that total was provided by the province via a grant.
“I think everyone has pretty much benefited from FCSS,” Fournier explained to town council at its Dec. 18 regular meeting.
Mayor Ron Faulkner said the town was not facing a bad financial situation in 2001 which would suggest that additional funding cuts to groups such as FCSS were needed to help trim the proverbial fat.
“Right now, from what I can see, we’re in a totally different world in terms of our financial situation compared to last year,” Faulkner said. “We’re showing a fairly sizeable difference and if we’re going to stop supporting FCSS, that’s something we should be addressing earlier in the year, not in December.”
Councillor Cheryl said her biggest concern to stem from supporting FCSS on a financial scale was the fact that municipal officials had promised cost-cutting measures to taxpayers to help relieve their tax burden.
“Town folks expect to see some type of cuts and we’re going to need to show them those in black and white. I’m not against it. I just think we have to take a hard look at what’s giving us the best value for our dollar,” she said.
Faulkner said it was a tough issue to handle because there is only so much in terms of municipal funding to spread around. “My question is, is it wise to be cutting social support?”
Fournier responded by stating she did not feel it was appropriate for the municipality to be cutting FCSS out of the financial picture with less than two weeks remaining in the year.
“I don’t think it’s fair to FCSS because you’re giving them less than a month’s notice.”
Councillor Cheryl said that while she realized FCSS is providing a very valuable service, she was more concerned about the overall financial picture of the town. “Can we afford it. That’s my question,” she said.