Even leaving aside that democracy isn’t free … hiring temps for a day to assist with an election really isn’t that expensive … that’s one reason why the CFO’s proposal to switch to electronic balloting was rejected. I suspect the city spends more over a term feeding the council and senior staff at the 5 pm meetings the public isn’t invited to than it does on an election.
As for following through, municipal government isn’t like parliament where everything dies on the order paper … including bills that all parties may support … when an election is called, such that the next parliament has to start over from scratch. One municipal council picks up exactly where the last one left off, eg one council can initiate a bylaw and the next council can pass it. The way things go, it’s mostly the same people anyways.