by Robert Kirwan
The stone has been cast already with respect to the budget for 2015 and
candidates running for City Council in October had better be prepared to
defend the maintenance of existing service levels for their constituents
when confronted with choices after the election. This is where passion
hits a brick wall when it comes to the selection of your representative
on City Council. No one is going to tolerate tax increases of almost 12%
over the next three years so you need representatives who have the
experience and knowledge necessary to come up with viable alternatives
and ask the right questions. This is an election where you need to elect
the candidates who will be able to get the job done with real practical
solutions to the challenges that have been presented by staff.
We have already seen one of the answers to balancing the budget in the
Valley when staff recommended increasing the rates at the Howard
Armstrong Recreation Centre by double or triple what they are now. We
have seen what has been happening to the rates for ice time at our
arenas. We have seen what is happening with water rates. The list goes
on and unless this trend stops we are not only going to have to be
concerned about attracting new people to the area, we are going to have
to be concerned with "keeping" existing residents in the area.
City Councillors elected to office on October 27 must hold the line and
force the staff to come up with policies and procedures that will keep
taxes from increasing and make sure that user fee rates do not become a
barrier for residents who depend on municipal services.
This practice of issuing a gloomy forecast and then receiving accolades
several months later when efficiencies can be found must stop. It is
such an old strategy. Give people the worst case scenario and then when
you lessen the pain everyone will be happy. In the article that appears
in the Sudbury Star, even the current Mayor doesn't seem very concerned
because this is the same thing every year where the projections come in
high and then when the budget is passed savings are found to keep the
increase less than expected. The election is now less than 11 weeks
away. It's time for residents to start doing their homework and find out
about the candidates in their Ward.
Marcel Lemieux Another crock of bull that will never stop
the rates will still keep going up and up and up whatever the predicitons are
and no matter who is on Council. I'm so fed up with these tax increases
and user fees hikes when will the slaries and pensions be raised to the
same level NEVER!!!
Dale McCarthy It's the same tactic Facebook uses when
they invade your privacy. They go so far that people complain and then
they pull back and people are satisfied again, yet they only pull back
so far and not to originally where they started.
Robert T. Kirwan Exactly, Dale. We need to put an end to
this tactic. The best way is to make sure that we have people with
enough knowledge about the situation that they can put their hands up
and say, "ENOUGH.". Come back with something that is real or don't come
Gilles Gaudet Here's a question. Why are most of the City
trucks big Dodge with Hemis? Wouldn't it make sense to have smaller
trucks with smaller engines? It would save on fuel, it's not as if they
haul anything with them. Just my idea on how the City can save money and
not gouge us...