2013 Corp. of the Town of Milton Budget - Tax and ???????
There is no doubt that the majority of Town Council is a tax and tax group. Not only do they support upping taxes and spending, they vote for upping taxes and just keeping the money. Just look at Cllr. DeLorenzo's* grab for increased taxes to save for posible future infrastructure expenditures. Shades of support for Cllr. Lunau's hospital expansion tax*, in addition to the $100Thousand in Slots Funds put aside for the hospital expansion. How much public consultation really took place?* **
They did show some sensitivity to the tough economic times we've had for the past several years. In the proposed budget, Mayor and Council salaries and benefits will increase by 14%, over and above a projected 2012 payout of $443Thousand (some $30Thousand over the 2012 approved budget, which itself was a 10% increase over 2011!!). Nice!
The proposed budget also included a 2% "market adjustment" increase for staff wages - right in line with salary increases of residential taxpayers, I guess.
The finalized budget has not yet (12/02/13) been posted - more to come later.
* ** Response to MRRA questionnaire, election 2010.
What do you see as the role of Public Consultation in dealing with Municipal Issues? Do you support direct public interaction on issues, and if so, how can this be achieved?
* Rick DeLorenzo Public open houses are important way to keep the community aware of issues. Where ever possible there should be direct public interaction on issues.
** Cindy Lunau Public Consultation is critical. Consultation on major decisions should be a valued part of the process – through meetings or personal contact wherever possible. Transparency is important. Delegations to Council should always be considered. But people are busy and they often miss their opportunities to speak….until it has a negative effect on their life. We need to find ways to give more notice where issues will have a limiting effect.
** Response to MRRA questionnaire, election 2010
If elected, what would you propose in relation to the need for increased hospital facilities in Milton to support the rapidly increasing population? How would you pay for this?
Sharon Barkley - There is virtually unanimous agreement that our hospital is not of sufficient size and scope to meet our needs today, and into the future. Continued pressure on the provincial government to “move” us up in the list of communities in the same position, is critical. As a “place to grow” we should be entitled to priority preference. We also need to lobby the province to put some of the additional cost of the hospital into increased development charges. Beyond this, financing through property taxes is a last resort. Council needs to look at among other options, setting up a reserve fund developed using slot revenue and fundraising
I recently heard the opinion expressed by a Town councillor that for 2012, it would be a good time to have a fairly significant increase in Town taxes, because the Regional increase will be quite modest!
Now, there's an original thought - increase taxes, not because there is a real need and an increase is absolutely necessary, but because some other level of government isn't taking very much for its use!
With that kind of irresponsible approach to taxation, it's no wonder the average person cannot get her/his head about the financial waters, even more so in these distressing economic times.
Of course, one can easily say that the increase will only take one or two days' of food off a typical family's table, or take a week's worth of lunches away from a school-age child; having additional monies available for the self-serving Corporation is more important apparently, than people having regular, healthy meals.
After all, health is a Regional matter, not a concern of the Corporation of the Town of Milton, isn't it?
Have a say on this at council chambers on Dec. 12, 7 p.m.
Mike Grimwood, December, 2011
Messrs. Harper and Flaherty are spending some $20MM for a consultant to identify savings to benefit millions of hard-working Canadian taxpayers. This isn't as much as the Conservative in-and-out funding cost us, so why the questions about conservative values?
Too, compared to the $50MM spent by Mr. Clement to fund infrastructure to benefit his riding alone, what's the complaint?
And we can see a nice big picture of Tony as we travel along Hwy. 118 as an added benefit when we head up there to enjoy the infrastructure.
Ain't politics fun!
Mike Grimwood, September 2011
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