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Taxes capped and debt reduced

March 28, 2013   ·   0 Comments

Dear editor:

Recently in the media councillor Richard Norcross stated that he thought the Ward agreement should be reviewed after the next election in 2014. Many years ago when our council was a rural one I was the member of the Tecumseth Rate Payers who proposed that we adopt a Ward system. At that time the greatest opponent of the idea was councillor Ray Lisk. Ray objected because he maintained that if council adopted this system they would lose control of the town. How times have changed. Originally the north and south part of the town was in close balance however in the last adjustment to the Ward system Alliston wound up in full control of the town. Norcross’ review could do one of two things first if the approach is to add Wards it would leave Alliston in a completely dominate position. There would be Wards carved out of Ward 5 for the Biffis group and the proposed 15,000 houses south of the present town. A puzzler is that in Tottenham a Ward would be carved out of Ward 7 for the Mill Street development. A question is why not adjust the present Ward boundaries so as to include the new developments. As a larger Ward 8 it could be given the seat that was removed from it or is the overall idea to create so many new Wards that Alliston has complete dominance over the whole town.

Then again an interesting question is why wait six years to have these changes take effect when many could be adopted within the next two years? Perhaps at the same time we should examine the positions for Mayor and Deputy Mayor. If we are going to double the size of the town from 28,000 people then perhaps these two positions should be full time occupations. Secondly perhaps these positions should be elected from the ward councillors. It might take a change to the Municipal Act to do it however both the Prime Minister and Premier of the Province are elected this way. Under our present system it is possible to elect someone as Mayor that has never had a day’s Municipal or County experience. Surely the time has come when those with experience must run the town.

We are at a time when as I stated in the last election taxes must be capped and debt reduced. Has it occurred to you the taxpayer that while our councillors are living in the age of “last of the big time spenders” no one has brought up the fact that we should be creating and funding a 20 year plan to renew our infrastructure and reduce our taxes and debt. Such a plan would create work and jobs for our unemployed. If we don’t do it now we are going to face an unmanageable financial mess in very few years combined with great unemployment due to all the planed layoffs of the various governments and corporations.

We are entering an age of great technological change; an age of great potential however we must decrease our taxes and debt in order to be in a position to take advantage of the future opportunities presented to us. Our tax position is like the end of an inverted pyramid; the whole tax structure right up to the federal government rests on the shoulders of the municipal resident. All levels of government must live within their budgets and senior levels must stop downloading their responsibilities to municipal Councils without providing the revenue to discharge them.

There must also be more funding transferred to councils and new powers transferred to them in order to raise revenues. If changes are not made soon municipalities are going to be unable to meet the financial requirements of future councils. There is also the possibility that if New Tecumseth does not take steps to reduce both taxes and debt at some point in the not to distant future it may be unable to meet its financial requirements.

Tom Carter

 

         


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