Let’s Look at Dumping the CPS for the OPP in Cornwall Ontario – Election Blog by Jamie Gilcig
CORNWALL Ontario – Chief Dan Parkinson of the Cornwall Police Service earns over $200,000 per year. There are 67 members of the CPS on this year’s Sunshine list of employees that earn over $100,000 per year. Many of those are still only Constables. One of the pillars of my candidacy is to work to cut taxes by 5% over the 4 years of the elected term. In my research I discovered that by switching Cornwall’s police service from the CPS to OPP we could save approximately 25% the first year. I kid you not. I am not pulling numbers out of a hat or typing them lightly. I do not hang around dark and slimy places like Coffee Shops or Barber shops as the Police Chief has been wont to share. No, I interviewed the Mayor of Perth Ontario. Mayor John Fenik shared with me in the audio interview below how Perth did exactly that. They saved 25% of their police budget without cutting service. As a matter of fact the only change was that the Chief and Deputy Chief retired. All other officers stayed on at current service levels. The process took about two years and was done during a single term. Mayor Fenik actually stated that they should save even more money as services adjusted over time; especially when you add in long term Pension savings. Perth, like Cornwall had to shoulder the full cost of the pension burden and when you have this many people on the Sunshine list that adds up pretty darn quickly.
While there are many facets of this subject that can be debated, the facts clearly show that there is money to be saved; especially in a city the size of Cornwall where we have a top heavy management team of officers and services just focused on the CPS.
With the Federal government spending millions on policing smuggling via the RCMP and joint task force, one less level of bureaucracy might make that process more streamlined as well.
Imagine, 25% of the Police budget of Cornwall is approximately $5M and that in itself is almost the 5% I promise to work to cut in when elected in one fell swoop!
Here is a video from OPP Superintendent Rick Philbin that talks about the costs of policing.
To most reasonable people pooling resources always leads to cost savings. As far as salary goes, with arbitration legislation salaries end up about the same no matter where you are.
As for safety Chief Parkinson and many of his force seem to have no problem with being protected by the OPP as many of those on the Sunshine list live OUTSIDE of Cornwall. That means they are sucking huge wads of tax dollars out of Cornwall while not paying into our system. That’s broken.
Of course you can’t force people where to live; but it certainly shows that the OPP are as safe a service as the CPS. As a matter of fact many decision makers at City Hall and on the Sunshine list across the board are happy to live outside of Cornwall.
Our CAO lives outside of Cornwall and sucks nearly $200K per year out of Cornwall. While we can’t legislate where people choose to live we as a community and as elected officials can take fiscal steps that lead to perhaps attracting some of these people back into Cornwall and reversing the trend of those with money setting up shop over the border including hotel owners Scott Lecky and Paul Lefebvre who both have left Cornwall to live outside our tax area.
The only way to reform taxation in Cornwall is to go through our budget with a fine tooth comb. We clearly cannot rely solely on City Management as we saw this year when council clearly asked for one number on a budget and were brought back two that were not that number.
Elected officials are chosen to lead. Leadership requires vision, integrity, and the willingness to get your hands dirty. I hope that this subject is discussed further and I will be bringing it up again as the campaign evolves.
Again, can you imagine our city when we cut taxes by 5% over 4 years and the message we will send to businesses and people considering moving here? It’s time to change the culture of how we operate and build a better city.
And we need to elect a strong council and strong mayor to achieve that in 2014.
If you’re a member of the CPS and wish to be interviewed or share a thought or comment please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855 444 1133