$210,581, nearly $20 per resident of the township, is about how much taxes are going up for South Stormont residents this year, or about 3.8%. Ironically Deputy Mayor Tammy Hart and
her puppets fellow elected council, Jim Bancroft, and Donna Primeau, ran on a platform of transparency, accountability, and killing the contract with the South Stormont News to publish the Township Bulletin.
The rumor during the election was the contract for SSN was going to raise taxes by 10% when it was clear that it was 20% less than the amount Quebec based Seaway News was charging.
The newspaper, based in Ingleside, ceased print publication after the township reneged on its discounted one year contract which has led to a lawsuit for the balance owing.
Since then the township has spent an estimated three to four times the value of the claim on legal bills with a trial and most likely loss coming further. The highlight, or lowlight, being the township not showing up for the first day of trial after their lawyer, Hali Adair, sorta kinda forgot it. This was the second attempt to kick off the trial after the first was tossed after half a day due to a conflict of interest via the CAO Betty DeHaan.
Taxes during the last council term had actually stayed close to zero with some years having a reduction to compensate for PAC raising evaluations.
The Hart Council raised taxes by more than the combined total of the previous council for its term while reneging to date to start building a new fire hall and recreation centre in St. Andrews which has drawn the ire of many in that community and area.
The township has refused to give an answer to the global sum spent on legal bills to date as well as how much the Deputy Mayor cost the township via the integrity commissioner in the last term. Ms Hart actually lost several weeks of her honorarium after being nailed by its Integrity Commissioner including stating falsehoods via memo about the South Stormont News.
CFN is preparing to file a Freedom of Information request to get some answers. The township is also refusing to answer how much has been awarded to Hart’s family farm for water rights for some wells, or even if a decision has been made yet. One Township source stated as much as $50,000 has been asked for.
Are you a resident of South Stormont? Are you happy with your taxes being jacked up on frivolous legal bills and less transparency? You can post your comments below.