Budget Time Highlights Failure of Council in Cornwall by Jamie Gilcig DEC 6, 2016

Budget Time Highlights Failure of Council in Cornwall by Jamie Gilcig DEC 6, 2016

CORNWALL ONTARIO – In business if you consistently make bad decision you end up shutting down.  Just ask Bryan Merkley.

However when it comes to the public purse the cash never stops flowing.

There are tipping points and Cornwall has been redlining for awhile now.

Denis Carr is back in his seat as budget committee chair.   Under his watch taxes have gone up to utterly insane amounts when you look at the real GDP of this community.  (He had a brief blip when he wasn’t in the budget chair after losing the last election.  He replaced the disgraced Brock Fraud Frost. )

When government or government paid positions are your largest employers in a community that should be a red flag.

We pay our teachers, police, fire, ems, etc out of the earnings of tax payers.   But if they aren’t earning enough eventually the well runs dry when you can’t borrow any more.   Until you hit that wall there’s plenty of pain to go around.   While we don’t think that could ever happen to us I’m sure there were many in cities like Detroit that thought the same.

Cornwall’s infrastructure is perilous at the moment.  Roads are getting worse; water issues effect many.  Right now we have torn up roads.  How to you asphalt a road in the Winter?

This year council is in a bit of a panic as they are floating a 4.57 tax increase.   They like to ballyhoo silly numbers that it only equals say $100 for a $160,000 home, but it impacts all across the board.

The blame, according to City Hall is a drastic drop in commercial property values which reduces taxes collected.

This is a council made up essentially of career tax parasites and people that have zero experience in commercial property or actually earning wealth through the creation of wealth.  In other words they essentially are dependent on City Management for direction and guidance in many cases.  Ironically most of that management don’t even live in Cornwall to avoid the high taxes while sucking back city salaries.   We have now had three CAO’s in a row not live in Cornwall.    Few if any have the research or have shown judgement.

Justin Towndale for example has worked for failed political campaigns.   Picking losing sides is rarely a marker for future success.

Councilor Dupelle pulls in a near Sunshine list salary while exploiting handicapped earners at his White Swan laundry that actually is subsidized to essentially compete with commercial laundries that pay taxes to support Community Living.  Does that make any sense? Is this type of head space what will lead the community to growth?

How many jobs or offices has Bernadette Clement tried to get rather than focus on helping the people of Cornwall. How long does the smiling nicey nicey show last before people see through that pony show?

It’s scary as you float down the list of current councilors who really don’t add to the community, but take from it.

David Murphy is said to be hungering to run for mayor.  Has he ever achieved much without the sanction and fealty to the Benson group?  Is that what we want for mayor of Cornwall?  A corporate stooge with little backbone and even less vision of their own?  If Gerry or Marty want to be mayor maybe they themselves should run?

While valuations for an entire community’s commercial property should be a red flag; speaking to many building owners downtown most will tell you taxes are already too high and those rates mean higher rents and costs for those that want to open a business as those costs get passed on in the bottom line across the board.

How many empty store fronts or under utilized businesses do we already have? Our empty office space is a crisis. How many local businesses are hanging on in desperation with a few more closing each year?

And of course high taxes do not inspire people to buy buildings downtown which leads to….lower prices and evaluations.

In other words, because of poor vision and leadership we are in a mess that sees already high taxes keep going up and now at higher rates per year.

The solutions are drastic at this point, but have to be done.   There’s not a lot of room to shave, but two areas we clearly can save some money are in policing and fire service.

Because of arbitration you can’t impact rates of income, but you can readjust services.   You can retire redundant management positions.  You can reapply some of that labor.  You can freeze hiring.  You can consider dumping the CCPS and it’s bloated brass for the OPP.

For example, in this community many have suggested that our police and fire service over deliver.   I’ll give you a personal example.

I had a confrontation in a local restaurant.  I was asked to leave and did.  I was stopped on Second Street by two police cars and four officers for a non violent and non emergency situation that broke no laws.

I was kept nearly thirty minutes.  Of course the clear question was if I was being stopped for refusing to leave a restaurant why were these officers chatting with me blocks from the restaurant on the street?  How much did that cost the city and why were four officers dispatched for such a non event?

Litigation.   With all the talented legal beagles we have in Cornwall is there a real reason to use high priced Ottawa legal firms?  Who is City Hall trying to impress?  Not only do we end up paying more per service required, but those dollars leave the community.

Accountability.   How much has the city spent in the last two terms of council simply because of offences and fouls by City Staff and management?  How much did the Kilger and Fitzpatrick scandals cost Cornwall?   How much did our taxes go up during that time with no value delivered to the community?

The Whistleblowers cost the City how much?  And at the end of the day corruption rules the day and there has been no productive improvement of our policies or procedures.  We have just scared City employees to not whistle blow.

And that is just scratching the surface.    Of course you can’t raise your tax base if you can’t attract people to a community.

Our Bylaw office seems to be doing its best to chase away new business and new residents by spending city dollars sanctioning ice rinks, kids selling worms, and seniors listening to Abba on a Friday night.

Our Economic Development office clearly has failed epically under Bob Peters and Mark Boileau.  At what point do you simply say that if you can’t earn your pay perhaps it’s time to give someone else a try?    Why is the city running a defacto newsroom with five or six media outlets?     Why is it funding vanity magazines each year that many people laugh at?   For the size of the ED envelope surely we should be seeing results, no?

There is no reason to raise taxes this year.  The American Revolution happened because of the principle of Taxation Without Representation.    Isn’t it time for people in Cornwall to demand accountability from City Hall?

And isn’t it time for better people to get elected in the next election and clean house.

In the real world if you fail enough change happens whether your a fry cook in a fast food joint or a CAO of a major Corporation.

It’s time to hold this motley crew accountable for their many failings.

What do you think dear CFN viewers?  You can post your comments below.

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Jason
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Jason

You make valid points. We need to rebuild the infrastructure of this city, and encourage economic growth/financially responsibility through strategic policy. I said the same over a year ago… re: ” When the largest employer in the city is THE CITY” that’s a problem.

Mike
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Mike

Wow this was the group that said if they got elected their would be no pay increase or tax hikes. This was all lies. They took the pay increase then they raise property taxes twice on us in one year This group will not get in next time I doubt it. I’m am discussted with this group. Worse than Bob Kilger

David Oldham
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David Oldham

I agree with Mike in that we jumped from the frying pan into the fire. I didn’t truly even see it coming. Disgusted is to state it rather mildly I think.

jules
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jules

Ottawa’s streets are a mess as well and more pot holes than anything even on residential streets like ours. When I think of Cornwall’s gang on council they are a laughable bunch who know absolutely nothing at all and just there to pocket the money and clown around. What a wasteful bunch of idiots. More and more schools will close in Cornwall because there is nothing there for families.

jules
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jules

Jamie you have to drain the swamp literally. I believe in amalgamation but taxes will go up I guarantee that because it happened to Ottawa and elsewhere BUT people who live outside will not get away with not paying their fair share. I have more to say and will continue to say something.

jules
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jules

Of all the things that I have said about BOB and I have said it before that compared to the idiot clowns that are in counsel on Lez team BOB was still better. Gee did I say that? God I need help for sure. Well the truth is the truth. Drain the swamp and stop electing the same garbage every year. I like Jamie and that is the truth and he is good to have on a team.

jules
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jules

I am not against city officials who live outside of Cornwall since it is better to live out than in but people have to help pay the taxes wherever they live. If they are on septic tanks and well then that would be an exception but if they use any city facilities even the library then they must pay extra fees of some sort.

jules
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jules

Jamie if you went into politics you would not have time to spend on your great paper and believe me it outdoes all others and I mean that. I never read newspapers like I do of yours – you bring out the truth and the sheeple’s fleece gets all ruffled up. LOL LOL. ROLF! I enjoy this paper very much and that is the honest truth. There is no paper like it. Politics is crap, pure crap and all BS.