CORNWALL ONTARIO – Unlike Hugo “The Hack” Rodrigues at the Freeholder, I’m not afraid to give someone credit when credit is due. Nor do I not mention their name like a silly silly petty person.
His Friday editorial hits the nail on the head. Instead of dealing with the adversity of the budget for Cornwall for 2017 the O’Shaughnessy council is delaying the hit.
This council may not in fact be as corrupt as its predecessor, but it’s far more incompetent and secretive.
Under his watch the change that Leslie O’Shaughnessy campaigned on has been one of punitive and brutal actions such as shutting down kids ice rinks at Christmas, bullying kids selling worms, allowing a by law office to continue to run amok, spending thousands on big ticket out of town law firms in the Shay case, clear conflicts of interest, and now rate payers have to pay the price.
Taxes were artificially raised to pay for the Kilger and Fitzpatrick scandals, but those should have been one off hits.
In other words there should be dollars in future years. Now we’re being told by city administration that we are facing a crisis regarding commercial property taxes that are leaving a sizable hole in the budget.
Well for one why wasn’t Maureen Adams, who was the Chief Financial Officer, warning council about this before budget time? Why couldn’t some cuts have started PRIOR to budget time?
And of course the big issue is why these properties are dropping in taxes. While it’s easy to blame the Distribution Centers that appealed their excessive tax burdens, there is the disastrous Cornwall economy that exists because of policies that Council and Ms Adams administer. Excessive taxes are driving demand and prices, thus lower valuations.
Clearly this council deserves its walking papers next election, but it’s far deeper and that means it’s time to change some of the guard who clearly don’t appear to be up to the job. It’s a chicken and egg like situation. Is it council making administration fail or administration leaving Council out to take a beating?
There are some options, but they take some courage. For one, reserves are there for a reason. And while people like Bernadette Clement and Elaine MacDonald don’t seem to care much for pumping them up, it’s for times like this that they should be used.
Rather than raise taxes the city can tap some reserves. They can even borrow some money to cover this single year overage.
But what happens in 2018 if some serious thought and cuts aren’t applied to Police and Fire services? And that’s the biggest place to chop other than the silly amount of money we give Bob Peters and Economic Development to put out glossy vanity magazines and give crony’s kids gigs in the Summer.
As they say, the definition of insanity is to do things the same way and expect different results.
What do you think dear CFN viewers? You can post your comments below.