Cornwall Ontario – In the 2014 Ontario municipal election CFN viewers were credited with being the change in Cornwall.
Out went one long time corrupt Mayor and politician along with half of his council, and in came a mayor who allegedly stood against the corruption including having resigned during the term as councilor. We now know that Leslie O’Shaughnessy was simply using as much anti corruption juice as he could. He didn’t win any debates or run a particularly strong campaign. For a not great real estate agent he’s done well pocketing over $250K of our cash for essentially glad handing his way through four years.
Out were Denis Carr (who got back in thanks to Brock Frost and the very silly and scary candidate that moved to Florida right after the election disqualifying himself to take Frost’s seat) Glen Grant, Syd Gardiner, and Gerry Samson. There was a feeling of hope that dissipated for many after the Conflict of Interest scandal when the Mayor and Councilors Elaine MacDonald and Carilyne Hebert voted for funding for the Benson Uni Project of which they all were on its steering committee.
What became very apparent was that the real change that was needed, especially as the tax levy again jumped up nearly 20% for the term was that like the City of Brampton, its management were the cancer. You simply can’t have a levy rise 20% per year while seeing diminishing revenues.
Brampton this term changed CAO with a mandate that led to over 20 city managers getting turfed. Clearly it was a time for change.
Here in Cornwall there are even more reasons for similar change after a CUPE strike was disastrously lost by the city to the tune of millions of dollars. Likewise, only near the lame duck term has council stopped attacking Mark MacDonald who simply pointed out, like the boy pointing out that the emperor was in fact nekkid, that a big factor in the ballooning budget was our emergency services; especially the fire department. (MacDonald is a retired firefighter). Lately even Freeholder managing editor Hugo Rodrigues went from hissy attacks against MacDonald to near praise. (none of the other local media are covering the Brampton 2.0 movement in Cornwall)
While CFN has been chirping about Cornwall moving toward Brampton 2.0 after abuse by CAO Maureen Adams we have decided that this newspaper, the largest in this city with over 15M human pageviews in 2017, will in fact only endorse candidates for Cornwall who clearly support a cleaning of the swamp at City Hall.
When you repeat failure it truly is madness. This community is at a huge cross roads as we are about to lose our waterfront to our friends in Akwesasne who will now have a war chest of over $200M after the Dundee Settlement cheques clear.
Nearly a 40% raise in tax levy, less services, collapsing infrastructure and decisions like becoming a distribution hub while failing to gain the Amazon and Giant Tiger Distribution centre projects this term, as well as total abuse of the public purse on legal machinations that clearly are not in the public or corporations best interest show that there simply is too much corruption, nepotism, and incompetence at City Hall to continue without seriously jeopardizing the financial future of the community.
Shadowy back room deals like the Elaine MacDonald Follies of pushing through the purchase of the BMO building and then having the nerve to talk about pumping in over $6m for a project that can never be successful on any metric scale are simply not acceptable to most of our viewers. Then again Elaine MacDonald, a retired school teacher, has publicly stated that raising taxes is a good thing. How many of you agree with that?
The embarrassment that was our MPAC devolution and subsequent horrific refunds that led to a record tax increase for 2018 is again something for all to be concerned about and again begs the question if our Financial Officer and CAO have any idea of what they are doing? (CAO Maureen Adams had been the cities CFO before becoming CAO)
We for example only have one shot to get our waterfront right. The future of the waterfront lands and the civic complex are something that require strong leadership not only around the horseshoe, but at City Hall.
We simply can’t have a CAO and key management in place without getting results, especially as they’re all on the Sunshine list.
It’s also time to talk about why the CCPS costs nearly triple per capita what SD&G pays for the OPP without abuse and threats. We have to ask why a completely full time fire force needs to spend as much as it does on training? It’s not like it’s a volunteer force or one full of part time firefighters. Or why so many Emergency services get dispatched to simple fender benders?
And councilor Mark MacDonald’s idea about combining Emergency services deserves proper scrutiny and not lip service.
With interest rates heading up Cornwall simply cannot afford to bloat its debt load now.
We need to address our brain drain, our ability to retain people, and our employment crisis where companies like SCM are alleged to be complaining about not being able to get enough good quality employees.