Cornwall Ontario Community Action Group Not Happy with 2.38% Tax Increase – January 12, 2012

Cornwall's Million Dollar Man Paul Fitzpatrick

CFN –  Irony can be a funny thing.    We received a release from the Community Action Group here in Cornwall which wants lower taxes.

Of course everyone wants lower taxes, but this group of some of the areas most successful companies has made some strong points, and grown to over 300 members.

It’s controlled tightly by a leadership of Gerry Benson, Sandy Cameron, Dr. Michel Dubuc, Roy Perkins and a few others.

These folks are used to getting what they want, and I’m sure City Hall gives them some TLC when they come calling.

They want a zero % tax increase while the city is presenting a 2.38 increase or about $1,261,701   and they’d probably get that if not for the Diane Shay case which is still racking up victims and costs to Cornwall.  (let’s not forget the Pilon case too which can add as much as six figures of extra cost by the time that’s finished.)

Ms Shay sued the city over her wrongful dismissal over whistle blowing; court costs were incurred; settlement was made which resulted in a big chunk of money.

Btw, the person in Cornwall in charge of Whistle Blowing for the City; where the buck stops; is Mr. Fitzpatrick.

Ms Donna Derouchie left as administrator of Glen Stor Dun Lodge; see, connecting the dots….   and estimates which haven’t been confirmed including the city refusing Le Journal’s Freedom of Information Act request peg her parachute for resigning as high as $300K.

Now Robert Menagh, the HR Manager, was let go without cause.  Mr. Menagh, whose income put him on the Sunshine list, could cost the city as much as $500,000.  Why let go of a senior manager in a time of fiscal concern without cause?

It all adds up, and of course it’s the taxpayer that foots the bill.    At what point do you go to the CAO and say something?

At what point is the guy at the top held accountable?

It’s these questions I’d be very interested in hearing from the CAG about; and of course the mayor and council who are reacting and making decisions on this case that are allowing tax payers to be gouged during a time of great financial concern in our area.

Here is the Community Action Group’s Release:

Citizens cannot afford a tax increase…………

The members of Community Action Group of Cornwall are against any tax increase in the 2012 budget. During these difficult economic times the citizens of the City cannot afford a tax increase.  All household and business budgets are stretched to the limit and any new tax at any level of Government would not be acceptable.
The City budget as it stands today will have a 2.38% increase in taxes which represents a $56.13 increase(as reported) in an average home owners tax bill. This is not in the best interest of the taxpayers of the City of Cornwall and we urge members of Council to look for savings in the 2012 budget documents to ensure a minimal 0% increase (with hopes of a decrease) in taxes for all taxpayers.

The CAG is also 100% in favour of using the new assessment revenue to decrease the tax rate and build new infrastructure to benefit all citizens. It has been reported that there is an extra $483,000.00 in new tax dollars and if we add in our $600,000.00 surplus from the 2011 budget (taxpayers’ dollars) there must be a way to ensure we do not have a tax increase in 2012.

As the CAG has stated in the past few months it is time to “Live within our Means”, which translates into reducing costs across all departments.

Bottom line.. If Council chooses to follow the recommendation to use new development or increased assessment revenue along with the 2011 surplus to reduce the tax rate and build new infrastructure then the only way to get to a 0% tax rate is to find efficiencies within all City Departments. We hope Council will be able to find a way to accomplish what we feel is best for our City.

You can post your comments below.

1 Comment

  1. Now Robert Menagh, the HR Manager, was let go without cause. Mr. Menagh, whose income put him on the Sunshine list, could cost the city as much as $500,000. Why let go of a senior manager in a time of fiscal concern without cause?

    Are you not kind of contradicting yourself here Jamie?

    At one point you sought accountability for the actions with in the cities HR. Now that you have accountability you question the cost and if it is worth it?

    You ask for accountability but offer no alternative solution, yet devise a conspiracy even then.
    Please tell us what you think they should do!

    It is easy to through stones.

    It may cost money when he leaves as it usually does, but you are 10 years too late to solve the problem. You should have asked the how much prior to him being hired, or considering his resume why he was hired.

    “Let go without cause”, just think about that for a moment. Should the Ontario Employment Standard ever get wind of this the city would be torn apart. Could it be a decision was reached where in no substantial monetary gains are given and the city keeps his record clean???
    How do you think Fitzpatrick should handle it?

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