Fitzpatrick Tax Hurting Growth in Cornwall Ontario as City Faces 3% Increase for 2013

Fitzpatrick Tax Hurting Growth in Cornwall Ontario as City Faces 3% Increase for 2013

CFN – It’s odd the things that  people say publicly and the things they say privately.    I’ve been told that’s why CFN gets into hot water with certain local politicians.

Councilor Andre Rivette shared a tip of what’s brewing at City Hall in this video from last Spring; one which not only resulted in him being attacked at a secret meeting that violated the municipal act, but one that resulted in the city’s failed attempt to put into place a by law that would muzzle councilors from speaking out.

If the good councilor’s estimate is accurate you’re looking at nearly 2 tax points for Cornwall or more.   With pending potential litigation and/or settlements such as the one involving Rob Hickley how much does a community have to pay to cover the sins of non-elected city officials?

With Mayor Bob Kilger stating how close his relationship is with the about to be former CAO who’s sucking dollars on executive leave, whatever that is, to the tune of $186K per year before taking his retirement where does that leave the voice of council?   This same council that for the most part gave the CAO a whopping 14% raise knowing of some of this litigation?

And while we’re at it there seems to be some confusion as to Mr. Fitzpatrick’s previous leave, before his executive leave.   The buzz at City Hall now is that he was on vacation but as the above video shows Mayor Kilger clearly states he is on leave for medical reasons.

The Mayor and council have a deep responsibility to the Corporation of the City of Cornwall which ladies and gents is you and I.   What is wrong with these people some of whom we actually voted for that they sit in silence allowing this nonsense to occur?

With the city prepping the public for a WHOPPING 3% tax increase to taxes that are already too high to attract business and residents where is the logic or protection of our community?

The Community action group (which I’m a member of for the record) sent out the following release.

The Community Action Group feels very strongly that some difficult choices will need to be made in order to keep the 2013 tax increase below 2% as we have seen in the past few years, or even better a 0% increase. CAG sees growth of the tax base compromised with a 3% tax increase, i.e. short term gain, with no benefits for long term growth.

Over the past few years the CAG has been working with Council and members of the Administration to emphasize the importance of a competitive tax rate. The CAG feels and has stated many times that if we are going to grow as a City we need to be more competitive with our tax rates in all categories. The choices seem clear to the CAG, change is required and without it we run the risk in the long term of remaining as we are, which is not an option that the members of the CAG would support.  The problem we have is a higher than average property tax rate combined with a lower than average household income.  To overcome this we need growth, with a larger population we will be better prepared to pay for City services and amenities, in all sectors. Currently we have a population of 46,000 people with city services that are geared for a city with a population of 60,000. We need to grow, we need to reduce the tax burden for all citizens, and so we need meaningful change.

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At both the federal and provincial levels there is significant fiscal restraint, with many sectors seeing their salaries frozen due to budget constraints, so why are we talking about a 3% property tax increase? Restraint is the answer.

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For the CAG the priorities are,

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-A list of priorities that Council follows at all times
-Fiscal Responsibility at all levels of City operations
-An annual 0% Tax increase target
-Continue to invest in infrastructure based on a long term plan
-The need for budget constraints at all levels of City operations
-Strong Management mandates, with benchmarks so Council can track progress
-Work with our neighboring municipalities to share services and programs

In the end the future is in our hands, it’s up to us to make the hard choices in order to ensure the future will be bright for all the citizens of Cornwall and, Council made up of our elected representatives, will make the final decision. One thing is certain we share the same concern with members of Council and Administration that “certain costs or spending trends are not sustainable”, and we all need to find the right path to ensure success. Unfortunately for some this will mean some significant changes, but as we all know when we balance our household needs, if we don’t fix a problem, things usually don’t get better.

Frankly in this scribblers opinion this is way too soft.   I think we need a ZERO freeze on taxes.  Enough bribing of staff and unions to get votes with easy relations and we need more accountability.   We can’t have the President of the Labour Council on committees related to salaries of staff and city personal.  That’s nuts!

We need some tough love and we need a proper investigation to what happened via Mr. Fitzpatrick relating to his relationship with former Glen Stor Dun Lodge chief Donna Derouchie, which led to the Diane Shay case, which led to HR Manager Robert Menagh being dumped without cause at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $300K.

We the taxpayers of Cornwall Ontario are owed answers by our elected officials.   If certain city staff or managers erred or broke the rules we need to clearly know this and if certain politicians played fast and loose with our money we also need to know this.

The closer to the next municipal elections we get the more important the answers to these questions become.

Council and the mayor will have to come clean sooner or later.

And for this city to grow; short of rejigging signs as Councilor Gardiner suggested we do need taxes  to stop being raised and the city of Cornwall Ontario needs to get its house in order.   Maybe spending less on starting their own news room and so many trips for the mayor on tax payer’s dollars would be a good start?   Maybe having committees that actually focus and are made up of the right people instead of those “good buddies” with friends and relatives whose incomes may be connected to some of those decisions could result in savings to the taxpayer?

You can’t keep raising taxes.  You need to raise revenues and that doesn’t come by alienating growth in a city that already is struggling through a recessionary period.

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News

 

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

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32 Responses to "Fitzpatrick Tax Hurting Growth in Cornwall Ontario as City Faces 3% Increase for 2013"

  1. Gary W. Samler   October 1, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    During the last municipal election campaign I made a comment of 0% tax hike for the first year and then council reassess for the rest of the term . After that comment I was eaten alive by the voters. Taxes are how bills are paid for SERVICES. Responsible taxation raise for services could be acceptable to the voters if their need for money was spending in an accountable fashion. I feel this would be easy to digest but the way these assclowns have been throwing away our money in the past 6 years for lawyers, friends, consultants and toys is just unacceptable.

  2. Wow!   October 1, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Yes. City employees ( cops and firemen) have a job in which they do relatively nothing besides washing trucks, putting out little domestic disputes and harmless backyard fires, nabbing probationees with a joint, protecting the city from beer in plastic cups at the park, and waiting for the glorious day when French Harlem (south-east area of town full of crackwhores, degenerates, and CAS refugees on welfare) burns. They must prepare for the Reckoning. No Toronto pay for tiny town services! Son.

  3. cityBS   October 1, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    And to add further insult, they asked the Clerk to stay on until the end of the year and guess where she is for the next paid 3 weeks, yep…………………………….vacation.

  4. cityBS   October 1, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Mr. Mayor, don’t turtle from answering the questions. How do you project a 3% tax hike and think it’s within reason after what you allowed to happen with Fitzy, Menagh, Derouchie just to name a few and the hundreds of thousands lost and thrown on the backs of the tax payers. You never as much as said sorry to the City of Cornwall for anything that went wrong. You made sure that both your sons were added to payroll, one as a cop the other a fireman and again you never explained how with all the good people who applied for these jobs they were all simply dropped to the garbage for your sons to be given these jobs. AND, HOW did being a hockey player become the experience needed to land a job as a fireman? All you have done BOB is look out for yourself and your sons, great Mayor we have here in Cornhole.

  5. Half in the Bag   October 2, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    If it’s any consolation, City of Ottawa property tax increases each year are much higher than Cornwall’s.

  6. bella-b   October 2, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    As someone living and paying taxes in Cornwall, Mr. Bag, why do I care how much Ottawa taxes rise each year? I already know I can’t afford to live in our nations capitol. What I don’t understand, is why I’m being taxed out of Cornwall!

  7. stellabystarlight   October 2, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    City BS…if you are working that is, are you allowed vacation time?

  8. Right to know   October 2, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Were going to get it ( taxed) to pay for Bob Kilger & his group
    of experts like Fitz . All H/R hiring should be approved by our elected officials (council ) before hiring can be finalized . Far to much
    power in CAO ‘s hands . Unless we the unwashed come to our senses at the next election & clean house we can only look forward
    to more of the same . It’s up to us .

  9. cityBS   October 2, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    @Stella, sure we are all entitled vacation time but what was the point in extending her stay with the city only to book off for 3 weeks? OH yes, to add a few more months in the pension pot.

  10. Haley Brown   October 3, 2012 at 6:43 AM

    Has anyone thought to visit city hall and ask for, the operating budget which covers the costs of maintaining services as libraries, recreational centers, parks, snow removal, road maintenance and municipal fire services.
    As well as the capital budget. This is what the city sets aside to cover the costs of building and renewing our libraries, roads, parks, recreational centers, arenas, pools and seniors’ centers.

    Unless they have a two tier system this should show what the costs are. It is our right to ask

    There are only three factors that should influence the amount of property taxes you pay, only one of which the City has control over.

    The City property tax rate

    The assessed value of your property – determined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation

    The education tax rate – set by the Province.

    If the assessors want to visit your property for an assessment, show them the edge of city property as that too is your right. They have no jurisdiction and no right to do assess property as often as they do.

    It is merely a tax grab for poor city management.

    Stop being so submissive people, only YOU can incorporate change.

  11. jules   October 7, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Anybody who has read me on Cornwall’s rag SF knows how I feel about the taxes and I warned everyone what would happen didn’t I. I told all of you that you were all biting more than you can chew and that you will all get into big trouble and that the #1 jerk mayor is only pocketing for himself and his sons and his friends and don’t care at all about the people. I told you what would happen with that “tax mahal” you call a Benson Centre only for certain people and not for everyone. You are paying for the freeloaders who live in lavish houses outside of town.

    You can’t compare apples to oranges. Ottawa is overtaxed and very overburdened and many are selling their homes because of those very reasons. All I see are homes for sale here in Ottawa people cannot keep up. Now with the government letting go people cannot live on cheap wages. My yearly rent is what a lot of people pay for their house taxes and you never get out of the mess. It was not very long ago that I heard that seniors cannot even pay for the fees that are on condos and those fees increase every year (that is for upkeep). The lunatics in Cornwall want to build a highrise condo in the park and which is mighty insane. Highrises cost a great deal more to maintain than a low rise and even my own landlord says the same thing. These nutmar jerks would be getting way over their heads and where does the money come from to cover up their crazy nutmar ideas – yes from the people. People better wake up because if things keep going on you won’t even have money to shovel the streets and other important matters. What will you do “pull a Mayor Lastman” of calling in the army.

    Ottawa has a great deal of debt and has been getting well to do car dealers to take over some of the arenas in town for 10 years so as to give a repreave to the city. Stop dreaming folks and get down to reality. Talk is cheap it takes money to buy whiskey as the old saying goes.

  12. bella-b   October 7, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Perhaps you should charge a fee for you psychic warnings Jules. You are the only one who sees Cornwall for what it is, and what it could be. It’s a shame you see nothing but negativity from such a distance. Perhaps you should turn you all seeing vibes to your own backyard, where things might be a little rosier. I know you help here in Cornwall with all your bright and shiny visions. Why not let your own town benefit from your future telling skills? Perhaps they will be more appreciated there.

  13. jules   October 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Bella I see it like it is and I tell it like it is. I have even said about people will not even be able to afford to live in Cornwall with the time and I am not kidding. Just this morning I read about the lady in France who is head of the IMF trying to tell the government of Canada to tighten up even more about mortgages because people are going to lose everything. I even heard more earlier and am going to replay it what I heard. You don’t own your house anyway. I know what is going to happen and God help everyone because people will not be able to feed and clothe their children soon. You may laugh and laugh all you want but when that time comes don’t tell me I didn’t tell you so. The things that I know would keep everyone up at night but I sleep through it all very well because I have God on my side.

  14. bella-b   October 9, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Okay Jules, I get it. OoooOOOoooo doom and gloom. Beware!
    Enough already!
    Have you never heard the saying if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?
    Now there is something I believe in. How about you?

  15. Nonbeliever   October 13, 2012 at 6:59 AM

    It’s sad to see people running our hometown who I believe aren’t capable of critical thinking. Cornwall is not well thought of in other part of Ontario.

  16. jules   October 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Cornwall’s reputation is not just “not well thought of” but is black. The entire country knows all about Cornwall and not just Ontario. The stink got around even during the days of Martelle and made the headlines of Time Magazine for the smuggling and that is not counting the sexual abuse that went around rapidly. Nothing has changed the stink will always linger in Cornwall forever.

  17. bella-b   October 13, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    “the stink will always linger in Cornwall forever.”

    Yes Jules, it will never change unless people make it change. All your positive vibes and good thoughts will go a long way in improving the “stink”, I’m sure. Just hush.

  18. jules   October 17, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    No Bella I will not hush. I tell it like it is. There are too many “sheeple” who are being led to slaughter by the “so called powers that be” in Cornwall and the “sheeple” have no guts whatsoever to stand up to their abusers. I can honestly tell you Bella that nobody wants to go to Cornwall that I know of and so many laugh and poke fun when they hear the word Cornwall. I experience the laughter here in Ottawa from people of all ages and I do feel very embarrassed about Cornwall. Even one man from a small town outside of Ottawa made terrible comments about Cornwall. You cannot hide what went on and still going on. As long as people have the mentality that they have of a “good ole boyz club” and a Dodge City, Peyton Place and Hazard County “Boss Hogg” or it will never change. You have to change the whole bunch from the mayor, city councel, those in charge of business, the CEO, etc. etc. etc. Even the people of the town have to change or else nothing will change. Cornwall is living in the 17th century under slavery of the “so called elites” of Cornwall. Wake up people and learn your rights and stick up for yourselves against those who are running you into the ground. Bella high taxes chase away businesses and I don’t tell you no fibs. I don’t live a Polyanna lifestyle – I see life as it is.

  19. bella-b   October 18, 2012 at 5:31 AM

    Yes, but Jules you left! You abandoned Cornwall instead of staying and helping to make it a better place. Instead of fighting against the evils that you constantly attribute to Cornwall. Your not living here, disqualiflies you from voicing your opinions. You are down enough on Canada, and Ontario, and quite frankly, I’ve heard you trashing your own home in Ottawa.. Haven’t you got enough to bitch about, or prophesise about, or cry about, without living in the rearview mirror. Cornwall doesn’t stand a chance, regardless of the “good old boys” with folks like you never ever shutting up about the past. My future is so bright I’ve got to wear shades. It’s sad to me that your future is so doomed you’ve got to vomit negativity.

  20. jules   October 18, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Bella if you think that your future is bright go on sympatico.ca and read about the two provinces that are going to bring down Canada’s economy to the European style depession. I can assure you and others that it is not Québec in that list but it is Ontario and Alberta.

    As for me leaving Cornwall we had no choice because there was no work and the only work you can get is if you bend down and kiss their behind which we don’t do nor do any people who have any kind of self respect for themselves. As for not caring about the people of Cornwall Bella you are so wrong when you say that. I am always telling people some good advice and one time you told me to take my own advice which is what I do every day Bella. You sound like a young person even the way you speak. The same thing comes out of my son’s mouth but my daughter is more down to earth as well as my husband and myself. We are awake to what is going on and going to happen not too long down the road. As a woman of 61 years old my years are counting but if you are young and all young people the future is very bleak. I wouldn’t trade places with any young person these days for all the money in the world – I guarantee what I say. You have to really know what is going on to really understand it all.

    As for knocking down Ottawa no I don’t knock down Ottawa because Ottawa was pretty good to me. Yes there are things that I could knock about this town and that is like any town anywhere. No place is perfect – everywhere is in very big trouble. Bella I wish that I could give you a silver lining in the sky but I can’t. My own children are facing the horrible times ahead. My own daughter is being let go of her job at the end of November or in December and she has to look around for another when that day comes. I have never preached fairy tales to my kids but the hard knocks of life that they have to face just like so many other people.

    I am trying to wake up the people of Cornwall to realize what their mayor and council are about and I can’t write down what I know because Jaimie will not print it because of liability but it is not good at all. You have to throw them out like the baby and the bath water. The people’s mentality has to change. If you think that I hate Cornwall you are wrong indeed. I don’t hate Cornwall I hate the people who are running things into the ground. If you think that things are bad now Bella just wait and see what is yet to come. You are young and I can see that but if you are young like I think you are you have a long hard road ahead and you can be part of the solutions for Cornwall because of your young age. People my age are at retirement or almost and many have literally screwed things up badly.

  21. bella-b   October 18, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Oh, honey, give it a rest! I’m not as young as you think I am. lol You just don’t get it. You are too much! Do you think you are the only one who reads the funny papers? I just choose to look at the sunny side of the street instead of falling into a deep depression over the what ifs or the doom and gloom minutiae that you seem to thrive on. Just reading your posts is enough to spoil my coffee. As I said before, if you have nothing nice to say about Cornwall and its people, than please, shut the hell up!
    *s*

  22. jules   October 19, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Bella I will continue to say what I want and if you want to play the role of Pollyanna go ahead. You don’t have to read what I put down. You will be more than shocked when you find out the real truth. I don’t hide my head in the sand I face life head on for all its worth. Cornwall is backward because people cannot see how they are being used and only you and the rest who live there can do something about those dirtbags who run Cornwall and think that they own you and others. People of my age left and never went back except for a few who have inherited their fathers businesses because they went to university to study in that area. Eventually they too may leave as well.

  23. bella-b   October 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    If you are determined to post your negative drivel, I will be forced to point out your ignorant rantings. Just because I’m the only one voicing their disgust with your constant bloviating, don’t think I’m the only Pollyanna who is tired of your crap. But you go ahead and keep knocking us and our home, and I’ll keep on showing you your bitterness and jealousy.

    *s*

  24. jules   October 20, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Bella bitterness and jeolousy is not what I am talking about and I am not bitter or jeolous of “Cornhole”. LOL LOL. My God Bella your head is not right at all and I am so mighty happy to be out of “Cornhole” and would go anywhere in the entire country or the entire world than to go back to “Cornhole” and that I guarantee you as God is my witness. Believe me Bella I didn’t even peek at that rag of Cornhole called Standard Freeholder and I gave everyone my word and my word is mighty good. I stand by what I say and I don’t back down.

  25. bella-b   October 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    If you feel that way, then why do you care about Cornwall at all? Do you get off slagging the town you left the same way pastor Tom gets off on his superior religious rants? It’s a sickness you know. I think you get the same rush a junkie gets with a hit when you type up holier than thou rants. Now that I realize your sickness, I’ve decided to just let you rant. If I continue to point out your foolishness, I’m just feeding the junkie, and I won’t be a party to your addictions. Get help, before you get hurt.

  26. Hailey Brown   October 24, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    It was explained to me, by people in the within the employ of the city, that Cornwall’s tax increase is solely predicated on last year’s budget. I obtained a copy of last year’s expenses and the books balanced. Therefore if last year balanced, why do they need more because they really did nothing last year?
    I also asked for a copy of the future plans of five year plan, they have none.
    I am not that voiced on politics, but I have enough experience in project management to know, if you need money you need to tell the client why and where you intend to invest it.
    How can the city ask the citizens for more money or ask the province for the same and yet have no real plan to spend it? There must be a law for that.

    There is a small group organizing an accountability group. Their mandate is to approach some of the local councils and hold them to task.
    I hope more people join this venture as it is the only way to improve our standards and limit needless an uncontrolled spending

  27. admin   October 24, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Hailey I wish more tax payers took the time that you did to try and understand why they are being gouged by the city. There is no non-Fitzpatrick triggered reason to be raising taxes in Cornwall for the upcoming year.

  28. Hailey Brown   October 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Admin
    Sorry I do not understand what you mean by a no non Fitzpatrick triggered reason?

    Cornwall is not alone; South Stormont has been using water meters for the last couple of years. I was unable to locate where the amounts of earned revenue for overages on usage limits resides in their budget.

    That raises a few questions for them as well.

    I only wish I was in the area more as I would love to join an advocacy group for government accountability.

    Maybe that is something you could lead the charge in. Public forum would be a little easier to gain momentum with

  29. jules   October 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Speaking about water meters they have always had those things here in Ottawa as far back as I can remember and our landlord told me one day that it is one of his biggest expenses. We live in a high rise building and water is recycled here like all buildings. I heard a few years ago that Cornwall was going to start putting in those meters and yes that will raise your bills quite high. I remember years ago reading the water bill for a friend of my husband’s here in Ottawa where I had to crawl on my belly way back in those days of the early 80’s in his basement a type of crawl space area (of his duplex).

    Cornwall’s taxes are very high indeed and high taxes chase away businesses.

  30. Hailey Brown   October 30, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Jules
    The water bills is not higher by any means. That only happens if you over reach your limit.
    These meters are as you said, nothing more then an expence or something they can spend tax dollars on rather then the repairs of equipment.

  31. jules   November 3, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Hayley Brown

    I am glad that you went to City Hall asking for their expenses and why they are asking for 3% increase this year. If you know government at all levels which I think that you have a good understanding – the government keeps two sets of books one for the public to know about and the real one is hidden from the public. There is so much corruption at all levels and the people are the last to know. If Kilger leaves then you might (if you are all lucky) to find out some of the boondoggle messes that he and his gang of thieves have created. I see that you are an intelligent and inquisitive person and you have to be in order to try and get to the bottom of it all.

    Here in Ottawa (you cannot compare apples to oranges) the budget is entirely different from a city of a million people compared to a small city of about 40 to 45 thousand. The City of Ottawa is in a deficit of at least a billion dollars or more and mighty expensive compared to small town Cornwall. You cannot compare the two cities whatsoever. If you ever came under Ottawa’s jourisdiction (God forbid) people would not be able to afford to live in their homes. All I see here in Ottawa are houses for sale and houses for rent and many are single family homes that people can no longer afford to keep up. I have seen so much neglect where homes were sold for very little and contractors would buy them up cheap, fix them up really nice and either live in them or sell them. One man is an uncle to our friend and he does that and he and his son repaired a house on Alta Vista Drive and it is really nice now and he is a contractor. If he were to sell it now he most likely would get a good price until everything crashes down which is going to happen. I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole what I know is going to happen. I feel so relieved renting because I am free of whatever happens. My daughter spotted a condo apartment at the rent we pay now plus utilities but I am perfectly well the way I am now.

    Cornwall does pay a hefty tax for a city of that size and that is one of the reasons for so few jobs and that goes for everywhere and not just small town Cornwall. When taxes are very high it pushes the employers elsewhere.

  32. jules   November 4, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    When a city collects taxes from the people and has no plans for the future then you have to ask yourselves a lot of questions. What Hayley received from the city was “all smoke and mirrors” to hide everything from the public. People better get active and throw all these bums out of office. They are in a position to “control” and the name of the game is “control”. Stop falling for all their nonsense. Stand up and be counted but do it the right way. These people do not care one iota about any of you except for their “little clique” and the rest of you are left at the wayside. I am glad that Hayley took the first step into wanting to know why the 3% tax increase on the ratepayers – what is it for? There are plenty of questions to ask and I bet you that they cannot come up with the answers. They bleed everyone dry.

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