5 in 4 – My plan to Cut Taxes 5% in my First Term of Office as Mayor of Cornwall Ontario by Jamie Gilcig

jamie can't fixToday I’m going to talk about the biggest pillar of my platform and it’s what I call…

5 in 4

5 in 4 simply means that I will work towards cutting taxes by 5% over the 4 years of my first term.

Cornwall has seen a large rise in taxes over the 8 years of the Kilger regime.  Many of those tax dollars have been spent on unnecessary litigation and settlements, over scandals.  Simply by not causing expenses like terminating a well esteemed and professional HR manager in Robert Menagh without cause costing the city over $300K to allegedly head in a new direction that has never been defined will result in savings.  Do we really need to pay to top level management salaries at the same time?

So if taxes were raised during this time period where will those increases be spent?      Would they simply be fat in the budget?

I believe that a thorough investigation of the budget will yield several “hot spots” where savings can occur.     You can’t just rely on whatever you are told by your city management.  This is not micro managing by council.  This would be working together to achieve the best results.  You can question a doctors advice or get a second opinion; why not with a city budget?

In the budget process this year in spite of being instructed to come up with two budget points, management delivered a wholly different budget.   This is unacceptable.   It means change; either in the way the department functions or in staffing.

During the course of the campaign I will be demonstrating some of the tax hot spots that could lead to huge savings for the residents of Cornwall including one area alone that possibly would save the city over $4 million dollars per year.   That in of itself is nearly 3%!

A vote for Jamie Gilcig as mayor in 2014 is the only choice residents will have to push back on taxes without cutting services irresponsibly.    There is a better way, but we’ll need a strong council willing to show leadership.

It will take a council of people that don’t rely on consultants that only bloat up your tax bill.    Remember that when you see some of the platforms of those running.   You can’t suck and blow at the same time.

If cutting taxes and making live in Cornwall more attractive and affordable is what you wish vote Jamie Gilcig in 2014!




  1. I agree with you that there are many hot spots, some already identified and probably several, still to be identified which could be exploited into savings for the city in your run for Mayor.
    Wouldnt it be ironic if Mr Kilger should he decide to run in the next election include cutting taxes in his platform. Say What??????
    As a home owner who retired to Cornwall 5 years ago I am extremely frustrated in the lack of transparancy and the magnitude bullying I have witnessed in viewing city meetings on TV
    Lets see now, you say a cut of 5% in property taxes in the first term of your office as the new Mayor of the fine city of Cornwall. The present Mayor of Cornwall Mr Kilger has been raising taxes annually for his past
    term. Me thinks its time to put the fat cats out to pasture and for the voters of Cornwall to get out and vote in some new blood to move our city out of the factory town mentality and into a new and more promising future we deserve.
    Good luck Jaime.

  2. Author

    Thanks Gerry. It’s actually been 8 years of Mayor Kilger and his council jacking up taxes each year, in excess usually of what people on fixed incomes gain in cost of living increases!

  3. 5 in 4 makes much sense and is more thoughtful of Taxpayers than starting with a maximum number. In Ottawa Jim Watson campaigned on a maximum 2.5% annual increase, well, not all residents get a raise and this just avoids making tough choices. Of course, he was crossing his fingers as water and other user fees were different.
    I regularly see business concerns asking staff to present budgets to management of 0%, minus 5% and minus 10%. I would add, that a Mayor going that route should also state, no impact on services.

  4. Author

    Eric in the real world nothing is every written in stone. Ideally no services would ever be cut; but it also makes sense to do a thorough review of all services before making any definitive statements. I think we need a whole new process in Cornwall of having proper public consultation. For example Denis Carr led the way in shutting down our public pools and downtown Farmer’s Market. Is that what taxpayers really wanted? Also, because we don’t use the ward system; something I feel we must return to at some point; many areas are not being well supported. Look at le Village and some of the new developments in that still are waiting for some park space that was promised to them years ago. The bigger question is why Gerry Benson and his Community Action Group are refusing to speak with me even though I am clearly the only candidate in Cornwall for mayor or council with a clear vision of lowering taxes and already have a plan to do so? Boggling huh? Since Mr. Benson and his friends only mantra is cutting taxes….

  5. Excellent start Mr. Gilcig, just what nearly every citzen wants to hear, promises of lower taxes.All thought you make great points on how this will be achived and i do believe it can be done.Should it be done?Unless of course you have a plan to make up for the short fall The city will loose by lowering taxes.Will the roads in our city ever be repaired?Will the east end of town ever get money to improve thier image and really be a part of this city?
    Well good luck Mr.Gilicig. Best of wishs. Looking forward to more of your platform.

  6. We need someone to go to City Hall and turn the lights on real bright because the cockroaches lurk in the dark. Transparency is always promised and never obtained. Yes, the light needs to shine on these “hot spots” to allow the taxpayers to decide for themselves. We need accountability as well. Everyone wants to make the decisions with no accountability. My whole income depends on my accountability at work like most people who have to answer to their employer. Why not politicians? As far as I’m concerned, a Politician = crook. Just think about it for a minute. A lifetime capital P Politician is someone who is quite content on being supported by taxpayers for the rest of their life! Enough with this “lifetime membership to the taxpayers trough”! We need for example, someone who has and can run a business successfully, someone who will lend us their skills for a few years, and be happy to return to their company to continue their success. People from all walks of life. We need honest hard working people to look out for honest hard working people. I hope this is who you are Jamie? I’ll be watching. Good Luck!

  7. Author

    Mark we need people to do more than watch. We need people to get their butts in gear and help 🙂

  8. Jamie
    Love the 5 in 4 challenge. And, to help towards this goal, we should very carefully look into the services our city provides and ensure the responsible party bears the funding. Any time our city is involved in any way in service or equipment, we must very carefully break down the costs, add a management fee, and pass this along to the party we are delivering the service for

    Canada Post:
    Due to the increased pedestrian traffic on our sidewalks, extra effort will have to be made in ensuring our sidewalks are navigable by those of all ages. Parents with children in strollers, folks with parents in wheel chairs, people with challenges walking, people with scooters. This added expense must be passed on to Canada Post. Rental and maintenance of the space required for these Super Mail Boxes, and the parking, must be passed on to Canada Post. The cost of litter pickup for all of the flyers Canada Post gets paid for to dump in our Super Mailboxes must be passed on to Canada Post.

    Any time our Cornwall Police participates in any way in a Border related incident, this cost including any equipment rentals must be passed on to CBSA. If any citizen has an event, and must go to Cornwall Police for services, we must pay a fee.


  9. More free advice from someone who has never run for political office…
    It’s way too early in the campaign to release a lot of details about exactly how you intend to reduce taxes etc. Most “war room” gurus like Warren Kinsella will tell you that the nuts and bolts of your platform should be saved until much closer to the election date. This way, it gives your opponents less time and opportunity to poke holes in your ideas.

  10. Author

    Yes, Furtz I have chatted with Mr. Kinsella. I am feeding things out; but we have a candidate or two that has already pilfered some platform material from others so just want to make sure that certain issues are out there and clearly defined.

  11. It’s a delicate balance for sure.

  12. Author

    Well and the public is quick to judge (and rightly so) many times when all the facets aren’t released, but so far I’ve had really strong response to the 5 in 4 plan. It’s a great start for fiscal reform.

  13. @MMJ re:Canada Post……good luck with that one. Ain’t going to happen.

  14. Hi let me just say first of all the shirt was a bad idea this is mug slinging and that shirt is like calling Bob stupid bad start. Also in the budget if there were really concerned about raising taxes then why did they give themselves a 2.15% wage increese. I do agreeon some thing Jamie like were is all out taxes going sure as hell not on our roads our street in cornwall is terible and falling apart. Also the snow plowing in city street is a joke they are not even plowed and the full width of the road. 9th street east was only one care wide at most times. Cornwall does need a major change it has gone no were sence 1976. If anything we keep loosing everything out of Cornwall. Cornwall is becoming a seniors town also Cornwall was too big to go down to just one hospital. If someone does not soon bring cornwall bad to life it will just be a retirement town. All our young people are leaving cornwall and doctors too because Cornwall offers nothing to keep doctors and young people here.

  15. I’d take lower taxes over city services any day.
    I believe the city should maintain the infrastructure (transit, roads, sewer, water…ect) and allow the private sector to provide the services and products the community needs ( at least they do it more efficiently). Now if only we can get the damn unions out our city payroll/benefits wouldn’t be ridiculous.

  16. Mike makes a good point, I think. Showing respect for your opponent and staying out of the gutter is the way to go. Kilger is already in the gutter. No need to join him there.

  17. @ Mike…..Council did not give themselves a 2.15% increase. The last I recall the item was being studied by an outside consulting firm to determine if and how much of an increase would be acceptable. In Ottawa the current council is not permitted to give themselves a raise. They can give the next council a raise, but not themselves. Perhaps we should look at that here. I agree a major change of attitudes is needed in Cornwall so we can start keeping the younger generations and keep doctors, etc. here. As for two hospitals, Cornwall only needs one. If you look at cities with similar populations (Belleville, Brockville, Leamington, Orillia, Quinte West and Timmins) you see that they only have one hospital.

    @ Jason…..I agree with your comments in principle. However some infrastructure items could be privatized (transit, road maintenance (not road planning). As for unions they are good and bad.

  18. Sincere best wishes in your campaign for mayor, Jamie.

    Something to think about for future…Ontario’s Senior Secretariat has a program (with some funding) to encourage “age friendly” municipalities. Info is available online.

    I asked the mayor of Cornwall (because I wanted to volunteer my time to help) if the city might be undertaking programs similar to (alphabetically), Brantford, Cambridge, Dryden, Haliburton, London, Kingston, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Waterloo.

    Aging in place is a really important issue as the numbers of seniors will more than double from 1.9 million (2013) to 4.1 million by 2036, and will for the first time in history account for a larger share of the population than children 0 to 14.

    I believe it is an issue we can’t ignore and that Cornwall should be among the cities showing leadership in this provide wide strategy.

    In both direct and indirect ways, I believe it would be good for the city’s economy and reputation.

  19. Author

    Thanks Mary Anne. Did the mayor respond? Seriously I think we have to realize that it’s not an all or nothing issue. We can support and encourage our seniors while still focusing on youth retention and attracting younger families. Cornwall has it all. It’s all about setting the plate and printing the invitations to all.

  20. The mayor responded. But I didn’t keep the email so can’t say factually what the response was. I just remember being a little confused so assumed I hadn’t communicated very well. I do agree with you that attracting younger families is absolutely key. In fact many young adults will be employed in the caring and age-related professions. It will be a huge part of the economy, nationally.

  21. I have another idea that should help attain your 5 in 4.

    Why do we have 10 members of council plus a mayor for a city with an approximate population of 46,000?

    Statistics Canada (2011) shows the following population figures:

    Barrie, 136,000 population and 10 councillors
    Brampton pop. 524,000 with 10 councillors
    Brantford pop. 93,650 with 10 councillors
    Burlington pop. 176,000 with 6 councillors
    Kitchener pop. 219,000 with 10 councillors
    Oshawa pop. 150,000 with 10 councillors
    Waterloo pop. 99,000 with 7 councillors
    Windsor pop. 211,000 with 9 councillors

    Surely if the above municipalities can represent a far greater number of taxpayers with fewer members of council then Cornwall could easily reduce that number to 8 or even 6 and still get the job done. Think of the savings with respect to remuneration, expenses, cell phones, laptops, hard-copy reports, etc… over a four year term. Not to mention the time saved at council meetings with fewer members to grandstand or pontificate! For those on council who say they have too much work, then perhaps it is time to take a serious look at the number of committees we have and look at reducing them as well, not to mention getting people who don’t mind the workload!

    Food for thought.

  22. Author

    Red this is one area that I half agree with you. I think we should switch to the ward system and have six wards in Cornwall. I think we also should take the savings from four less positions and add it to the salary of a councilor/alderman/woman and try to attract a higher level of candidate. Right now it’s kinda scary to see who is talking about running or who has and what some of their clear agendas are. The City and taxpayers should always come first.

  23. Ward system – yes
    Reduced councillors – yes
    Increased salary – no.

    Being a councillor in Cornwall is a part-time job. Look at how many of them have full-time jobs or use the councillor’s pay to supplement their pension. Thus the pay is enough. They see the job as serving the citizens of Cornwall., no major increase in pay is needed. A cost of living increase would be okay, something a lot of us never get. Now if we could get the utilities, etc. to realize a raise in fees should be tied to the cost of living.

  24. Author

    Hugger if you look at many of the councilors they put in an awful lot of hours. We need more options that the idle rich or the retired to run for council; especially as it means making decisions that impact our futures and put them in charge of a $160M + budget.

    Do you really want minimum wage councilors?

  25. I think the city could be well served with 6 concillors and 1 mayor.The mayor acting as the tie breaker in some issues.But in order to do this we need well educated people running for office.This can only be done with much higher salarys then they receive now.I feel our mayor should receive some where between $120000.00 to$140000.00 per year.Councillars between $70000.00 to $85000.00.I believe only then will we have the right people to run our city properly.

  26. @ Admin & Marc…..
    I can agree with quality candidates. But sorry, I can’t agree on the salary. Going from a mayor’s salary of $53K and raising it to $120 to $140K and councillors from $15K and raising it to $70K to $85K is totally unacceptable. And would never be accepted by the taxpayers of Cornwall. Yes, they put in long hours and work hard. But they know the salary and job requirements going in. So, they can’t cry foul. If they don’t like the salary or job requirements don’t put your name forward for consideration. And any changes in the number of councillors would have to wait until the 2018 election. And like I’ve always said no council should be able to vote themselves a raise.

  27. Author

    Hugger if you pay someone too little you leave the door open to corruption or worse, incompetence and a possible tragedy of both as we apparently have with this council. It’s that simple.

  28. Author

    Btw, I’d also like to see any actual yearly raise on salary of council or the mayor be by ballot question and/or performance formula. IE if you raise taxes you generally have failed and no raise.

  29. I agree with your comments. However the suggested levels of pay as suggested by Marc are totally unacceptable and would never be accepted by the taxpayers of Cornwall.

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