Cornwall Ontario Facing Budget Crisis Over Fire, EMS, & Police Services by Jamie Gilcig FEB 21, 2015

Cornwall Ontario Facing Budget Crisis Over Fire, EMS, & Police Services by Jamie Gilcig FEB 21, 2015

jg2CORNWALL Ontario – Cutting taxes may be great buzz words to getting elected, but they are a lot harder to implement.

What you have in today’s Cornwall are a group of council.   There are a few experienced hands on deck like Mayor O’Shaughnessy, Elaine MacDonald, Mark MacDonald, Andre Rivette, and Bernadette Clement.

You have second term councilors like Maurice Dupelle and David Murphy, and then the rookies, Carilyne Hebert, Brock Frost, Justin Towndale, and um, Claude Mcintosh.

At least three of those are responsible for the current mess the city is in when it comes to taxes which while already high were raised on average 2% during the Kilger term.    Much support has been bought politically via our tax dollars.

Firemen in Cornwall tend to vote as a block as do many police and others on the public teat.   Witness the near twenty fire fighters at a recent council meeting.

As someone that ran for Mayor and has looked hard at some numbers there is no other clear decision to make that to cut from where the biggest increases are occurring.

That is going to be very difficult and I’m sure pressure is being applied to those elected by multiple sources.

At the end of the day though a time will come when a city simply can’t afford to pay anymore as has happened in the US and will spread to Canada.

Does it really make sense to pay 14 fire staff to man 10 slots to um….avoid overtime?   Is it not time to review the entire situation and simply pay people to be on call?    I get that firefighters will not give up a single penny without a fight and I don’t blame them.  I blame those that gave out the contracts in the first place.

The Police Board resigned Chief Parkinson without really consulting the public or council (unless it was in secret).

Should not strong pressure been put on the Chief to find savings within the CCPS prior to being resigned?

And at the end of the day isn’t it better if our departments help find that savings, even if it means they give up something rather than wait for the wheels to fall off?

We have seen in our education system in Ontario that some services fall to the wayside to keep up with the high cost of our teachers.     Can we really afford that when it comes to Fire and Police?

This writer doesn’t envy this council.  Some may play the short game as others have before them; give the services what they want and don’t upset them so they can get re-elected.

We should be supporting those though that are looking at the reality that we simply cannot keep pumping up these services the way they have the last ten years.

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