Cornwall Ontario – Privately a few councilors have expressed frustration with this current council as there are some pretty clear blocks when it comes to voting.
Conflict of Interest Queen Elaine MacDonald leads the pack. You have to remember that while the person that mops the floor at City Hall can’t run for council somehow, the President of our Local Labour Council can.
Likewise the Labour Council’s mystic endorsements don’t seem based on positions, but rather fealty. The surprising endorsement of the near embalmed Claude McIntosh paid off again as he rubber stamped another tax increase attempt; this time to jack up water rates.
There is of course no shortage of water in Cornwall. In fact the declared reserve levels are nearly $1 million dollars over funded as I type these words.
Because of the loss of industrial user Sentient Flavours there is a shortage needed to be filled. Sound familiar? Again, because of a hit to our local economy; chiefly because of the policies and failures of various departments and lack of leadership at City Hall, tax payers are being asked to take the hit. Likewise, because of commercial property income dropping because of lower assessments taxes are going to go up.
Councilor Rivette put forth a motion to change the cubic meter water usage rate for Commercial and Industrial users whose water services are metered. Most residential users in Cornwall pay a flat rate which makes a lot of sense as there is very little evidence to show any savings for tax payers by using water meters; especially as most of the cost of delivering water services comes from infrastructure.
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Bernadette Clement bleating about how small the increase is must be galling to seniors and those on fixed incomes of which Cornwall has a higher percentage of due to our senior aged population. She being a well paid lawyer, with the means to mount expensive political campaigns, clearly is out of touch with those struggling to survive in Cornwall.
There was a line drawn at the Monday night meeting though that ended in a stalemate due to Carolyne Hebert not being present. Sadly Ms Hebert’s mentor is Elaine MacDonald so unless the voting changes we should expect a hit to our water bills in addition to the 4% tax hit being bandied around the budget table.
Is that how to attract residents and build a community?
Those that voted to take the funds out of the overages of our reserves were:
Those Voting to Not Raise Taxes
Mark A MacDonald.
Those voting to RAISE TAXES
Mayor Leslie O’Shaugnessy
Our conflicted Mayor, Leslie O’Shaughnessy actually stated he would not debate from the chair and then expressed clear positions, some of which were clearly opposed to those shared by other councilors which, I could be wrong, could certainly be concluded to be debate by a reasonable person, voted to raise taxes.
After the motion failed to raise the tax council then voted to take the funds from the bloated reserve with the voting falling to the same lines.
In other words residents of the City of Cornwall now have to pay for an extra meeting of council and have the decision for water rates go up for 2017 rest in the hands of Carolyne Hebert.
Our mayor said he’d be happy to debate his position to raise the water taxes this year with anyone on the corner of Pitt and Second.
Mayor O’Shaughnessy I call bull pucky on you sir, and would be happy to debate you at noon in Pommier Square any weekday you choose next week.
The video of the meeting is available on the city’s website. In a side note our new CFO clearly should be able to answer numerical questions. She was fumbling to many of the questions. Her first year is seeing near record tax increases.
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