Cornwall Ontario – When I ran for Mayor of Cornwall in 2014 I was really clear about our number one issue, taxes.
I had a clear plan that would cut taxes by 5%. Now knowing the lay of the land; my false police charges, still not held accountable for by a corrupt police chief, crown office, and police board (imagine running for mayor with a peace bond and conditions in place and threat of jail hovering over you) clearly hostile local media, some of which not only didn’t cover my campaign, but lied about it like Todd Lihou did, or refused our campaign ads.
No, my campaign in 2014 was about seeing the very corrupt Bob Kilger and many of his councilors removed from office of which I would say that I was very successful at doing contrary to what Hugo Rodrigues has spouted. (Kilger and 5 councilors failed to get re elected ) In fact we had to slow the campaign down due to possible vote splitting. Kilger lost by about 1200 votes and I pulled in nearly 1000.
In 2014 we had a slate of new shiny faces. New sometimes is good. Inexperienced and not too smart isn’t. A Carilyne Hebert or Justin Towndale in council has hurt this community. Brock Frost, who still probably could get elected and oddly enough in his short term actually performed better than the dismal council including Mayor Leslie O’Shaugnessy should probably be in jail rather than be running a municipality.
Gerry Benson and friends created CAG which supposedly was about cutting taxes while he came to council asking for tax dollars to create his vanity legacy University. How did that work out after two rounds of cash from the city Gerry?
So what we’ve seen essentially are increases each year culminating with this years record spike of nearly 5% only achieved by borrowing cash for a project instead of paying for it this year. That’s not good management. Those are ground for dismissal of CAO Maureen Adams and others.
And that’s the problem in Cornwall. Bad management. In a perfect world Council holds management accountable and vice versa. In Cornwall’s case it’s been a disaster. Too many have too much dirt on each other to hold anyone accountable.
For example the person that mops the floors at City Hall can’t run for council yet Elaine MacDonald while President of the Labour Council could. Clearly the impact of organized labour on the city government has been a chief thrust in the runaway taxes.
All one has to do is look where the biggest increases have come; from Emergency Services. Instead of some part time firefighters or reviewing of how services are doled out we’ve simply kept upping the budgets to the point where our public works have suffered and our piggy banks and reserves are empty.
And as scary as this budget is, it’s going to get a lot worse, especially when interest rates go up.
No, this council has left the city in worse condition four years later while acting like a thin skinned bunch of ninnies who clearly couldn’t work together and have allowed management, under CAO Maureen Adams to run amok.
We simply as the people that pay the bills have to ask if this course and direction is where we want to go? Even labour folk that live in Cornwall aren’t happy about their property tax bills going up nearly 15% in one term.
Small business is literally dying and fighting to survive because the less money people have to spend the harder it is for them to make it.
Contrary to what Councilor Elaine MacDonald stated, paying more tax is not a good thing for those that have to pay it.
Electing someone to council or mayor shouldn’t be a popularity contest. If you were sick you wouldn’t ask your best friend or the hunkiest guy to perform surgery. You’d want the best doctor. Same with legal; yet we vote monkeys onto council who sometimes can’t run their own lives, nevermind be at the head of a near $200M per year corporation.
The good news is that there are some candidates coming forward who want to follow the lead of Brampton Ontario and clean house of city management that clearly are corrupt or have failed. While it can be an expensive pill in a certain sense, corruption and failure cost a lot more. It just makes no sense to reward failure again and again. Corruption and Cronyism always eventually equal utter failure.
People have to understand that being on council is more than photo ops and smiling like the meds have kicked in.
In fact the truly best politicians are those that make the tough decisions and deal frankly in the public so that we can all end up better in the end. In Cornwall too many decisions are bailed on because of corruption and affiliation. And that just leads us to where we are.
2018 may change that, or it may not. What we do know is that the status quo has failed us all and that this group of council effectively have been a complete and utter failure by any metric of measure for success, and that strong and clear change is needed.
What do you think dear CFN viewers? You can post your comments below.