Cornwall, Ontario – Denis Carr is the city’s longest running council member in the city of Cornwall. Carr has been passionate about Cornwall, Ontario, and while he may in the upcoming years consider slowing down with his political career, he will always work to improve the city.
He believes that there are not only more opportunities for advancement than most cities of the same size but also improvement.
“I honestly believe Cornwall is a great place to live. I think it’s a very progressive city!”
Carr began his political career in the eighties and is currently one of the Cornwall’s budget committee chair, which has been under a lot of speculation recently. While the politicians on council are still trying to crunch numbers (Denis Carr included) and get the budget under control the public is still left to wonder what we can expect to see.
“We’ve had a really tough go with the budget.” He explained.
We have some adjustments we have to make because of some evaluations that were given; and the evaluation of the properties in particular and distribution centers. So the assessment of those was higher than they should have been.
“The fact is we lost a lot of assessment because the evaluation was too high and we haven’t really sat down and done the budget from the very beginning, to say okay this is what we have in terms of income from the new assessment and how much money we are going to generate in taxes. We are still coping with the loss.”
The tax levy has gone up almost 20% this term; this includes borrowing money as well as increasing the debt of the city. It has been speculated that if we hadn’t kept the taxes low the way we’ve done for the past ten to fifteen years, we wouldn’t be in this predicament currently. It has been in question also whether or not we would be in this bind if taxes hadn’t been kept in the two percent range, keeping them inflated. However Carr disagreed with that speculation.
The truth is that all over Ontario we are seeing problems with the budget and debt increase; there isn’t much that can be done besides borrowing money and increasing debt.
When asked if about any potential growth for the budget Carr simply stated,
“What we’re trying to do now with this budget is to get it done. To keep it as low as we possibly can and at the same time progress.”
Despite not being a supporter of the action to burrow and take on even more debt, Carr also realizes that it’s the only effective outcome in order for progression.
“The city doesn’t have a huge debt load. It probably owes about 45 million dollars maybe, maybe not even that much.”
However ten years ago Cornwall had no debt. I can’t help but wonder if the solution is simply a matter of increasing revenue or if increasing taxes is our only option?