This letter was originally sent to Mayor Karen Farbridge and members of Guelph city council:
Re: “Council mulls potential tax rate increases” (Tribune, July 12).
Coun. Cam Guthrie proposed a motion to get city staff “to show the potential implications” of a 2013 budget with a zero, one per cent and two per cent increase. Kudos to councillors Bob Bell, Jim Furfaro and Andy Van Hellemond who had the backbone to support Guthrie’s motion.
I am appalled, to say the least, that councillors Ian Findlay, June Hofland, Lise Burcher, Leanne Piper, Todd Dennis and Karl Wettstein, as well as the mayor, care so little about Guelph taxpayers and are so closed- minded that they couldn’t deal with even asking city staff to consider the implications.
That failure of leadership is further exemplified by the mayor’s comments about avoiding the disruptions caused by the $8- million revenue shortfall in the 2010 budget. Will she ever learn that Guelph’s taxpayers don’t have bottomless pockets and can’t keep funding ever-increasing taxes from their take-home pay?
Is it too much to ask councillors and the mayor to try the novel approach, for them, to strictly balance expenditures with revenues without constantly picking the pockets of the people of Guelph?
That the Guelph Police Services Board approved a 2013 budget five per cent higher than the 2012 budget is simply ludicrous, considering that the crime rate in Guelph is down.
What are Guelphites to take out of their household budgets to fund these increased tax levels?
Perhaps Wettstein’s suggestion that “councillors start talking to people” about how to achieve a tax increase of less than three per cent, instead of relying too much on city staff (which raises the question of staff competence), should be expanded to find out what per cent the people really want.
It is long past the time for the mayor and councillors to show a modicum of leadership and fiscal responsibility.
Glen. N. Tolhurst