Sunday, December 17, 2017

During the last three years the city has abandoned the 'pay as you go' system and started to rely more heavily on borrowing enormous sums of money that you, the taxpayer, will be paying for over the next twenty years.

I voted against the 2006 budget for numerous reasons, one being the lack of additional infrastructure monies and also because of the increasing amount of new debt. Our own senior management has told us that this is significant change in the way we fund projects.

The city's debt load has increased from $12 million in 2005 to roughly $53 million in 2006. Last year the cost to service the debt was $2 million and that will balloon to $7 million in 2008. Council was warned that the taxpayers will be facing a base tax increase in 2007 of 8% if they passed this previous budget. I think it is foolish to make such huge financial decisions hoping for other levels of government to bail us out. There is only one taxpayer. You.

Council was warned by a hired consultant not to incur more debt. Despite this dire warning, on Monday May 29, 2006, Council passed a motion which added another 25 million dollars of additional debt to fund the revitalization of the downtown. I voted against this motion. If the city funds the whole cost of the improvements requested by this developer, it will increase your debt to $78 million dollars. To date there has been NO commitment from other levels of government to help in the revitalization.

The risk of this much debt is far too high and will prevent the city from increasing its spending in the areas that most need it like our roads and sewer/water infrastructure.

DEBT WARNING

On Monday June 26, 2006, BMA Consultants told city council that 'your debt is outpacing your growth assessment and putting additional pressure on your existing taxbase'. The council was cautioned about taking on so much debt too quickly.

I believe that the legacy of debt being created is going to burden generations of taxpayers and that we need to go back to the more affordable 'pay as you go system' and doing projects when we can afford them.

Let's address the areas that you have told us to fix before we can't even afford to do that!

 
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