My name is Mark Stivrins. When I spoke to the Lake Rosseau North Association this August, I noticed many questioning looks regarding my numbers for the Township finances. Since 2003, the first year Mr. Conn was elected, the direct property taxes collected by the township has increased nearly 50%, from $6.7 million to $9.9 million. Overall revenue has increased over 70%, from $10 million to over $17.5 million. These figures come from audited Township statements, not out of context bar graphs. it is not good financial planning that got them out of debt, it is simply taking more of your money. As for the debt continually thrown up as a “mess” left behind, the reality is that those were payments for Belvedere home for the aged, the new hospital and the new waste system. By taking a bank loan and early paying, plus getting a below prime rate, the Township saved over a million dollars. The new waste system is saving over $180,000 a year according to Township estimates. How this was bad financial planning is only seen during an election. The best way to save money and subsequently lower taxes is to reduce regulation. Protecting our ecology should always be a top priority. However, Mr. Conn is more interested in creating laws that govern our social and visual environments than being an ecological steward. The Ontario camp of the deaf issue especially has shown this. If we focus only on regulations that pertain to public health and safety, and ecological concerns, we can reduce the funding for legal charges, enforcement, and staff time. Let’s get back to common sense. Let us quit treating the public’s money like it is outside income to be maximized.
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