There’s a lot going on at the Town Council level these days as they deliberate matters such as strategy, budget surpluses and The Employment Area Review (EAR), to name but a few.
As many of you know, we took a public position suggesting what Council should do with the approximate $776,000.00, 2010 budget surplus, after they were stuck in a 4-4 vote. We simply advised they should do the right thing and give it back to those who paid it in the first place, the taxpayers- EASY solution.
Following our note to Council and the media (published in this week’s Mirror), we received additional feedback from a Councillor who suggested the issue of “run-a-way spending” was mainly attributed to MPAC and not our Council, for which we replied as follows:
Thank you Councillor for your response to our letter.
Midlandcommunity.ca is a broad based and diverse community group with several hundred contacts. Given our group’s diverse residency, we’d like to point out that this is neither a waterfront property discussion nor an MPAC discussion. This is about decisions our Council make.
As previously shown by us, between 2000 and 2009, Midland Council approved increases in per household taxes amounting to 82%. In 2010 and 2011, Council approved additional budget spending increases of 5.0% and 5.5% respectively. These are budgets sanctioned and approved locally by Council not MPAC. The welcome news is that we now have a surplus for 2010 of approximately $776,000.00. Coincidentally, this surplus, almost to the dollar equals the 2010 approved budget increase.
Our position remains unchanged; the monies should be returned to the rightful contributors, in this case, the taxpayers of Midland.
We support your position that town staff did an excellent job managing their approved budgets in 2010. Staff should be commended for saving the taxpayer significant monies in relation to the budget. Your comment, and I quote, “surpluses are not an indicator of fat but rather of good management of our budgets by our staff”, bodes well for all stakeholders. It suggests that as the town staff continues their fine work throughout 2011, we should expect to see another surplus in the range of $776,000.00. This indeed would be welcome news.
Finally, we agree with your comment that people don’t mind paying for services they receive as long as they’re good. The one caveat is the services must be affordable.
Hope this serves to clarify our position.
Roy Ellis on behalf of midlandcommunity.ca