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Mono shirks donation ban and gives to two causes

March 28, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By JAMES MATTHEWS, LOCAL JOURNALISM INITIATIVE REPORTER

The overall benefit to Mono and its residents should determine the outcome of monetary donation requests.

As such, the town decided during its March 26 meeting to donate to a farm guide and a countywide multicultural group.

This comes after council agreed during its March 12 meeting to put the decision on whether or not to donate $1,000 towards the 2024 Headwaters Farm Fresh Guide in the hands of the town’s climate action plan committee.

The farm guide has been pitched as a means of supporting the Mono Climate Action Plan, agricultural sustainability, and food security.

It was suggested that Mono’s contribution be funded from its climate change and environment budget as council had eliminated any type of donation in this year’s municipal operating and capital budget.

Rather than move money from a reserve fund set up for municipal climate change and environmental initiatives, the funds will be taken from the Living Snow Fence program. There’s $3,000 set aside for that.

Michael Dunmore, the town’s CAO, said landowners would rather have a snow fence instead of a living snow fence of trees.

“We’re a little stalled on our living snow fence program,” he said. “This would free up $3,000 that could go back into the council donation budget line.”

The reallocation could be used to provide a $300 donation to the Dufferin County Multicultural Foundation.

“It seems a satisfactory solution to me,” said Councillor Ralph Manktelow.

Coun. Melinda Davie asked at the March 12 meeting what was the “point of going through the exercise for weeks and weeks and months, actually,” of striving for the lowest tax increase as possible for residents?

Council had taken to shaving small expense items from this year’s municipal budget, she said. One of those items was money set aside for donations.

Those little items that were cut added up and enabled council to balance the operating and capital budget.

At the most recent meeting, Davie wondered why money needed to be transferred from initiative to initiative if they were both worthy of donations.

“The debate that we all had about the donating thing just is moot when we massage the money around,” she said. “Obviously I’m in favour of supporting it.”

“I’m going to lobby very hard in preparation of next year’s budget to get rid of the word donation,” Mayor John Creelman said. “We’ve tended to lump everything under donation when, in fact, I would argue that this support is more like purchasing an ad or being a sponsor.

“That’s different in my way of thinking than calling it a donation simply because we have historically done that.”


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