Town’s spending ‘out of control’

March 18, 2015   ·   0 Comments

The ongoing dissatisfaction with property taxes in Orangeville is a complex issue.

It’s not only about the proposed 4.2% increase for this year, to bring up the depleted reserves to an amount that many members of council feel is still inadequate.

We are all aware that property taxes on any given value of house in the town of Orangeville are considerable higher than houses of comparable value to our south, and for that matter to the north as well.

The operating budget includes wages. If one uses the historically approved expenditure by department, available on request, for just the last six years, you will find that spending has increased from $28,673,900, that’s $28.67 million in 2009, to $38,718,326, that’s $38.7 million in 2014. This is an average yearly increase of nearly 6% in a six-year time period. When nearly 6% is compounded year after year, it is easy to see how the taxes have gotten to the level that we are now at.

The expenses of some of these departments are out of control and in my opinion have not been properly scrutinized.

These budgets, some of which are very bloated, are some of the main reasons that taxes are now at this very high level. Some of the letters written are examples of property increases that are very frustrating. I mentioned in a previous letter that my property taxes on my commercial property on Broadway, increased from $30,464 in 2009 to $63,474 in 2014, which is outrageous. Most council members represent a much higher standard of living than most of the taxpayers, and as such are not impacted to the degree as most taxpayers. Its easy to understand the frustrations of the majority of taxpayers.

There are many examples of spending in the Town of Orangeville that was and is not justifiable. A few of these are the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph health centre monstrosity on Broadway, the town money spent on the Edelbrock Centre (formerly the bowling alley), the tourist centre on the edge of town and the lavish electronic signs at both arenas. There is some very valuable property that the town is sitting on that could be sold to pay down debt. These are only a few examples. The new mayor, councillors Kidd and Garisto were elected on a pattern of restraint. The incumbents should support this measure, and hold the line on this runaway horse.

If you look at the capital budgets of just four of many budgets under council control then things are even more out of control.

Approved expenditures by department         2009                          2014

Council                 $211,600                                  $297,856

Committees        215,300                   277,350

Administration   341,600                    311,902

Clerks                                     410,100                    543,528

Communications 45,800                   278,642

Human Resources 423,700             413,470

Planning              345,800                    429,165

Econ Dev            356, 200                                     508,592

Treasury              674,000                    984,576

Info Technology 413,200                                    700,591

Corp Allocations 2,647,900            6,559,270

Parks and Rec  4,793,100                3,154,376

*Fire                      2,348,700               3,239,571

Building, By-Law Enf. 1,164,300   1,396,709

Public Works     6,014,300               5,809,075

Public Library    1,383,600               1,710,422

**Police Services 6,884,700          9,103,231

TOTALS               $28,673,900           $38,718,326

* over 35%          **nearly 35%

Frank Gray


A Waste


Howdy, thanks to the folks that called or commented on my last letter. The general consensus is that a name change in Mulmur is a waste of time and money. It is change for the sake of change and a great display of arrogance.

Our heritage was founded on the Township of Mulmur and all the history that comes with it. The Township of Mulmur incorporated in 1851, originally part of Simcoe County and then in 1881 became part of Dufferin County. “Much against the ratepayers will” Elmer Reid, 1981.

We will always be referred to as a township, doesn’t matter it is a waste of our money to re-name it.

Further, Mulmur Council has called a Saturday public meeting to discuss a senseless change whereby they and staff who attend will get paid. Yet we the public have no information or knowledge to the rationale. We shouldn’t even be discussing it. Please let your opinion be known in opposition to this senseless change. Don’t allow only a handful of new visionaries to change a significant piece of our heritage.

Some good news, Mulmur is using the community information board in Mansfield to the benefit of the community. Another positive improvement which I believe most Mulmur residents know, we now have a registered professional planner, congratulations. We look forward to new and professional approaches to site plan agreements and land use issues. More on Landowner matters to come.

Old Silver Pen

Jim Pendleton

Mulmur Township

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