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Trail council cuts $1M from budget, City of Rossland adopts five-year capital plan (imposes 2.5% tax increase in 2020)

In stark contrast - both articles from Trail Times online local news May 8, 2020. https://www.trailtimes.ca/local-news/

"In a time of fiscal restraint brought on by the COVID-19 virus, the City of Trail responded, slashing more than $1 million from this year’s budget.

The city reconsidered the original 2020 Budget and Five Year Financial Plan at a Governance and Operations Committee (GOC) meeting last month, where council approved an amended budget that cancelled capital projects totalling $1,007,450."

Meanwhile in Rossland - 

“City of Rossland council adopted their 2020-2024 capital plan during a meeting on May 4. Included in the plan is a 2.5 per cent tax increase for Rossland households in 2020."

"With no tax increase, the city would’ve forgone about $125,000 of tax revenue that we had earmarked for keeping our services going and projects that we want to go forward with,” said Moore.

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Commentary

Amid an unprecedented global pandemic, with widespread unemployment and severe economic impacts on the business community, Mayor Moore and Council adopt a multi year capital plan and 2.5% tax increase in 2020? Add insult to injury, the reason Mayor Moore gives is to fund "... projects we want to go forward with". When did 'because we want to' become an informed, sensitive and rational explanation to give people impacted by your decision? I'm insulted by that statement and it makes me very sad as it shows the degree of accountability decision makers at City Hall feel toward this community. 

Meanwhile, I would like to congratulate the City of Trail on their leadership in this challenging time.

If you live in Rossland this is undeniable proof where the needs of the community are relative to the needs of Mayor Moore and Council.

 

Congratulations City of Trail, City of Castlegar, City of Nelson and all Of the others that have reduced or frozen taxes and put their citizens first!

Opposing opinions on the tax increase and the new city hall have been ignored and branded as uninformed. The mayor has made it very clear, the decision has been made. Nothing we say as taxpayers is worth anything unless we support her. Congrats to all the other communities who recognize reality. 

Rossland as a town is done. This is a resort , with the resort mentality of, if you can't afford it leave. 

 

 

I disagree with one item in your Commentary. You say: "where the needs of the community are relative to the needs of Mayor Moore and Council". With respect, I would suggest it should read the "the needs of the community are subject to the WANTS of Mayor Moore and Council".

When do we get to vote?

Oh god yes, please when is the next election, let's get this entitled mayor out of here.

“adding freezing taxes means everybody is spending about 50 or 70 dollars less which doesn’t target those that really need the support right now.”.

Sounds like an entitled rich person to me...

The threat of not getting re-elected is moot for Kathy. After four terms in office (2 x Councilor, 2 x Mayor) she is very public about not planning to seek re-election. This is her last term. That potentially explains the drive to spend on big, landmark projects regardless of the impact on taxes and without consideration for the unprecedented economic challenges the community, province and country (and world for that matter) are facing.

 

Kathy has been a good leader however there is now a disconnect with the concerns, financial impacts and risks to citizens of major projects she is championing. She would not be the first leader, who after 12+ years and facing the end of their influence on decisions, becomes emotionally attached to their cause or project. But, if nothing else, COVID-19 should temper those ambitions. It truly is time to step back and re-evaluate. Please Kathy.

dj2074 this is a great example of why Bhubble is not always a train wreck, and should be seen as a useful public platform for our community. Thank you for the well written comments. I fully agree.

Long term poiticians often turn into big spenders, for legacy ambitions. Maybe they want streets named after them, or plaques for posterity. Nobody ever every got an engraved plaque in their name for optimum economic efficiency due to minimum taxation.

Hey All - I'm Dirk, and on council. I've been on this ride with the rest of council - for the most part we are in agreement on the big decisions that council has made. The mayor tends to be the spokesperson for council, but has no more influence than any one of us. If you could distribute the vitriol then we would all feel included.

If anyone wants to have a conversation about any of the decisions council has made then please let me know. For that matter, I'm sure you can reach out to anyone on council - that's what we're here for. You can write to us individually or email the group (council@rossland.ca). Please include your name, though - "anonymous" doesn't really contribute to the conversation. 

One thing that always drives me nuts about politics is that politicians tend to think short-term (usually looking for votes). That tends to be how most people think, too - it's human nature. This council and city has taken a longer view in its big decisions. (maybe we're not humans - fodder for the conspiracy matrix...my kids already think I'm part robot.)

And finally, we don't know what the final impacts of this pandemic will be. We do know there will be significant impacts, and we know that they will affect homeowners and businesses disproportionately. To that end, we felt that the best way to help those affected is to target them as best we can. If anyone here has a suggestion to help homeowners and businesses then please direct them to council and the city. It's important that the city hears from residents, particularly now as we begin to unfold from the restrictions. We want to know who needs the help and who is able to help.

OK, I'm off to attempt heart-shaped pancakes. 

Dirk.

@Dirk
Thank you for all the work that you do, and for reminding people that decision-making is done by a GROUP of people. Hope your heart-shaped pancakes turned out well.

Thank you for that Dirk.  

I've always wondered why everything is directed at the Mayor, versus including all the Council, as the Mayor is merely a conduit of information to the public, and the information in part, being the results of votes by Council.

I request that any responses to my post be civilized.  Thank you.






 

Well, at least it confirms who NOT to vote for in the next election....

Lisa Wegner strikes again