Letter in response to Daily Townsman article re AAP:
It appears that Mayor Pratt, who ran on a platform of fixing our roads, and not raising taxes, is very concerned with citizens having a different opinion than his on the matter of the a $10 million, 20 year tax burden.
Rather than hosting a public information session, he chose to hold a closed media event so that he could point fingers and malign any resident using the only available democratic process to oppose an unnecessary tax. This is confrontational, divisive and disrespectful.
'Coming out swinging' against citizens and threatening to spend $50,000 on a referendum regardless of meeting the AAP requirements, is an attempt at undermining the democratic process. He may as well have said "it's my way or else."
Mayor and Council should have expected some unhappy taxpayers on such a large loan. Friends of mine are expecting a $500 per year tax increase on their business, which is hardly as Mr. Pratt stated "a package of cigarettes, it's a glass of beer, it's a cup of coffee” each month. He attempted to trivialize the impact of this 20 year tax burden.
The young man organizing residents opposed to this potential tax burden, was meticulous in getting a fact sheet prepared for those who agreed to help get signatures opposing the $10 million loan. There are others collecting signatures on their own.
Do we need the roads done in two years, when they can be done in five at the current rate of taxation? The 1% dedicated road improvement tax, implemented many years ago, has been used by every sitting Council since. To say that the previous Council “did nothing about the infrastructure and that's part of the problem of what we have today” is incorrect and spiteful.
Couldn’t Council use reserve funds towards roads? Mayor Pratt said they are applying for the $120 billion federal fund and $148 million provincial fund. Why not wait for those and alleviate this potential tax burden?
The Mayor appears unable or unwilling to meet with the public, allow democratic processes to unfold, and accept the outcome.
Standing for democracy,