All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Council should be cutting more

What a great statement Margaret Haylock made in the CWN.  We should not be building swimming pools when the roof is leaking.  We have a state of the art arena in Wellington and a skate park in Picton but we have a leaky roof on the Curling Club, Crystal Palace and the Legion in Picton.  Editorial in the CWN thinks Taylor should be able to cut more from his budget.  A good idea would be to cut out the economic development office all together.
It will not make any difference to the Tourism or bringing new industry to the County.  I cannot see that the economic development office is responsible for any of the initiatives that have come to the county over the past few years.

If we have people working on contracts and they are no longer needed then the contract should be terminated.

It is not great to see people lose jobs but if it means that people will be able to remain in the County to live then what choice do we have.  PEC is getting too expensive for people to live here and it looks as if people will be looking for cheaper places to locate.

There is a saying “We may want something but if we don’t need it we should not have it”

Doris Lane

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    Brian Bondy made a number of illogical comments in his (rant) column last week that need to be pointed out.

    It doesn’t matter what level of government funded the “Invest In Cheese” program it is OUR tax dollars being spent. The program may have won awards but it clearly wasn’t resulting in cheese factories opening here. $43,000 is not “mere” pennies to most of us.

    To say that the meter lady or the guy clearing the sidewalks on Main Street, so that we can easily shop at local businesses, are not doing “real” work is just snobbish elitism.

    Last time I checked, every level of government in Canada sits for a term – fixed or not. They are “evaluated” at election time. Would Mr. Bondy like to see this changed to weekly, monthly, yearly? I don’t think anyone in their right mind would make the blanket assertion that no council member cares about money. Nor would any right- thinking individual feel their salaries are “bloated”. This rhetoric is ridiculous.

    What I did hear from all candidates prior to the election was a promise of fiscal responsibility. Some even promised to hold the line on taxes. I did not hear anyone say that the EDO, or any other program, was immune from fiscal review. The EDO has done a poor job providing solid numbers to Council (and taxpayers whose pockets these dollars come from) to demonstrate we are getting value for money. (Interestingly, Mr.Bondy does not state that he located his business here because of the EDO.) If they can do that and Council votes to continue to support it – fine; if not, fine. It’s entirely up to the EDO to make its case.

    To claim that Council is nothing but regressive ”dinosaurs” with no desire to see economic development and good jobs is ridiculous – as is the claim that business will flee the County if the EDO is closed down. There was entrepreneurship in the County long before the EDO and that will continue no matter what our representatives (and neighbours) decide.

  2. Killashandra Ree says:

    Richard, I too was astounded by the Bullying Bryan Bondy in CWN last week (Council taking wrong track).

    It was sad to see the America style of bellicose ravings and rantings, that passes for news reporting on some stations south of our border, had found it’s way into one of our community newspapers. He is constantly touting the “award-winning” Invest In Cheese program as if it is the only way to attract entrepreneurs to invest in the County. Yet the only award it has won, was an award for it’s website design. When I checked out this “award winning” website, I found that it had 5 “Tweets” and 8 Facebook “Likes”. Reminds me of the “Spoony” trophy I have collecting dust on a basement shelf won in a competition for being able to keep a spoon hanging off the end of my nose longer than everyone else. There are awards and then there are Awards.

    Instead of offering any constructive support for his pet program, he proceeded to vilify members of council as ill-informed, sniping, callous, cruel, gloating, bloodthirsty and nasty people who care nothing about spending our money but are only there to collect salaries for sitting on a bloated council while ignoring the voices of the people, are only capable of regurgitating misinformation, unable to differentiate economic development from tourism, are narrow-minded, regressive dinosaurs hearing only what they want to. All that because they choose not to continue to fund a program that has produced no results after two years.

    I do agree that small entrepreneurial business is the likeliest source of economic growth for the County, but disagree that artisan cheese production is the answer.

    I disagree with council about what should be cut out of the budget, and which groups asking for handouts should be approved or told to look elsewhere. But I feel strongly that they should be applauded for their efforts instead of being harangued in this manner. Both council and staff have worked hard to try and keep the budget at last year’s level. I cannot believe the majority that voted for the current councillors, condone Mr Bondy’s screed.

  3. John Thompson says:

    The over spending of $80588 n the 2010 budget is explained on a report to Council today. Reportedly a timing issue.

  4. John Thompson says:

    The EDO budget is approved by Council and that is intended to be the upper limit of tax dollars that can be spent. I does appear that some over spending occured last year though.

    The budget for 2010 was approved by one vote as I recall, and that would not have been mine or Richard’s.

  5. Doris Lane says:

    Eizabeth are sure the EDO does anything to help private enterprise.
    I am all for private enterprise but I think most of it is supplied by individuals who have the initiative to begin something on their own.

  6. Elizabeth Globe says:

    John, while I respect your opinion, I can’t help but remember that private enterprise employs the majority of the individuals who live and work in Prince Edward County. This includes but is not limited to the businesses that provide services the agricultural portion and the tourism portions of the population. Perhaps the work the EDO does is not supported by some members of our community, however everyone in some way benefits.

  7. Dayton Johnson says:

    Could these two former councillors explain to me how the EDO budget is handed out? Does the EDO only have a designated # of dollars to work with? Was it voted on by the Council and approved at that time? It would appear there was a close vote or not?
    To add it appears that some councillors make their own personal decision on important issues and not necessarily the majority of the represented public.

  8. John Thompson says:

    Right on Richard! Councillors must strive to make the right decisions and columnists and editors do not have a monopoly on what’s right. They do have the benefit of free advertising though!

    I still think that the EDO budget is bloated and private enterprise should have the confidence that they can move forward without so much hype funded by stressed out taxpayers.

  9. Richard Parks says:

    Wow! Only ninety days since a new Council took office and Bryan Bondy is already blaming (un-named) new councillor’s and a former Mayoral candidate, of all people, for this unseemly public debate about the size of the EDO budget. I thought we lived in a democracy where debate was encouraged. I also notice that if his opinion differs from that of a member of council he brings out the line”you were elected to represent us”. It seems that any member of the public who disagrees with Mr. Bondy’s thinking isn’t worthy of representation .Should we call an election every time an columnist( who didn’t run for office) disagrees with the members of an elected body?

  10. Elizabeth Globe says:

    My take on the EDO.

    The EDO exists to promote growth and development in Prince Edward County. Growth and Development in Prince Edward County Support, my business and the business of many people I live,work and am friends with. When our businesses make money our mortgages get paid. We pay taxes to support this service and people keep saying to cut the budget or close down the office.

    I won’t support such a move, my kids like dinner.

  11. Chris Keen says:

    What is surprising to me about the Economic Development Office debate is how little information seems to be available about what the office has actually accomplished. The EDO exists to “sell” the County but can’t seem to “sell” itself.

    Information such as:

    As a direct result of contact with the EDO – x number of businesses opened here employing y-number of people.

    As an indirect result of contact with the EDO – x number of businesses opened here employing y-number of people.

    As a direct result of EDO assistance, x-number of businesses were able to obtain y-number of government dollars to assist them.

    And so on …

    The EDO must have this information and it should be public anyway. Only then can County residents decide whether this is a service we can afford at this time.

    $900K for a rarely updated Facebook page and a few articles in Toronto newspapers won’t cut it.

  12. Doris Lane says:

    900K a year on the EDO and there is no proof at all that we get anything for our money.
    The time has come to STOP THE SPENDING
    Let us start where there are no positive results that we can see

  13. Richard Parks says:

    I agree with Mr.Thompson. A cut in the EDO budget of 35%
    would bring the EDO budget closer to where the average ratepayer might be persuaded that they were getting value for their money. I stress the word might because, despite all the talk, solid results of long term jobs are hard to come by.
    Hard to explain leaking roofs on the Crystal Palace and Curling Club, closing of Community halls, the gutting of Rec Committee’s budgets, allowing roads to become a series of potholes over the next few years. All that and more while a few people chase down a handful of insecure jobs in the Creative Rural Economy.
    What is the Return on Investment to The County of Prince Edward (in terms of increased tax revenue) for the $900k spent every year at the EDO?

  14. John Thompson says:

    Some of us tried for a major cut to the EDO budget last year but there was major pushback and we were short by a vote or two. Council approved another annual increase instead and nothing ever seems to happen that would not happen anyway.

  15. David says:

    What a disgrace to have people come to Picton to curl and have to use umbrellas.
    The roof on the curling club and crystal palace should have been done before a skate park

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