Saturday, June 3, 2023

Reader Fuming Over 2013 Surplus

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

There was a Meaford surplus in 2012 of about $500,000 if I remember correctly, and now nearly one million dollars from 2013!!!  

Which staff member is supposed to foresee these surpluses and create a proper and accurate budget.  Isn’t that what we pay them to do?

This is outrageous.  Council raised the taxes by nearly 2% yet again this year (while congratulating themselves in the media no less), and there our money sits from last year, money that could have been used to keep our taxes unchanged.

It is approaching extortion.   It is not too late.  Lower the amount being collected in the next instalments  in 2014 to allow  tax relief for us all.  Searching for ways to spend it is not in the interest of citizens.  We are so very highly taxed, and this council will do nothing about it – e.g. lower the size of our bloated staff. 

I recommend that voters think very carefully about putting any of this council back on the job when they vote in the fall.  This is mismanagement in the extreme.  Council collected nearly a million dollars too much!!!   We want it back in our pockets via next tax instalments.

Peggy Richardson, Sydenham

Editor’s Clarifications:

While there was technically an operating surplus in 2012 amounting to approximately $630,000, those funds had to be used to cover the court costs associated with the Georgian Beach Road lawsuit which Meaford had lost, resulting in a court order to pay more than $700,000 in legal costs to defendants in the case.

As for the 2013 surplus announced at council this week, the reasons for the surplus were included in our article on Tuesday as follows:

While the $923,500 surplus reported by the Treasurer – all numbers quoted have yet to be audited – is much larger than was expected, Chapman told council that the surplus was not a result of over-taxing Meaford residents, but rather a number of one-time savings seen over the last year.

Those savings included:

$240,000 reduction in Legal fees,

$75,000 reduction in Human Resources contract costs,

$180,000 in salary gapping throughout the Clerks, Finance, Economic Development, Planning, Health & Safety and Fire Departments

$60,000 reduction in travel, training and conference costs

$50,000 in bank service fees and interest charges

As well, the Municipality had additional revenues of $295,000 from PIL taxation as a result of continued efforts to stabilize the assessment roll relating to the Land Forces Central Area Training Centre properties,” Chapman told council.

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