Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Reader Rebuts Message From Mayor

Letter to the Editor

Editor,

After reading the mayor’s letter of April 21, I’m compelled to write a rebuttal to correct some information she wrote about our neighbour to the south, Grey Highlands.

First, contrary to her letter, Grey Highlands does have a museum, plus three libraries, and four arenas.

Second, Grey Highlands does not contract out their planning and building services. Grey Highlands has a planning and building services department which is funded by agreement that provides those services to Chatsworth, West Grey, and Southgate.

Grey Highlands reported $40 million in building permits in 2015 versus $20 million for Meaford. With five staff in the Meaford planning and building department, half the dollar value of building permits, and serving only one municipality, I’ll let the residents draw their own conclusions.

Third, Grey Highlands has seven (7) community halls, Meaford has four (4), including Meaford Hall.

Fourth, she appears to be against contracting out services with her remarks that Grey Highlands contracts out some services. The contract-out policy results in 43.5 full time staff as opposed to Meaford’s 59.

The mayor uses the harbour and Memorial Park as further justification for more staff. Grey Highlands operates three landfill sites on a year-round basis that must meet rigorous environmental regulations. Grey Highlands shares waste and recyclable collection with Chatsworth and West Grey. Further demonstration of Grey Highlands’ sharing services with their neighbours to reduce costs.

Finally, perhaps the mayor didn’t like the tax comparison between Grey Highlands and Meaford. It showed that a house of similar value and size in Meaford was charged 30% more in taxes than Grey Highlands. The mayor should applaud Grey Highlands for their innovative policies and operations to provide lower taxes, instead of spreading misinformation. Perhaps she should have checked Grey Highlands’ website before she wrote her letter.

Respectfully,

Douglas Robinson, Leith

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