Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Photo op...

Dear Mayor and councillors,

I wonder if someone can explain something for me, please.

Some time ago, when you and members of council were pressed to explain the financial impact of the GTA Center on our property taxes we were told,

        "While Markham knows that its maximum contribution to the project is capped  
        at$162.5 million there is no guarantee that property taxes will not increase, since   
        funding sources to service the debt ARE NOT GUARANTEED."

This quote was also used in an article from yourself in the Economist and Sun. 

That being said, why are we once again seeing in print the incorrect and MISLEADING statement: "No property tax increase for Markham residents" ? How can it work both ways? Am I missing something??

I respectfully await your explanation(s) on this matter.

P.S. Very clever backdrop for photo.

Marg Ferguson, Ward 4

Taxpayers Money...

We attended the '2013 Celebrate Markham Grants Allocation' meeting on Monday. Following are some comments:

- Clarkson Cup, held this past weekend, 'partnership' dollars were questioned. Committee members asked where the money for this came from, how much was given, and why they were not advised.

  • Brenda Librez said the funds came from the recreation operating budget -- $10,000 
  • Brenda didn't mention the no-charge ice time of approx $4,000-5,000, or the cost of table/s for the Awards Night...
  • it appears that some councillors were unaware of this amount of funding.
- Mayor's Office has their own funding... this was questioned by some of the councillors...

- A councillor stated that there is a 'back-door'way to get funding/additional funding. Apparently, a letter to the mayor is all that is required for table sponsorship.

- Councillors were unaware of how many requests are made or funds provided for a variety of special interest groups. Staff is to report back on the dollars given to these groups.

- Council voted to keep the 2013 recommendation report, as there were not enough funds available for the increases that were requested.
- 2013 Grants Allocation Budget was approved pending final vote at the next Council meeting.

Sunday, March 24, 2013