Letter to the editor 1, April 19, 2018

Open letter to Mayor Jamie Nicholls and Council of Hudson

Dear Sir,

I have just returned to Hudson from our winter residence and I was looking forward to seeing the progress you and your council had been able to make since taking office.

During the mayoral debate you had a focus on operating expenses. You indicated that General/Administration and Parks/Recreation expenses had gone up 24 per cent since 2013. General management had increased from nine to 15 people. You indicated you would review these increased costs and generally control costs carefully.

With this in mind I’m surprised and disappointed that you are budgeting for 2018 an increase of eight per cent over 2017 and added another $1 million to our expenses. When will you focus on getting the operating costs under control? This must go well beyond weaving cost management into the culture of the town’s organization.

While you have been able to maintain tax levels despite increasing expenses 8 per cent, it has come at a cost of no longer being able to lower our debt or pay for capital programs which was being achieved by the previous council (on average $800,000 per year).

It forces the town to borrow additional funds to pay for much needed capital work on roads and other infrastructure. Am I wrong? How will capital work be funded? I remind you that at the debate you said you would not increase debt. It seems to me that your financial plan is not sustainable.

I was encouraged by your invitation to Hudson residents to join a set of committees you had created to deal with a wide range of topics. Hudson is full of talented and experienced individuals who can provide you with a great deal of help. As you know I volunteered to help on the transport and finance committees. I volunteered on January 20 and am wondering when the volunteers will be asked to join these committees.

I look forward to your response.

Keith Heller

Hudson

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