Letter to the editor 2, Dec. 19, 2019

Hopefully there is light

Dear Editor,

On December 16 Hudson Council adopted its budget for 2020. It was a 'train wreck.' The numbers had clearly been thrown together in short order and there was no evidence that a rigorous process had been followed. The numbers just didn’t stand up to any form of scrutiny.

In years gone by one could always leave the budget meeting knowing what variance one could expect on your tax bill for the coming year when compared to the year just ending; not the case for 2020,not yet at least. There was, however, a commitment to have the numbers for the January council meeting. The only hard(?) number provided that could give any sort of indication of where your tax bill might be headed was the residential mill rate; other than this there was a very unconvincing contention that council was ‘aiming’ for a 2.3 per cent increase overall!

How is it that a budget can be adopted without the net result of that budget being reflected in the impact on the tax bill of every resident and commercial institution?

Not to be too harsh, it needs to be recognized that the council and administration has been labouring under very difficult conditions over the last many, many months – if not years – where their attention has been hijacked and their direction has been refocused to many issues that in no way reflect the platform on which the current council was elected.

Now that the distraction that has caused this lack of focus has dissipated (one can only hope permanently) there is some cause for hope for a new focused direction in 2020. It’s early days but it appears council is pulling together under the administrative leader of our town, who has a strong track record and is well respected, so perhaps there is some light to be seen at the end of that tunnel as we enter 2020.

Still ‘Testy’ (Marcus Owen)


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