Comment 26147

By Councillor Terry Whitehead (anonymous) | Posted July 31, 2008 at 15:25:01

Let's be clear. In previous posts I've indicated that the downtown precinct absorbs more tax dollars than any other ward in the City. I've also indicated that I have no problem with this, as downtown is everyone's downtown. Please understand that when we are spending taxpayer’s money on downtown issues and initiatives, they must be considered in the context of priorities. To suggest that there is only quality of life issues n the downtown at the exclusion of everyone else in the City is both naive and ignorant.

As I stated in past postings, it appears that the issue in respect to the conversions is more about quality of advice. I do appreciate this, but it is also the case with many other neighbourhoods across the City.

The question becomes, How do we prioritize the spending of our limited financial resources?

Ward 8 alone contributes more tax dollars to the City coffers than the downtown ward, just to put things in perspective. Over and above all the other arguments that have been before you, the prime concern is who should pay. Should the tax payers in the balance of the City take the responsibility of providing the revenue for the conversions in the downtown at their own exclusion?

Our strategic planning process helps guide Councillors and staff in the decision making process to identify priorities.

My question to those strong supporters of this expenditure, is it really a City wide priority above all other quality of life issues as well as strategic investments in the City? Is it more important than using the funds to leverage the creation of new business, jobs and the creation of tax assessments by means that are PROVEN to be effective?

ps. There are many alternatives to slow down traffic on the one way streets that are more effective such as widening pedestrian walkways, chicanes or changing the lighting sequences.

pps. To “g,” I hope that we can keep this debate open and productive. Please remember that residents across the City, in every Ward, are equally frustrated with their high taxes and want to see the taxes spent wisely. Let’s work together to find a solution that helps everyone.

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