It is time for Assiginack taxpayers to speak up and be heard

Economic development, fire hall relocations, an unrepaired public works garage, where is the transparency?

To the Expositor:

On October 22, 2018, we go to the polls again to elect our municipal governments. “Councils are elected by and ultimately are responsible to their electorate for the decisions they make and their actions that they take.” They are elected by the public to direct and ensure the work done by municipal staff reflects what the community wants/needs. (Municipal World)

Is our Assiginack council doing what is best for the taxpayers? What they think is best for us, or just what suits them? Without consultation, where and how do they get input? They do surveys (two of them), then ignore the results and peoples’ wishes. Where and when can discussions with council take place? The answer is not “at council meetings” because you must be on the agenda which rarely happens. It must be difficult to work anything extra into the usual half hour long meetings.

We are a municipality with massive, long-term debt. We can decorate and provide sporadic short duration activities, but what plans exist for the long term?

Council often talks about the waterfront, but is there a plan anywhere that shows one? How can there be a plan that doesn’t include and address important issues in the area, such as Burns Wharf, Norisle, marina, beach, amphitheatre, etc?

Are there any plans for economic development? We have no budget, and yet the intentions to relocate and build a new fire hall continue, with a projected estimate of $1.8 million, plus, which doesn’t repair the public works garage. The reason, parking and difficulty navigating in the yard! Now we have gone from $250,000 to more than a million, but what about the new location?

Is it possible to spend your way out of debt? Our taxes are high enough already! We have many problems here, but every problem has a solution! As a community we all need to ask the questions in order to get answers and know what is happening and why. There are so many questions, too many for one letter! A quote comes to mind: “The peaceful majority are irrelevant!” (unknown)

As taxpayers, do we have the right to ask questions and expect answers? Where is transparency? Where is accountability? This is something to think about but there will be more! Speak up Assiginack!

Valerie Phillips

taxpayer and concerned citizen