Q1. Will you commit to returning the Hope Township LLRW TRUST Fund capital and unspent interest to the W2 ratepayers?
A1. YES. I will push for and support this. I can commit to that. Council has the ultimate decision. I propose to create an action task force to work out the details of these and other solutions aimed squarely at fairness first and always in these matters.
Q2. Will you respect the terms of the LLRW Agreement (Schedule 8, Township of Hope Fund) which states that the annual interest on the $10M Hope Township LLRW TRUST Fund will be used “to defray the lower tier municipal taxes or levies which would otherwise be payable by the ratepayers” of the former Township of Hope?
A2. YES. I will absolutely support the use of these funds to defray taxes and levies.
Q3. Will you commit to re-open the area rating of taxes between Ward 1 and Ward 2, cancel the 37% tax increase to Ward 2, and work out a fair, equitable and transparent sharing of taxes between Ward 1 and Ward 2?
A3. YES. I believe we must “start over” in every aspect of amalgamation. We must get this right. We haven’t so far.
Q4. Will you demand a cost breakdown and public disclosure of where our tax money is being spent in each department and in each Ward?
A4. YES. I believe a special audit of all expenditures associated directly and indirectly with amalgamation is called for and I will petition the Province of Ontario to conduct and/or oversee this audit to ensure its independence in fact and perception.
Q5. Will you agree to continue OPP policing for Ward 2 as long as Ward 2 residents wish it to continue?
A5. YES. I see no reason for re-opening the policing question.
Q6. Will you agree to keep the Welcome Fire Station open?
A6. YES. We need local services for fire and safety.
Q7. How will you address and overcome the current discord between Ward 1 and Ward 2 with positive action?
A7. By focusing directly and unremittingly on fairness, voices heard, embracing Ward 2 and Ward 1 differences, not pretending they don’t exist, and, fundamentally, looking for a new structure of governance. The two-ward system does not work. It has failed us. Just as amalgamation has failed us. This is a fact that unifies all of the people of Port Hope. I will build on that.