Robert Polutnik, Candidate for Port Hope Councillor answers PHFFT questions

Below are comments from Robert Polutnik, Candidate for Port Hope Councillor in Ward 1, to questions asked by Port Hopers for Fair Taxes to all candidates in the Municipality of Port Hope election.

View summary report of all candidate answers.

The following 7 questions were submitted to Robert Polutnik:

Q1. Will you commit to returning the Hope Township LLRW TRUST Fund capital and unspent interest to the W2 ratepayers?

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?

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?

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?

Q5. Will you agree to continue OPP policing for Ward 2 as long as Ward 2 residents wish it to continue?

Q6. Will you agree to keep the Welcome Fire Station open?

Q7. How will you address and overcome the current discord between Ward 1 and Ward 2 with positive action?

Robert Polutnik’s reply was the following:

A special interest group is a group of individuals seeking special advantage or to influence public opinion through political lobbying. A fundamental aspect of many a special interest group is that their particular conclusion often precedes argument or examination.

Here are just some of the issues I have with the following questionnaire:
1) The questionnaire was issued after a lawsuit was launched thus none of the members of the sitting Council may comment on numerous questions as it is an issue before the courts which is unfair.
2) The questionnaire asks legally unqualified candidates to pass judgement on conditions set forth on legal document that had been vetted at length back in 2000, agreed to and signed by Mr. Ron Smith, Mayor of the Town of Port Hope, Ian W. M. Angus, Reeve of Township of Hope.
3) The questionnaire is not asking candidate’s opinions on issues but resolution based solely on the Port Hopers for Fair Taxes forgone conclusions of their version of a reasonable outcome.

Here are my answers:
I will commit to a complete review of how the interest garnered by the Township of Hope’s share of the LLRW funding was applied as per the signed agreement.
I will commit to respecting legally binding documents.
I will commit to establishing a task force to arrive at a fair, equitable and transparent sharing of the municipal tax burden between all property owners.
I do not see at present the benefit to anyone of the costly creation of an itemized listing of how every dollar was spent since 2000 but I would support an audit of how the interest was spent.
I believe we would all benefit from one police force the same as we have one fire force and one emergency force but I would like any discussion to be based on factual performance and real value as in the last go-around they were not discussed.
After reviewing the 2007 Fire Master Plan, I agree with the conclusions outlined within it that state, the three-station model is effective.
I can only speak for myself but I do not feel like I am part of the rural community, which to a great degree is my own fault and I would then have to surmise that the members of the rural community do not feel part of the urban. I do not have an immediate answer to this issue but a first step might be to start celebrating our similarities and our differences together as proud members of one community.