We Need to Restore Responsible Fiscal Management to Oakville.
Tax fairness is at the heart of a healthy, caring community. Thus, while the Town of Oakville provides vital services, infrastructure and programs that residents need and want, politicians have to be as careful with the town’s finances as they would be with their own. Oakville residents are already some of the most aggressively taxed in North America. That’s why, as Mayor I will initiate a review of town spending, I will work to keep Town operating spending within its existing tax revenue, and I will vote against property tax increases above the rate of inflation. I also refuse to entertain any discussion of a land transfer tax. Those are my commitments. Of course, if unanticipated circumstances occur, such as a major new investment (like the hospital) or downloading from other levels of government, I will initiate broad discussion before any exceptions are made.
Oakville Has a Spending Problem
The Town’s expenses have been well over budget every year of the incumbents terms. Operating Expenditures are growing at five times the rate of inflation. Expenditures in 2006 were $144.6 million. By 2017, they had risen to $291.1 million, a growth rate of 101 %. During the same period, inflation increased 19.6 %.
Ban Political Spin from Tax and Spending Reports
Oakville deserves the truth in clear and understandable Town communications. As Mayor, I will introduce transparency measures to end deceptive tax bundling communications and require the Town to communicate clearly with residents. I will also introduce a clear taxpayers’ accountability report that tracks Town spending, residential property taxes and Town staff levels.
Implement Lean Oakville to Save Money While Maintaining & Improving Service
Lean is a methodology to both identify and then implement the most efficient, value-added way to provide government services. A proven approach, since 2009, Mississauga has saved $49 million dollars while maintaining and increasing services through their Lean initiatives. It is vital that governments at all levels find efficient ways to provide services as efficiently as possible. As Mayor, I will support the adoption of Lean or other appropriate efficiency initiatives by the Town.
Stop Uncontrolled Growth of Town Bureaucracy
The Town of Oakville staff are an amazing group of people who help make this town what it is, but government bureaucracies left unchecked will continue to grow and grow, tying up more and more tax dollars that should be spent on program delivery. That’s why as Mayor, I will task the budget committee with conducting a comprehensive review of program and staffing spending. I will propose a hiring freeze on Town staff until a comprehensive review can be completed to justify the necessity for staff growth or the implementation of a Lean program. Town staff growth will also be clearly reported in my new taxpayers’ accountability report.
Why are Taxpayers Spending Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to Run Marinas that Lose Money?
Why is the Town of Oakville in the marina operation business? Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars are being spent to float two money-losing marinas. It might be understandable if there were no other alternatives, but Oakville has numerous clubs and private sector Marinas that operate at no cost to taxpayers. In fact, they pay the Town every year. As Mayor, I will support co-op, club or private sector operation of new or existing marinas. Municipal management is the last option.