Soloman seeks budget process consideration

Puslinch resident Sandra Soloman wants both Puslinch and Wellington County councils to take another look at their respective budget process before heading into discussions for a 2017 budget.

In a letter received by council on Feb. 17, Soloman noted her anticipation that the township would be passing the 2016 budget that night (which it did).

“While I appreciate that you have brought the percentage tax increase down to below 3%, I am a bit concerned with how it was achieved.”

Soloman said deferral of a very large project to next year as not really helping.

“However, as there was so little time between the public input meeting and the February 3rd budget meeting, I will give you and staff the benefit of the doubt and suggest that maybe there was just not enough time to really look at better ways to cut costs.”

Soloman agreed that “While I was upset over the original 8% and then 5.2% tax increases for this year, my main concern was, and continues to be for 2017 when the capital expenses are projected to go up by more than $500,000. As a percentage of the budget this is a huge amount.”

At the same time, Soloman said Wellington County is projecting a 6.2% increase.

“As the mayor is the chair of the Wellington County Administration, Finance and Human Resources Committee, I would request that both levels of government, county and township, spend the next year seriously looking at ways to reduce the financial impact on the residents of Puslinch and the county.”

Soloman stressed “going back to the perennial well (the taxpayers) is fast becoming a non-viable option. You need to look at ways to curb your spending, look at other options for doing things and recognizing what rural ‘needs’ are as opposed to urban-inspired ‘wants.’”

She contended there is a misconception that Puslinch is a wealthy township.

“We are not a wealthy township. Many of the residents live on fixed incomes which, 10 years ago, may have looked “wealthy” but, today, they are anything but. As it is we subsidize the other townships in the county and, by not receiving our fair share of funding from the province, we are also subsidizing other areas of Ontario.”

Soloman stated, “You took the initiative of inviting input from the public, now show us that you actually listened and address our concerns and suggestions in the 2017 budget.”

Puslinch councillors received Soloman’s correspondence without comment.