|Posted by Darryl Wolk on July 6, 2014 at 10:10 AM|
This term of Newmarket Council has been the most embarrassing, unprofessional and unproductive since Newmarket first incorporated as a village in 1857. We are in an election year and change is badly needed in both Newmarket and York Region. Below are some reasons why I believe John Taylor should be replaced as Newmarket Regional Councillor:
Property tax increases are routine every year since John Taylor has been on Council. 2006 3.81%, 2007 6.39%, 2008 6.56%, 2009 4.19%, 2010 3.81%, 2011 5.89%, 2012 3.95% & 2013 3.74%. Water rates, hydro rates and municipal user fees are also increasing. Newmarket residents are paying new parking charges and levies after this term.
York Region has the highest debt-per-capita and is facing a debt crisis and downgrade at over $2B borrowed and growing. Newmarket is over $50M in debt and it is growing each year. This is dangerously irresponsible fiscal management. All of this has happened on John Taylor's watch.
Currently wages, salaries and benefits are a larger expense than all revenues collected through property taxes. The sunshine list has doubled since the 2010 election. This is not sustainable and is the reason we are paying more for less in John Taylor's Newmarket.
The Old Town Hall restoration costs have escalated from $5.3M to over $11M and rising. John Taylor has flip flopped back and forth on this issue, but the lack of oversight from Council on this project is a key part of his record.
Construction on Davis Drive has created a disaster. Businesses are going under. Commuters are inconvenienced. There has been no support from Council. Worse the same Davis mistakes are being repeated on Yonge Street. Newmarket is deadlocked in traffic gridlock. GO Trains should be the priority, not empty buses with the highest fares in the GTA following the YRT strike. John Taylor's only transit priority seems to be introducing transit taxes that even Kathleen Wynne backed away from.
Newmarket is last within York Region in job creation and economic growth over the last 10 years. We are losing jobs in our community and have one of the least business friendly Councils in the GTA. John Taylor has put his focus into banning the circus, water bottles and taking your bike to work day. The rest of York Region is booming but Newmarket has been left behind. We need someone focused on our local economy and jobs close to home.
Newmarket sports clubs pay some of the highest user fees in the GTA for sports. Council continues to increase these fees to the point where some children in town cannot afford to play. Many are forced to play sports in Aurora, EG, Bradford or elsewhere in the GTA to avoid Newmarket costs. John Taylor's shady soccer loan deal was a $2.8M secret bailout designed to buy votes. It will put further pressure on taxpayers and user fees. It is also unfair to other sports groups. I will reopen this secret deal full of red flags. We must learn from and avoid repeating mistakes from the past when it comes to recreation dollars in Newmarket.
Council has bungled every major development application it has faced this term. Glenway cost taxpayers almost a million dollars at the OMB so Newmarket Council could pander and play politics. Slessor Square and Clock Tower are in limbo because of Council failures on those files. We need to be honest with residents for a change and work with our developer partners and compromise to receive maximum benefit for the community. Building height caps are a waste of time and will only cost us more tax dollars at the OMB. Newmarket must be proactive and not reactive when it comes to future growth in our town.
We have seen a complete lack of transparency at Newmarket Council. The vote to elect the Regional Chair was defeated. Secret in-camera meetings are the norm. Cronyism has become a problem. Members of Council seem to be allergic to discussing issues in public. Expense accounts, green slush funds and town run personal charities are being used for personal political gain by the current Regional Councillor. John Taylor's record shows he has resisted transparency at almost every opportunity.
Money and time has been wasted on personality conflicts, kangaroo courts, code of conduct breaches and petty politics while important issues are not addressed. It is time for some professionalism. Newmarket residents want to see real results, not Taylor made excuses for failure such as Newmarket's recent University bid. Elections should be about issues and not just photo-ops and name recognition. We can do better in Newmarket on the issues that matter to you such as: growth, local jobs, traffic gridlock, recreation, services, taxes and professional representation.
Additional reasons for change on Newmarket Council: http://darrylwolk.webs.com/apps/blog/show/36952455-30-reasons-why-it-is-time-for-a-change-in-Newmarket
Additional reasons for change in York Region: http://darrylwolk.webs.com/apps/blog/show/36935824-5-reasons-it-is-time-for-a-change-at-york-region-council
Summary of Era Editorials this term demonstrating the need for change:
My full platform "Focused on YOUR issues for a CHANGE":
I am always looking for feedback on the issues that matter to you in Newmarket and York Region. Please do not hesitate to contact me by cell phone (905.716.9655), email ([email protected]) or on social media. Voting day in Newmarket is October 27, 2014.
Thank you for reading...
Newmarket Regional Councillor Candidate