10/1/18

Election 2018: Common Themes

This campaign has eighteen candidates running for positions of mayor, deputy-mayor or ward councillor in Mississippi Mills. Seven of them are current members of council. Nine of the eleven challengers are running negative campaigns. Their brochures and social media provide a long list of failures of the current council and how the challengers’ plan to fix them. The current Council is not perfect and cannot claim to have always made the best choice, but it is not guilty of all the infractions attributed to it.

Here are some of the common complaints taken from brochures and statements at candidate meetings. 

9/27/18

Election 2018: Municipal Finance 101


According to brochures from nine of the current slate of candidates, the municipality’s finances are a mess. Their statements at candidate meetings reinforce that perception: apparently, the municipality taxes too much, it has too much debt and it mismanages reserves.

Voters should view all such remarks with skepticism. First-time candidates--and reruns trying to make a mark--always make alarmist statements about municipal finances. I did in 2010. I wasn’t lying—I just had my facts wrong. That is okay. It is an honest mistake. Sadly, one mayor candidate is calling for a forensic audit. That is just posturing and fear mongering. (The town has its books audited each year by the same firm that audits the county and most municipalities in Lanark.)

Let’s have a look at reserves, debt and taxes. (I have had all this material vetted. You can count on the numbers.)

12/20/17

Annual Address 2017: 20 Years After Amalgamation

Updated Feb/2018
Each yearend, I reflect on the state of our municipality beyond the controversies of the day. I delivered this message to Council December 19, 2017.

This month marks the end of 20 years of amalgamation. How are we doing?

At present, the financial well-being of the municipal corporation is the best in the history of Mississippi Mills. The economy of Almonte is the strongest it has been since the woolen mills closed.

4/20/17

Embracing Change: Investing in High-Speed Internet

We are fortunate in Mississippi Mills to have a group of residents who, over the last few months, have dedicated hundreds of hours to bringing high-speed Internet to our town, both the rural and urban parts. The group, who call themselves MM2020 or the broadband working group, have badgered the big telcos (Bell and Rogers) to extend high-speed services to our town.