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Victoria County Voices


In just a few months taxpayers will once again be entitled to grade our local representatives on the job they have - or have not - been doing and voice their opinion by voting in our next Municipal Election. For ten years now we have been told to "give it time" with regards to amalgamation and the promised benefits. How do YOU feel?

NOW is the time to think about all the "improved services" you receive for your tax dollars. How are your roads, sewers, sidewalks, lighting? How’s your garbage pickup? Was your snow plowed last winter? How many calls did you make, or how many buttons did you have to push to talk to your representative? When the fancy pamphlets, phone calls, and door knocks start happening and people start asking you to vote for them -- think of this election like a report card. Does the person knocking on your door deserve a passing grade or just an out and out PASS !?

Speaking of services for your tax dollars - exactly how many dollars are you paying for your taxes? Are you really getting the "best bang for your buck" and reaping the savings promised by amalgamation? Do you know how much your Councillor spent on his/her expense account this term? Did the raises they voted themselves coincide with the raises you received?

Oh, and do you remember that dreadful STRIKE of 2008? What did your Elected Official say or do to help you through it? This time - as the saying goes - DON’T JUST VOTE, VOTE SMART! Remember, the person you elect will be YOUR voice in this Municipality for the next four years! Do you like, and perhaps more important - do you trust what they’re saying?

FIGURE THIS: Can our shiny new fire trucks reach your home?

If you live on an unassumed road, or have a long narrow laneway, or you’re on a seasonal road you might NOT have the benefit of a fire truck pulling up to your house when smoke and/or flames threaten your belongings, your safety or, God forbid, your life!

Despite the fact that our Fire Department has the third highest paid Director in the entire Municipality, are the bigger, better, shinier fire trucks REALLY offering better services for the cost? If it takes THREE of the new trucks to carry the equivalent in water of ONE of our old trucks, are the new "rules" helping you and your family or are they just looking good on paper?

How will your mortgage holder and/or insurance company feel about you if you no longer have fire trucks that can access your property? How long will they remain your mortgage holder or insurance company? Have you received your insurance credit for the "Shuttle Certification" yet? Didn’t think so.

THINK ABOUT IT: Has amalgamation saved on Council expenses?

Prior to Amalgamation we had 16 LOCAL Councils and one County Council that cost us, on average, about $20,000.00 per year. Those local representatives looked after everything from snow plowing and road repairs to zoning applications and economic development. As of 2009 we now have ONE of 17 elected officials to represent us and a myriad of staff and computer generated calltracking to handle our local issues.

A promise of amalgamation was to reduce politicians and save money! How’s this for the most current figures: overall, ratepayers paid Councillors a little more than half-a-million dollars ($589,932.13). That is up from 2008 by approximately 2.5% even though Council froze wages for 2009. So what they "froze" in wages they must have made up in expenses!

Mayor Ric McGee had a total salary plus expenses of $82,431.12.
Ward 8 Coun. Donna Villemaire who collected $38,362. She incurred the most expenses ($7,975.73) for conferences, seminars and other.
Ward 15 Coun. Gerald McGregor,who had a combined salary and reimbursement of expenses of $34,882.50.
Ward 2 Coun. Emmett Yeo, on $34,507.18. He incurred the most mileage and car allowance expenses, at $7,858.58.
Ward 11 Coun. Patrick O'Reilly -$33,882.39
Ward 3 Coun. David Hodgson -$33,324.61
Ward 12 Coun. Gord James $32,646.82
Ward 1 Coun. Lloyd Robertson -$32,419.96
Ward 14 Coun. Ron Ashmore -$32,366.57
Ward 5 Coun. Stephen Strangway -$32,189.13
Ward 9 Coun. Andrew Luff - $31,819.83
Ward 13 Coun. Pat Warren -$31,745.35
Ward 16 Coun. David Marsh $30,232.04
Ward 10 Coun. Howard Robinson $29,578.82
Ward 6 Coun. Doug Elmslie -$29,189.39
Ward 4 Coun. Glenn Campbell $28,464.77
Former Ward 7 Coun. Peter Cziraky $21,889.65

So: are you getting your money’s worth and realizing those savings yet?

ENOUGH YET? Meet our 24 members of the Sunshine Club.
Pre-amalgamation days we had a grand total of ZERO - yes ZERO - staff members who belonged to the "Sunshine Club" (employees making in excess of $100,000.00 per year). In 2009 our fair city had no less than 24 such members to help them help us. In case you hadn’t heard, here’s the latest who’s who of the City’s esteemed club: In 2009 the following employee salaries, - highest to the lowest - are as follows:

Jane Reynolds, CAO - $169,872.95 (salary) $6,032.53 (taxable benefits)
John Hagarty, CoKL Police Service Chief, $139,345.39 (salary), $8,595.86 (taxable benefits)
David Guilbault, Emergency Services/Fire Chief, $128,071.41 (salary), $1,255.07 (taxable benefits)
Rudy Huisman, Finance/Treasurer, $128,071.41 (salary), $1,063.21 (taxable benefits)
Janice Platt, Human Resources, $128,071.41 (salary), $1,063.21 (taxable benefits)
Kevin Williams, Community Services, $128,071.41 (salary), $1,063.21 (taxable benefits)
Bob Knight, Health & Social Services, $126,027.55 (salary), $1,056.49 (taxable benefits)
Ken Becking, formerly Engineering & Public Works, $125,583.89 (salary), $3,111.61 (taxable benefits)
Ann Warren, Registered Nurse, $124,916.19 (salary), $689.95 (taxable benefits)
Harry Hughes, CoKL Police Sergeant, $114,090.08 (salary), $801.85 (taxable benefits)
Mark Mitchell, CoKL Lakes Police Inspector, $114,086.78 (salaray), $890.24 (taxable benefits)
Brenda Leuty, Registered Nurse, $124,435.55 (salary), $689.95 (taxable benefits)
Richard Wigle, advanced care Paramedic, $113,555.35 (salary), $717.97 (taxable benefits)
Will Herbert, CoKL Police Inspector, $112,770.59 (salary), $890.24 (taxable benefits)
Paul Richards, CoKL Police Sergeant, $112,610.07 (salary), $801.85 (taxable benefits)
Dan Lynch, general manager Public Works, $111,195.01 (salary), $883.88 (taxable benefits)
David Kerr, Environmental Services, $111,011.51 (salary), $883.88 (taxable benefits)
Len Van Pelt, advanced care Paramedic, $109,158.87 (salary), $717.97 (taxable benefits)
John Oostveen, formerly manager of Engineering, $108,108.00 (salary), $883.88 (taxable benefits)
Steve Lucas, advanced care Paramedic, $105,610.78 (salary), $717.97 (taxable benefits)
Mark Donaldson, CoKL Police Service 1st class constable, $105,436.35 (salary), $691.35 (taxable benefits)
Tom Hickey, CoKL Police Sergeant, $102,417.11 (salary), $767.33 (taxable benefits)
Ron Raymer & Pat Twohey, asst. fire chiefs, $102,241.48 (salary), $858.62 (taxable benefits) each.

Victoria County Voices:
Municipal Elections,
Master Fire Plan,
Council expenses,
24 members of Sunshine Club

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

It has recently come to our attention that a Report was commissioned and submitted to Council for enactment with regards to a FINAL MASTER FIRE PLAN for the City Of Kawartha Lakes. Such report was designated as: Report ES2009-10 "Master Fire Plan 2010 -2017"

With the abundance of rural and seasonal ratepayers in this Municipality, we have circulated a recent newsletter from the Victoria County Voices chapter of VOCO with information we believe would also be of interest to all. While there were several areas of concern, we would particularly like to draw your attention to the following, found on pg 5 of the report. (The report in its’ entirety is available from City Hall )

We’d like to request that you please bring these things, especially the fire concerns, to the attention of your fellow members and neighbours, many of whom have not been around over the winter months.

With Kindest Regards,
L. L. Boldt

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