Coun. Kennedy re­sponds to ‘friv­o­lous flap’

The Compass - - OPINION -

As a coun­cil­lor, elected in Septem­ber of 2009, I en­joy work­ing with six mag­nif­i­cent coun­cil­lors and town staff while be­ing ac­count­able, fair and re­spect­ful to res­i­dents. Un­for­tu­nately, there are times when de­ci­sions can­not be made in favour of a res­i­dent due to a va­ri­ety of mu­nic­i­pal and pro­vin­cial reg­u­la­tions, and for that I am sorry. As a coun­cil­lor I can­not waiver from do­ing what is in the best in­ter­est of the Town of Car­bon­ear.

I also re­al­ize that as an elected of­fi­cial, criticism may be thrown one’s way, some of which is con­struc­tive and do ini­ti­ate mean­ing­ful im­prove­ments. Yet, of­ten­times, due to peo­ple be­ing up­set with coun­cil, some criticism thrown about is merely in­nu­endo which is not ben­e­fi­cial and is in­tended for noth­ing more than to try and tar­nish rep­u­ta­tions.

A let­ter to the ed­i­tor in the Oct. 2 edition of The Com­pass by Ross Ry­der head­lined “Car­bon­ear’s spend­ing prac­tices, salaries crit­i­cized,” stated sev­eral in­ac­cu­rate com­ments. Lit­tle re­search or con­ver­sa­tion was had con­cern­ing the info in the let­ter and yet the gen­eral pub­lic were led to be­lieve that it was a true pic­ture of the coun­cil and staff.

I should not be wast­ing my time re­spond­ing to such triv­ial and friv­o­lous flap, but ig­nor­ing such in­ac­cu­ra­cies serves only to boost the con­fi­dence of the au­thor.

The Town of Car­bon­ear bud­gets be­low the per­cent­age of coun­cil­lor re­mu­ner­a­tion as deemed ac­cept­able by the Depart­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and spent $74,216.42 (coun­cil­lor re­mu­ner­a­tion, travel, con­fer­ences and sup­plies) in 2011. An­nual coun­cil­lor re­mu­ner­a­tions are: coun­cil­lors $9,275, deputy mayor $9,975 and mayor $13,600 for a to­tal of $70,000, $4,000 less than re­ported.

The 2012 Jeep pur­chased cost $29,300.00 (tax in) plus a few de­cals and re­quired emer­gency lights. Sub­tract­ing the GST re­bate and the to­tal is ap­prox­i­mately $29,000.00, $21,000 less than re­ported.

The new vi­brant brand­ing of Car­bon­ear is part of a pro­mo­tional pack­age high­light­ing the many great ben­e­fits of liv­ing or do­ing busi­ness in our his­toric town. The pro­mo­tional costs were $48,600 in 2011 and $35,913 in 2012 and in­cludes any town ads pur­chased, new logo brand­ing, web­site host­ing and up­dates, vol­un­teer ap­pre­ci­a­tion func­tions, mu­nic­i­pal aware­ness, memo­rial wreaths and pro­mo­tional items such as those pre­sented to ath­letes dur­ing the 2012 Sum­mer Games. This amount is less than one per cent of our town’s bud­get and the pro­mo­tion of our community and ap­pre­ci­a­tion events for our res­i­dents is not some­thing our town should ne­glect.

Since elected this coun­cil has made great strides with tax col­lec­tion, col­lect­ing 97.89 per cent in 2010, 96.94 per cent in 2011 and 88.98 per cent af­ter three quar­ters in 2012. Of the $4,226,629.48 taxed in 2011, $129,335.69 (3.06 per cent) is out­stand­ing.

Since the 2009 elec­tion, coun­cil has cut off wa­ter, auc­tioned off prop­er­ties and con­tin­ues to work with res­i­dents in or­der to re­cover taxes as we strive to­wards a 100 per cent col­lec­tion rate. Car­bon­ear, with­out doubt, has one of the best tax col­lec­tion rates of all mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in NL.

The Town of Car­bon­ear has no say or in­put on how the Mu­nic­i­pal As­sess­ment Agency (MAA) (http://www.maa.ca/) ap­praises the val­ues of spe­cific ad­dresses in our town.

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