Coun. Kennedy responds to ‘frivolous flap’
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.