Bennett, Therrien continue to spar over what property taxes are intended for
Diane Therrien says that if Mayor Daryl Bennett doesn’t think she’s smart enough to be mayor, he shouldn’t mince his words: he just should say so.
Bennett has been mayor for eight years and is running for re-election against Therrien, a Town Ward councillor for four years.
Therrien was responding to a suggestion from Bennett that she doesn’t understand the fundamentals of property taxes.
He asked her in a live televised debate on YourTV on Wednesday evening for the math formula used by city staff to calculate municipal tax bills — and she couldn’t give it.
Bennett mentioned it again on Thursday while making a policy announcement about his infrastructure priorities.
He said that if re-elected, he’ll ensure that property taxes are spent on infrastructure projects — not on “income redistribution” .
“I was challenged somewhat by an individual who truly does not understand (that),” Bennett said, referring to Therrien, during his remarks.
When asked later in a media scrum whether he thinks Therrien lacks any understanding of how property taxes are meant to be used, he didn’t say yes or no.
“Ms. Therrien certainly didn’t know the fundamentals of the formula used (by city staff ),” he said, referring to the debate on YourTV.
In a phone interview later Thursday, Therrien said she’s been on city council long enough to understand tax rates and how they are applied.
“If Daryl is trying to say that I’m not smart enough to do the job, he should just come out and say it,” she said.
She also said a mayor is meant to provide leadership, “not micromanage our competent civil servants about calculations of municipal tax rates.”
“I’m disappointed that of all the questions Daryl could have asked during Wednesday’s debate, he chose a “pop quiz” rather than a substantive question on policy or the issues facing our city daily,” she said.
The election is Oct. 22.