Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Take Back City Hall

Canadian Taxpayers Federation
Launches Campaign
"Contract With Taxpayers"

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is challenging those wishing to be elected to city council, either as Mayor or Councilor to sign a document which would see taxpayers better protected from their own city hall. Sadly, that is what local politics has come to and by electing candidates that support this contract, things could change at city hall.

To view and download the contract which you can ask candidates to sign, visit the Canadian Taxpayers Federation website HERE. Once signed, the contract will be sent to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the names of candidates who have signed the agreement will be posted on their website. Signed contracts must be received by Nov. 4 to be posted on their website.

The Contract includes these points that candidates are asked to support:
  • holding property tax increases to the provincial rate of inflation or lower (unless councils get approval from taxpayers in a referendum)
  • moving toward fee for service for as many functions as possible
  • a promise to not take on or fund services that are the proper jurisdiction of federal, provincial or regional governments
  • investigating partnerships with other governments, non-profit organizations and businesses to reduce costs of service delivery making infrastructure and public safety top budgetary priorities
  • ensuring taxpayers’ personal property rights are respected and upheld
  • ensuring complete, accurate and timely information is released to taxpayers, and increasing dialogue between taxpayers and elected officials public disclosure of all receipts charged to municipal expense accounts
  • supporting measures to improve transparency and accountability, such as a Municipal Auditor General, introduction of municipal politician recall rules, and the use of referenda, plebiscites and citizen initiatives to gauge public opinion on major expenditures and issues
  • supporting the introduction of a Taxpayer Protection Bylaw that financially punishes any mayor and council for raising taxes above the rate of inflation with a one-year, 15% pay cut
Nanaimo Info Blog will post the names of any local candidates who have signed this agreement. If you are an involved citizen of Nanaimo, you may want to download the document and approach all candidates in our upcoming election to see if they will sign the agreement.

It is a specific form of accountability that is currently lacking in local politics. Last election we were told that this council would be open and transparent, yet they have conducted major decisions behind closed doors under the veil of 'in camera' which keeps their reasons secret. The city hall annex is a prime example of such secrecy.


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