We Make Our Predictions

6

It’s election day Monday so let’s have a little fun! Saultonline’s Craig Huckerby and Mike Caruso compare notes and come up who we think will win the ward races and the Mayor’s seat. You might be surprised at our answers.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Sault Ste. Marie Taxpayers’ Federation Exposes Ward 4 Councillors Turco and Niro Voting Records
    SSMTF Calls for Overhaul of Career Politicians
    News Release, Sault Ste. Marie Taxpayers’ Federation
    Sault Ste. Marie Taxpayers’ Federation takes issue with campaign information provided by Ward 4 Councillors Lou Turco and Rick Niro. SSMTF quotes Turco in published comments saying that he pledges to “keep taxes affordable without overburdening us the Ward 4 taxpayers” and Niro in his website with stating he is committed to “demonstrate fiscal responsibility.”
    SSMTF President Ron Schinners stated that between the 2001-2013 budgets, residential taxes were increased by a total of 34.66%. He stated this is well above the rate of inflation over this period except for one year, putting undue stress on all taxpayers, including seniors and the poor.
    “The level of taxation since 2001 is unacceptable, given the level of funding this community has received.” Schinners cites the 2009 budget as one of the worst managed budgets in recent history, showing how the rate of inflation was 0.3% and council voted for a 2.95% residential tax increase.
    “This is a real concern as taxation is detrimental to a community’s long term stability and growth,” stated Schinners. “In 2006, the city’s operating budget was $150,174,027. That number has increased to $183,509,351 in 2014, reaching its highest level in Sault Ste. Marie’s history.
    He stated that it isn’t just an increase of $33,353,324 but compounded increases over an eight year period. “In 2007, residents saw an increase of just under $7 million more in spending. We have never had a year that saw expenditures stabilized or go down, so that $7 million continues to carry over, meaning that over an eight year period, the budget continues to grow at an exponential rate. To put it in perspective, carrying over $7 million more every year since 2007 means $56 million more in spending – on top of the annual increases in budget spending. This is not fiscal responsibility. This is fiscal irresponsibility.”
    Schinners states that Lou Turco, who has been one of the councillors there the longest and supported almost every budget that increased taxes, voting for 31.24% in tax increases to Ward 4 residents and the city. In the last term, Councillor Niro voted to increase residential taxes by a total of 8.62% while increasing spending, and helping to balloon the city’s operating budget to its highest figure in Sault Ste. Marie’s history.

    Schinners cites the annual Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act that reveals tax hikes have added more members to the Sunshine Club. “124 employees of the City of Sault Ste. Marie made salaries of more than $100,000 in 2014, compared to 61 in 2008 and 16 in 2006. The Sunshine Club has expanded by 1,290% in eight years due to many budgets supported by Councillor Turco.”

    Schinners stated that Councillors Turco and Niro voted for the 2013 budget that spent $50,000 on carpet replacement at the civic center and $200,000 to replace carpet at the main branch library.

    “Does spending more than it would cost for a price of a house on carpet sound like fiscal responsibility? Unless the city elects people committed to balancing budgets without raising taxes by cutting wasteful spending, nothing will change. If career politicians can’t get the job done, then it’s time for change!”

    Ron Schinners President Sault Ste Marie Taxpayers Federation

  2. Thanks Frank, yeah Ward 4 is going to be tricky…on a personal level I think Lorena and Luke would make a great team and if I was voting in that ward I would cast my vote for those two. However, our “predictions: are based on their debate performance and overall campaign – not personal preference.

    • I totally agree with you, Craig. I think the time is now for Luke Dufour, especially if you listen to the debate, and he and Lorena Tridico would make a great pair.

  3. Craig and Mike, a very nice analysis and breakdown of the upcoming local municipal election. Your predictions are sensible but, I have to disagree with a few things you predicted and some comments you made. First, as to your analysis of my relationship with my former ward mate, Celetti. You said we don’t get along and it’s a two 2 way street. That’s incorrect. It’s not that we don’t get along; it’s that Celetti has had this “my way or the highway mentality”. I would suggest to you that to carry on and think and perform as he does would be very difficult, for most candidates, to work with. Especially if you want a partnership that works together in the most effective, productive & respectful way possible on behalf of the people that really matter; the citizens in your Ward.

    As to the race in Ward 4, I think you both missed the mark. It should be a 3 way horse race, but that race should be between Niro, Tridico and Turco. Luke Dufour’s time will come. There’s been some very serious door knocking in this Ward and that should be paramount in how the final numbers stack up & who end up being the eventual winners in Ward 4. There’s also the matter of a damaging pamphlet that went to every door in Ward 4 that spells out in detail the voting records of the incumbents, especially Turco’s which could possibly affect the outcome.
    The Mayor’s race could very easily go both ways. Whatever the outcome, it should and I think will be close right in the end.
    Good luck to all the candidates.

  4. This good Polish by is making borscht today. What a hell of a year to pull a bull tag. Thanks for the interview. See you in 4!

Comments are closed.