Mayoral Candidate Rory Ring sent this message to SaultOnline:
“I urge you to watch tonight’s council meeting to see an example of how tax dollars are wasted.
We are about to spend $600,000 on garbage trucks that will cost us an extra $450,000 to operate over 8 years.
One of the key elements of my platform in the mayoral campaign is that I won’t raise taxes. Some feel its not possible and could result in service cuts, but we know from the experience in other cities that it can be done.
To create more jobs in our city, we need be more competitive.
The decision by council to contract-out garbage collection for only ½ the city but use city resources for the other ½ of the city is a perfect example of how we can do things better.
The staff report that the council is relying on, reasoned that if all of the garbage collection was contracted out, the city could possibly face prices increases in the future once the city no longer provided the service itself.
What did or will that decision cost you? The difference between the contractor costs and the city costs is $55,000 per year for 8 years. That’s $450,000 more to keep the garbage in house. In addition, to modernize garbage pick up, the city is required to go out now and buy two new garbage trucks for $600,000. Staying in the garbage business will cost you more than $ 1 Million and in effect results in another 1% tax increase. The staff report does not show these numbers in clear statements but if a person digs a bit and does the math, it is clear that using an outside service provider would cost $1.18 Million and using the city resources for ½ the service would cost $2.23 Million.
If I were mayor, I would have guided council to ensure that first and foremost we save as much money as possible and lessen the burden on taxpayers.
At the end of the contract the city would not be held hostage because there are many contractors in the waste business who would welcome an opportunity to compete locally.
At minimum council has the ability to divide the contract between two service providers with contracts ending at different dates.
I would have encouraged council to take the savings that are available today and for the next eight years to avoid any tax increase to residents.
There have been several decisions like this over the last 4 years. We need to change the way we make decisions and the way taxpayer money is spent. I can promise with confidence, that taxes can be frozen for 4 years. It takes common sense and fortitude.”