Fiscally Conservative Approach to Budgeting
Over the last three terms, I have taken a fiscally conservative approach to our budget.
This means reviewing EVERY budget line-by-line to find efficiencies. I move between 10-30 amendments every budget to save taxpayer money, without cutting service levels. These efficiencies are what I then use to fund things that residents want, such as off leash dog parks or portable speed bumps that we can place in areas around the ward that have issues with speeding (such as our waterfront).
I have not been afraid to say “NO” when it comes to our budgets: I turned down budgets in 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2021 when I felt that taxpayers were not getting the most bang for their buck and the tax increase was too high.
I don’t just “talk the talk”. When I moved a motion in 2021 to reduce ALL Councillors’ pay by approximately one third – the portion that is allocated to “travel”- in light of the fact that we were not travelling to meetings and that most Councillors had cut back on constituent meetings at their homes in light of COVID-19, when my motion failed, I moved a Motion to cut my OWN salary by one third.
When, inexplicably that Motion failed (only Councillors Neal and Jones supporting), I voluntarily chose to donate back to the Municipality one third of my own salary in light of the fact that Board and Council meetings were being held by Zoom,
I have long believed in the phrase “charity begins at home” and for that reason, although it caused my own family financial hardship as we were a single income family, it was the right thing to do given how many other families were struggling during COVID-19. Your tax dollars are important.
For this reason I also supported a budget cap for the 2023 budget to ensure that the next Council will have to learn to live within its means.
Some other fiscally responsible decisions I have made as your Councillor include:
- As Chair of the Clerks Department, we implemented a volunteer program at the Animal Shelter in November 2013 which has been tremendously successful. This change saves money and provides an opportunity to residents to provide much-needed care and affection to animals without homes.
- In May 2012 I was only one of two Councillors who did not support spending almost $1 million to move the new Newcastle Fire Station 5 blocks (850 metres) from Rudell Road site to a new site on more heavily used Highway 2.
- I moved a motion in March 2013 that no compensation for the Veridian political appointments be provided to all shareholder Municipalities and that only mileage expenses be paid to the political appointments on both Veridian Shareholders’ Board and the Veridian Connections Board.
I believe the key to fiscal responsibility is threefold: targeted investment, job creation and economic growth.
For this reason, I moved a $1.3 million extension of Lake Road through to Bennett Road to attract businesses to the Clarington Business and Technology Park. This extension increased accessibility to over 100 acres of serviced industrial land for commercial and industrial development and provided a second exit/entrance to the Industrial Park and surrounding area – increasing safety and balancing flow of traffic.
This extension involved a culvert over Bennett Creek; reconstruction of 80 m of Lake Road; 410 m of new road, rehabilitation of South Service Road from Bennett Road to new Lake Road extension. It was extended to Lambs Road in 2015, and completed through to Bennett in 2022.
I also supported extending Baseline Road to Bennett which brought Toyota to Bowmanville, and the refurbishment of the Quarry Bridge in our industrial park. The more we broaden the commercial tax base, the less burden we have on residential taxpayers.
If re-elected, I will continue to put taxpayers’ interests first and ensure that we spend tax dollars wisely
Please be sure to take five minutes out of your day, and vote Corinna Traill for fiscally responsible decision-making.