Photos from the 2011 Federal Election

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A better choice for Mayor of Markham

This week I had the opportunity to attend a pre-election all-candidates meeting (Municipal Election Day is Oct. 25, 2010) at the Varley Art Gallery in Unionville. 
Unionville is a hotbed for political lobby groups which have coveted Unionville Village and its Main Street for more than three decades. Today that tradition continues through individual participation (sometimes duplicated) in an array of local lobby groups called UVC, URA, UBIA, UVA and UHS. These groups range from Ratepayers and Business people to those dedicated to preserving Heritage; all of them with a political agenda and by virtue of their existence they claim the right to speak for the entire community. I'll leave that last point to another time, but this meeting was certainly a service to the greater community and they should be commended for that.
Most of the evening had me squirming in my chair, mumbling to my wife about how our taxes are extorted then wasted. I even got my written question asked regarding the actual need for Regional government, my contention being it is a layer of political slime we can do without. In fact the Regional Government of York has an accumulated debt of $3.8 billion. Retiring that debt depends on continued "good times". Good-luck with that! Each individual in York Region is on the hook for $15,000, but the current Mayor and council of Markham have kept taxes stable over a couple of years. That's great, but 50% of our tax bill goes to the Region so that will no doubt change after the election. 
Of the three mayoral candidates I was surprised to be in agreement with many of the things Stephen Kotyck said at the meeting and on his flyer. Mr. Kotyck wants to get Regional taxation under control, make the Region more accountable by electing the chair, and a list of other sensible ideas (see above). He has a FaceBook page and I expect he has a low budget, but thrift is something that needs to be cultivated among politicians.      

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