I spent the last week speaking with Hudsonites and listening to their concerns. This week I shared my ideas about the state of Hudson’s finances. For some this is a main priority, for others less so. One woman stopped her car to talk while Amanda and I were canvassing and dismissed taxation as an issue for her. She put infrastructure and water at the top of her priorities. Most said they wanted to move forward into the future and not look back – I thoroughly agree. Blaming and pointing fingers gets us nowhere.
Did I ever disagree with some of the decisions made by the Prévost administration? Yes. But there were also decisions by the Shaar, Corker, Eliott administrations that I was not comfortable with as well. However, all of the above mayors did their best and offered their service to our town. For that simple fact, they should be recognized for their contributions.
Lets all agree that Ed Prevost's administration captained the town through very precarious straits in 2014. An awful criminal and financial boondoggle had been uncovered. This resulted in a massive deficit for the town. The word trusteeship became part of our daily vocabulary. Citizens worried that we would get swallowed up by one of our neighbouring towns. Fear was in abundant supply. The mayor kept his cool and got us through the worst. If we want to thank mayor Prévost and council for anything it is that they provided level-headed leadership through a very rough situation.
In the rush to calm choppy waters a captain may say things to ease his passengers.
So when Mayor Prévost also said to citizens at that time in an article dated November 20th, 2014 that taxes would not be raised in consequence of the deficit, he was trying to reassure Hudsonites. We need to begin to heal the wounds brought on in 2014 to our community.
We can do so by honestly assessing our situation right now and dealing with reality.
For whatever the reason, three years later, taxes have risen at triple the rate of inflation. Furthermore, spending is 64% above that of our neighbouring municipalities. We can thank the current council for steering us out of the worst but we're not out of the storm yet. That is why I’m focused on providing sound financial management for the town. We need to look calmly and level-headed at the current state of affairs, decide how much revenue we require to offer adequate public services and stick to those levels of spending. With this kind of fiscal discipline we can aim to reduce taxes or at the very least, keep them in line with inflation.
We need to act in this present moment for the greatest public good and let drop our stories of past administrations, both their successes and failures. In order to move into the future, to realize the very best that Hudson can be, we need to put into place a solid financial foundation. That comes from looking at things as they are, not as we wish them to be. Once we can establish this firm footing, we can set our sights outward and be a shining example for our region for how a town can be managed sustainably.
My aim is to work with the council that gets chosen November 5th and build a solid financial foundation at town hall. I look forward to a great future for our town.