CORNWALL, Ontario – A former mayor in South Glengarry wants the job again.
Dave MacDonald, a businessman in the township and mayor of the municipality from 2000 to 2003, has announced his intention to run against incumbent Ian McLeod.
MacDonald wasted little time in attacking township council’s track record.
“There is tax exhaustion among both individuals and businesses. Governments at all levels must see that tax increases are no longer a viable option,” he said. “People can no longer afford to pay taxes based on property assessments which have average increases of five per cent per year in South Glengarry for the last decade.”
McLeod disagreed with MacDonald’s assertions and suggested the township has made the best of a bad funding situation created in Toronto.
“As far as assessment goes they have been rising and that’s a good thing,” he said. “The tax rate has been decreasing. And we have enhanced our services slightly. But we have to be careful because our funding from the province has been decreasing.”
McLeod estimated that since 1998 provincial transfer payment have dropped by more than $300,000, with another 30 per cent reduction looming.
McLeod has been mayor of South Glengarry since the fall of 2011 when Jim McDonell was elected MPP.
McDonell was the previous mayor in South Glengarry, and McLeod, the previous deputy mayor, moved up to fill the top spot.
Bill McKenzie, a councillor at the time, was promoted to the deputy mayor’s slot and Frank Prevost, who finished just out of the running for a councillor’s spot in the 2010 election, took office in that capacity.
Prevost is now running against Hanz Schulz for deputy mayor, while McKenzie has thrown his hat back into the ring for a councillor’s position.
The others running for councillor include Trevor Bougie, Joyce Gravelle, Michael McDonell, Colin Alexander Munro, Joseph Pelletier and Lyle Warden.