The view from the gallery at Orangeville’s Town Hall in council chambers is a view like no other! If you haven’t attended a council meeting, I recommend that you do! I was really excited to attend the first official council meeting of the newly elected council in Orangeville…there were some HOT items on the agenda including touching on some of the hottest topics that Orangeville residents wanted to know more about over the course of the recent municipal election. I was also really excited to see that the town had taken the time to do an assessment on the “indoor facilities” – namely the arena services (especially since #SpendLessDoMore was my campaign slogan) – there was sure to be some good conversation around the astronomical losses that the Tony Rose Arena has on an annual basis!
Council Meeting Called to Order
Council meeting is called to order at 7pm sharp – it was a jam packed agenda, so it was sure to be a lengthy meeting. What I was surprised by however was the sheer number of presentations…far too many, in my humble opinion, especially for the first official meeting. And while the content of these presentations was interesting for the most part, alot of them could have been held off for a few months and slipped into an agenda that was maybe a little lighter in content.
Tony Rose Memorial Arena
The presentation that I was most interested in was the presentation about Tony Rose Memorial Arena. Basically, a third party company came in and did an assessment of the resources available at both of the arena facilities in town and the data was mind-blowing. I knew in having done some research on the Town of Orangeville’s past budgets, that the Tony Rose facility was operating at a loss to the tune of approx $200,000 per year….granted pools aren’t put into a town to make money, but in my humble opinion, they shouldn’t be operating at that substantial of a loss either!!
Perhaps the most shocking to me was when one of the councillors pointed out that this conversation about Tony Rose had been brought up 2 terms ago…yup 8 years ago…and at that time there was an outpouring from the community to keep that facility open…
Let me see how my math works….so 8 years x $200,000 = $1.6 million. So, in 8 years, tax payers have spent 1.6 million dollars to keep a facility open that clearly can’t support itself…and a motion was put through at this council meeting (AND was carried) to keep Tony Rose open for this entire term as well. Now, I understand that closing Tony Rose isn’t necessarily the perfect solution, HOWEVER, there was no motion put forth to do anything to attempt to prevent it from suffering such losses. In my humble opinion, that is completely irresponsible on council’s part to put forth such a motion with no plans whatsoever to cover any of these losses. Math check…Tony Rose will have lost $2.4 million by the time this term of office is done….as a tax payer, I am not ok with that…are you??? Along my campaign trail, the reoccurring theme of taxes being too high came up at pretty much every door that I knocked on. Well, here is one of the reasons why.
Hot Election Topics
One of the parts of the agenda that I was most looking forward too was the list of the Hot Topics from the election. Sadly, the meeting ran too long and those pieces of the agenda were not touched on at all. In reviewing the agenda for tonight’s meeting however, I am pleased to see that those topics are back on the agenda. Here’s hoping they can get to them tonight!