Do not pass go; do not collect $200

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Sir: In 2010 Chatham-Kent won a place on the Monopoly game board. Boardwalk became Chatham-Kent, a prestigious place of honour in the game. An area of the game where money is no object if your name is Chatham-Kent (Boardwalk).

Well, here it is 2013 and Chatham-Kent has let their position on the Monopoly board become a reality. There are many things taking place in Chatham-Kent that are synonymous with playing the Monopoly game.

There is the “Banker” for the game and that is represented by the C-K taxpayers. We are their only source of money. In 2006, the population in C-K was 108,598 and in 2011, the population was 103,871. That means that 4,727 fewer people to support C-K. That would be like taking Blenheim out of the C-K mix of communities. With no substantial jobs to entice people to live here, we will continue to lose tax dollars. But is C-K curtailing its spending? No.

The “B&O Railroad” eventually merged with the Chessie System to later become the CSX. Now C-K has purchased a piece of the CSX for $800,000. This debt must be paid by the “Banker” for C-K taxpayers. We have roads and bridges that are deteriorating and soon will not be viable. But we can buy a piece of CSX. If they don’t find a partner for this project and CP removes the track in one year, we will have a high-priced trail worth $400,000. Another waste of taxpayer’s money.

The “Luxury Tax” is represented by the increase on property values by MPAC. Taxes will be larger than 3.2% because your value is higher. By the way, C-K dropped the ball in planning on changes to the education tax in that 3.2%, so our taxes are increased to 4.4%.

The “Chance and Community Chest” represent disregard for roads and bridges. If they do not maintain what is the backbone of C-K, they will have spent tax dollars for nothing. The Bradley Centre and the Capitol Theatre are examples of money spent with disregard for the needs of other partners of C-K; partners who are rural towns and villages. Their tax dollars could have been spent for their benefit in their communities.

Apparently at the rate C-K is spending money, we will never be able to pass Go and collect $200 because our roads will have crumbled.

Taxpayers, please be vocal and let the mayor, councillors and administration know that it is time to stop spending our money like it was their own.

Doreen Pook

Blenheim

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