Director, Rockwood Homeowners' Association
Who said you can’t fight City Hall? During recent budget discussions, three Rockwood Homeowner Association (RHA) Directors along with two Miranet Executives were successful in reversing an all but done deal which would have raised the salaries of Mississauga Councillors.
With tax increases of 7.5% about to be confirmed, on January 25th, our Directors and two Miranet Executives attended the City Budget Meeting, intending to challenge the committee to find more fat in the operating budget to avoid this large tax increase. But to the surprise of the homeowner representatives, Council actually put forward an unanticipated motion to increase their own salaries by 2%, even though taxes were to rise for the second year in a row. On February 8th, the Committee met to vote on the salary increases.
Once again, the community representatives attended, this time with a deputation by Miranet to persuade Councilors to reverse their plan to increase their salaries. During the deputation, several councillors expressed dismay that the Ratepayers Associations were wasting the City’s time about such a trivial amount. But Miranet fought back stating that in our present economic climate, it wasn’t the amount of $20,688, considered trivial by some councilors, but the principle of the matter that was important, as any increase in salary at this time would give the wrong signal to the community. Since our citizens are asked to “tighten their belts,” how can City Hall in good conscience give themselves a raise. When the Salary increase came to a vote, Council actually reversed their decision to raise their salaries.
The moral of the story is that community groups do have an impact on what happens at City Hall. We will continue to let City Hall know that how they spend our tax dollars is important to each and every homeowner.