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Letter to the Editor – Dec 19, 2019

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Scugog Taxpayers paid close to $9 million last year in staff salaries as well as council remuneration to serve our township of 22,000 people. While our administrators enrich themselves they have failed to renegotiate a decades-old parking lot lease agreement in central Port Perry at the fair market price the landowners seek. The small increase in cost would continue to be a benefit for all the people of Scugog and visitors alike, allowing people to park their vehicles in a central location to go about their everyday business. Councillor Lance Brown suggested the landowners were seeking an increase from $24,000 to $44,000 per year. With further inquiry, this cost differential is a simplistic and worst-case portrayal of the situation, and does not represent fairly the alternatives. Clarity about the actual terms of the proposal was lacking in the councillor’s statement, denying us the transparency we expect from our leaders. The parking lot costs are a drop in the bucket compared to the salaries our administration enjoys. While the people of Scugog will be denied central parking at good value, an issue that Council could rectify, the township payroll increased by 2.93 percent ($248,400) this year. Who is serving whom? Mayor Bobbie Drew has advised that residents, seniors, visitors and those who need accessible parking “may have to be willing to walk a little bit” while the staff will continue to enjoy the privilege of in-town reserved parking. Sincerely Sharon Dodgson-Smith, Scugog

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