Last night at a Special Budget meeting, Council dealt with proposed amendments to this year’s budget put forth by Councillors. As has always been the case, it is the responsibility of every member of Council to review the Town’s budget and, where they feel it is appropriate or relevant, to propose amendments to the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It is then Council as a whole responsibility to consider whether the proposed amendments are in the immediate or long-term best interest of the Town.
In this context, I feel compelled to express my reservations about the potential impact of two specific amendments that were approved on a 4-3 vote (Councillors Kim, Thompson and myself opposed) delaying hires for the Aurora Town Square and reducing the funding for the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame.
The amendments are deeply concerning to me, as these cuts, in my opinion, have no positive benefit for our community, or for the Town’s bottom line.
Rather, these cuts not only risk hampering the successful launch of the Town Square but also threaten to diminish the positive trajectory we’ve been building for our community focused initiatives.
These two approved amendments to the budget will have, in my opinion, significant negative impacts. With respect to the first, by delaying the necessary hires and services, we risk diluting the quality of the services, amenities, and program offerings our community has come to expect. This, in turn, could compromise the achievements we’ve collectively worked towards and the expectations our residents rightfully have from this Council.
Furthermore, the amendments could have ripple effects on the valuable work of the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame, which plays a crucial role in preserving our town’s rich sports history.
This budget is one that follows our budget principles of a balanced approach that aligns with our fiscal responsibilities while preserving the well-being and growth of our town. This budget sees one of the lowest tax levies in York Region while providing incredible services to our residents and investing in our future with projects like our Town Square.
I am committed to ensuring that our town thrives, and I will use every tool at my disposal to safeguard the best interests of our residents and ensure that our community is set up for success now and for generations to come.
In my opinion, the two amendments to the budget – delaying hires for Town Square and reducing the funding for ASHOF – they do nothing more than undermine the Town’s ability to succeed and build our town in a positive manner.
That is why I have exercised the rights of the Mayor’s office, under the relevant Act, and have vetoed these two amendments.
The required documentation has submitted to the Clerk and will be published on the website for the public as required by legislation.