Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Setting the Record Straight #1: Police and Fire Services

The primary responsibility of the City of Vancouver is to provide for the safety and welfare of our citizens. Over my seven years as your city councilman, the record clearly shows that I have supported a strong police department and adequate fire resources to insure effective response to our community's needs.

In light of recent attacks on me, and my opponent's efforts to distort the facts, the intent of this blog is to set the record straight. For the curious or doubtful out there, these matters are all in the public record and available for everybody to verify. In all instances cited, you may reference the council proceedings for yourself. By visiting CVTV's website , you may either view the video or request copies of the meetings from CVTV archives.

Regarding the 2009-10 City Budget
(See CVTV Vancouver City Council video dated 11/07/2008, Water, Sewer and Storm Water Utility Tax Rate Change)

The City had an operating budget in 2008 of $121 million, a projected budget in 2009 of $125 million and a projected budget in 2010 of $138 million. Revenues into the city are increasing -- not decreasing.

During these budget discussions, in the middle of a deep recession that only seemed to be getting worse for our citizens with each passing day…the incumbent mayor argued in favor of raising your utility taxes to 20%.

While our citizens were struggling to pay bills, losing jobs and losing homes, the incumbent chose to raise taxes.

While our local businesses struggled to keep their doors open, with an already unfriendly local business climate, the incumbent chose to raise taxes.

Even worse, his threat to the City Council was to cut Police and Fire services if taxes weren't increased!

Instead of trimming 4% of the city budget in areas OTHER than Police and Fire, the incumbent placed emergency response services on the chopping block. Let me say that again: instead of making a 4% cut in the City budget – a cut similar to the same cuts we've all had to make in our own homes – the current mayor offered the ultimatum that we either raise taxes or cut core services.

I fought to keep the Police and Fire budget whole.

No cuts, no trimming, no more hiring freezes.

I fought to 'tighten the belt' around other city programs, or fill the budget gap temporarily with reserve monies (rainy day fund). Review the video of our discussion to hear for yourself.

In other words, I was the leader that stood up against governance by ultimatum and fully supported emergency response services. It was your sitting Mayor who threatened to cut Police and Fire if we didn't raise your taxes.

Under his watch over the past 20 years, police and fire staffing has failed to keep up with our population growth and national standards.

Under his watch over the past 20 years, our fire stations have deteriorated so badly that they are in danger of falling apart during an earthquake.

Under his watch over the past 20 years, police investigations have been severely limited and now some investigation of property theft may never happen.

Vancouver, you deserve better.

And with your support on November 3, we WILL do better.

1 comment:

pmarie said...

I was reading the other day about history and how spoken and written history are very rarely the truth. History is recorded or cited only to promote a personal opinion or personal agenda. This is what is not only happening in Vancouver, but at the national level. Those who continue to revise the truth for their own gain are exhausting this nation, creating confusion and deterring positive change and they need to be challenged with clear, calm and strong voices of what is really true every single time.

So stand strong and keep it up Tim. Vancouver deserves a clear and honest voice as Mayor. I know this is a close race and if only I could vote in Vancouver. No brainer for me.