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The Parry Sound 2016 Annual Report came out yesterday, or at least it was in my mail yesterday. It’s an interesting read and does a good job of summarizing what was accomplished and where the money was spent.

It’s nice to think that as a town we really don’t need any improvements or investments, and that taxes should be frozen, or even reduced. Like any living organism, or organization, growth and renewal require ongoing investment. While you may be perfectly happy with that new kitchen you installed in the 70s, residents and businesses do expect services and facilities to be maintained and refurbished as necessary.

The reality is that as a community we provide, and pay for, services and infrastructure that are a necessity for our low tax neighbours. Our neighbours seem to have problems rationalizing an investment in the high speed internet they insist is critical for their future. But when your neighbour provides most essential services why not look to the Province and Canada to provide for things that Parry Sound doesn’t?

I realize that people are frustrated by the municipal tax load carried by Town of Parry Sound residents and businesses. After attending some five years of council meetings and budget discussions I am unable to accuse Council and Staff of making unwise investments. There are any number of expenditures that I disagree with, but these are nickel and dime items in terms of the whole budget. Even if you consider all of the nickel and dime issues they don’t add up to a loonie. My sense is that if you want Parry Sound services and low taxes, move to McDougall or Seguin. Consider Carling and McKellar if you don’t mind the longer drive to Parry Sound. You will be coming here for one thing or another, pretty much every day.