Having read Mayor Clifford Lee’s glossy report to the citizens of
Charlottetown, one would think that all is well in the provincial capital.
In fact, the report is quite misleading, obscuring as it does a record of mismanagement and missed opportunities. As the city prepares to bring down its budget for the next fiscal year, it would do well for the mayor to consider dealing with some of the current issues we face.
Consider the following:
• the total debt is creeping upwards to $200 million, an all-time high;
• no concrete steps have been taken to address the problem of water shortages, which are now reaching crisis proportions;
• a news arts and culture policy was announced, despite the fact that an earlier one was never implemented;
• the mayor flip-flopped over 2014;
• numerous studies have been conducted on the 500 Lots, the waterfront and Victoria Park, but no real action has been taken;
• the official plan is woefully out-of-date;
• the city has been engaged in costly legal battles over developments;
• while the mayor boasts about filling ditches, he ignores the flip side of the coin: there is no comprehensive storm water management plan in place to deal with the additional runoff;
• he claims to have taken a leadership role in dealing with the threat of federal job losses but the threat still remains and two provincial government departments have left the city; and
• water and sewer rates have skyrocketed and property tax rates will be going up this spring.
This mayor has shown no real vision and the city continues to drift while neighbouring municipalities such as Stratford are experiencing unprecedented growth. The citizens of Charlottetown deserve better from their mayor than a glossy report printed in Dartmouth, N.S.