These Municipal Elections Matter…a lot

Another four-year Council term is coming to a close this fall.  During this term your councillors voted to approve each annual budget, guided how tax dollars would be spent to support municipal services and decided on priorities that directly impact your daily life.

Municipal elections are fought over matters of local importance. Here are some issues and questions to consider in the run up to election day.

Housing – Housing supply and options are matters that local councillors can influence. Public meetings are held when development applications are submitted to municipalities.  Ultimately, local councillors approve these housing applications after hearing recommendations from staff and concerns from local constituents. Are you satisfied with these new developments over the past four years?

Transportation – Your regional councillors are making decisions on transit issues.  Are you satisfied with the delivery of transit services in Durham?  Transit frequency and routes have changed over the past two and a half years. Delivering transit services when ridership is down has revenue implications.  There’s also a big movement to re-invest in a clean energy fleet and a charging system to support this changing fleet.

Infrastructure – There’s always a need for the construction and/or enhancement of roads, bridges and buildings, but there are limited tax dollars to fund these infrastructure improvements.  Where are these priority projects? Which ones have the biggest impact to constituents? There’s a mid-block arterial road that needs to be built in Whitby.  It’s a big capital infrastructure investment for the full length of road.  There are also water and sanitary services that need to be extended in Brooklin for new development.  Growth doesn’t entirely pay for growth.  Local taxpayers are on the hook for the difference.

Taxation – There are only two certainties in life: death and taxes.  How does the Town and Region pay for this wish list of projects and services? Local taxation is one of the most common issues heard and residents want value for the money that they are paying. There’s a limited tax base to spread the cost of local services. In Whitby, that tax base is approximately 48,000 dwellings and 2,300 businesses.

Lots of tough decisions need to be made over the next four years. These decisions shape the future community that you live and work in.  What issues do you care most about? More information about voting is available at the Town of Whitby’s Municipal Elections page.

Voting day is Monday, October 24, 2022.  Hope to see you there!

Daniel Van Kampen, Economic Development Officer, Town of Whitby and staff resource for the Chamber’s Advocacy Committee