Marchand and Dilkens Clash Over Funding Priorities
Windsor mayoral candidate Matt Marchand has put dollar figures to the pledges he's made in previous announcements.
On his eighth announcement, he has laid out his economic plan for the next ten years.
But incumbent Drew Dilkens quickly responded, poking holes in Marchand's numbers.
Marchand is proposing a fundamental shift in the way the city directs tax dollars, which he says will save nearly $227-million over a decade.
Marchand says the Sewer Master Pan will be accelerated to six years and not ten to speed up relief of flooded basements, but Dilkens says that would significantly increase the cost and inconvenience neighbourhoods.
Marchand lists a number of the areas he would change if elected mayor.
"The Riverside Drive and Bruce underpass $15-million, reduce sports tourism commitments by $15-million over the next 10 years, redirect the enhanced capital budget Ward funds to the capital budget $100-million over 10 years, estimated savings from the independent auditor general over 10 years $20-million"
Dilkens says what Marchand has announced is not correct.
"The numbers simply don't add up, But this is the type of smoke and mirrors and he hopes that it sticks, he hopes that it sounds good but the promise certainly isn't even worth the paper it's printed on"
Marchand says he will increase taxes, but it will be directed to a key concern.
"We're going to implement a 1% tax increase raising $40-million over ten years to fund Windsor 2022, to help solve our downtown crisis right now. We have an opioid, crime and homelessness epidemic in our community"
Dilkens says Marchand comes from an era of tax and spend in the mayor's office.
"If I point you back to what was happening when my opponent worked in the mayor's office we had the highest debt in the city and the amount of money that was going to the banks to pay interest charges on that debt was astronomical. We have helped pay off a significant portion of that debt"
Marchand says taking funding away from sports tourism won't harm the local economy.
"It's not a community priority, I've knocked on doors I've talked to many, many people it's not a community priority. We've got flooded basements, we've got crumbling roads we have an opioid crisis in the downtown we have a homeless crisis it is not a priority. The purpose of this document today is to focus community spending on community priorities"
Dilkens says Marchand's numbers are fabrications, there is no funding committed to sports tourism.
"It just doesn't add up, it doesn't even make sense. It's deception, it's deceiving people in the city and we certainly don't need that in politics. What he is saying to folks is simply not true"
Marchand says incumbent Drew Dilkens statement on holding the line on taxes is a "cop-out" he wants the mayor to say what the number is.
Dilkens makes it clear he isn't suggesting a zero tax increase, but will keep any increase to the lowest amount possible and he point to his record on council and in the mayor's office.
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13th Annual New Year's Eve-ning