LETTER: County must give priority to community-first orgs.

Re: The County of Prince Edward’s 10-Year Plan Community Survey

I’m unhappy with the County’s 10 year Community Survey. It sets up a 10 year priority for my property taxes being used to help people run a business. Prince Edward County Council, not for the first time, is veering towards bowing to the needs of business over its own residents.

The latest example of this is in the survey’s Question 3 which asks me to rank priority for municipal investments of our property taxes.

“Support new/existing businesses” is one of the 10 choices I am asked to rank from 1 to 10. It assumes I think this business support should be on the list. What’s missing is an option to support local not-for-profit community groups, made up of volunteers and staff who make sure that no one gets left behind.

We’ve seen this play before. The new official plan, in its infancy , took out reference to the County supporting our community non-profits, instead calling for support for the for-profit business sector. Fortunately, when it passed the new Official Plan, Council made amendments to express support for our community organizations.

I’ve come to the conclusions that there are two types of businesses in our County. There are many strong, thriving businesses who sell me what I need and give excellent service.

They also contribute to the County through donations to community organizations and help with community fundraisers.

In other words, they are businesses supporting the community. Then there are those businesses operators who want the County to support them, with ‘municipal investments’, not the other way around. Its time for the County to give priority to its non-profit community organizations and find stronger ways to praise those businesses who do the same.

Irene Harris