Madam Mayor, Members of Council, Staff and fellow residents….

My wife Norma and I noticed an article in the local paper not too long ago, regarding proposed tax increases of 4% per year for the next 5 years in Pitt Meadows…..this had us very worried….not only for retired people, but for the young families and anyone who has a mortgage in this day and age! Instead of sitting at our kitchen table and discussing this, which we decided really wouldn’t do much good, we contacted a reporter to see if they would be interested in writing an article on our behalf. Well, they did and within a day or two both local papers were involved and the articles began to appear, as you obviously are aware of. We thought we were alone with our fright, but then the calls and emails began to pour in and we were very relieved to find that we weren’t alone after all. These supporters were waiting for someone to step up to the plate, so we did. This endeavour began to grow rapidly and our privacy was no more, so we were given the go ahead to set up in front of the IGA with our petition to appeal to Council to re-consider their 4% target.

The people came. Not only were these citizens concerned about the tax increases themselves, but referred to the article in THE NEWS, on Friday, June 22, 2012 titled “Debt keeps rising in Pitt Meadows”. This began to escalate and the conversations became somewhat heated at times and it wasn’t just because I was sitting in the hot sun. It seems that property taxes are quite an emotional topic lately! With a population of approximately 18,000 people, which isn’t that big, we have a considerable debt load of over 16 million! The District of West Vancouver and the City of Mission have not only targeted 0%, they have delivered a 0% budget to their residents with no significant cuts to services! We’re asking for a budget target of 0% for 2013. The people have spoken….900 Plus of them in 1 week, so far. I now present to Mayor and Council……THE PETITION. Thankyou.

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