Jennifer Vo, The Sachem
At least 100 people packed the cafeteria of the Cayuga Secondary School to learn about how they could join in the revolt against paying taxes. Marnie Knight from Selkirk, a social activist in the county, led the public meeting on February 21.
The session started off with Knight trying to illustrate what she called council’s lack of integrity. “I’m a huge believer in integrity and I don’t see that happening,” said Knight. “Most of our politicians don’t even know how to spell the word.” She said she’s comfortable taking on the mayor and council to stand up for people’s rights.
The public meeting eventually turned into an information sharing session with members of the public taking over the microphone to talk about how they felt Rural Haldimand was being attacked including the installation of turbines, recent removal of the eagle nest in Fisherville and the increasing water and wastewater rates for bulk water users. Councillor Craig Grice, who attended the meeting just before his fire station meeting in Byng, spoke up and said the water rates affect all of the users equally. That comment stirred the crowd with members of the public standing up to challenge the councillor.
Knight brought the meeting back to order and said the most recent hit to Rural Haldimand included the possible closure of three fire stations. She ridiculed the $25,000 Pomax study and said that Mayor Ken Hewitt was “hiding” in the audience at the first fire station meeting held at the county administration building. “I don’t see our council standing up for anyone,” said Knight, adding that she felt council members had ulterior motives.
The session reverted back to its original intent when someone in the audience asked about the tax revolt. “For three years, they can’t legally touch your house,” said Knight about not paying property taxes. She suggested that everyone put a halt on paying their full taxes, but instead write the county a cheque for $10 a month, which “shows that the homeowner is genuinely making an effort.” Read article