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Letter to the Editor - Balancing budget with no new spending is essential

I am an optimist who has lived through many recessions – politicians call them corrections – the effect on families and individuals is the same.

Common sense tells us that we are at the end of an economic expansion. Indicators are everywhere. The end of the construction boom is self-evident. New permit applications are less than 50 per cent of last year’s levels. It will affect the local economy.

The slow down of financial commitments for new ventures by investors and others have already put the approved projects on hold. It is safe to assume that in the next two to three years, we will see near zero growth, down from an average of five per cent.

Judging from past financial statements, not adjusting to this new reality is a mistake. It will stretch our resources by diminishing revenue growth.

We are at the beginning of a near recession, some will say soft landing. Families and individuals are adjusting. Mortgage renewals are at a higher rate and that will further stretch family budgets.

Balancing our budget is essential. It requires vision and understanding and no new spending.

We just had the highest tax increase in Essex County, 11.5 per cent in just a year (total of first budget and second within one year). The Windsor-area has had the highest unemployment in Canada at more than seven per cent. We have lost our competitive advantage to Essex and Kingsville. The expansion of Highway 3 make these communities very attractive to relocate and invest. And further, a bypass to Leamington, in the planning stages, will increase competition. This will be felt in two to three years from now.

We are a bedroom community to Windsor. Strong communities are built with jobs. We don’t have many left. Protecting these jobs and building from there should be where we start, followed by an economic plan to be sustained long-term.

This needs to be done by us to have a better result. This current proposal for the Belle Vue should be approved without further delay. It will send a message that we are open for business.

I have said that I’m an optimist. I believe in the resilience and intelligence of our people. With vision and persistence, we will move forward accomplishing all of our goals.


—Frank Cerasa


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