Beaconsfield mayoral race heats up
Published Monday, September 28, 2009 11:59AM EDT
Anger over taxes has outraged many Beaconsfield residents and some of them have now banded together to try to oust Mayor Bob Benedetti from office.
The average tax bill went up 30 per cent after the 2003 demergers and the move was closely followed by a 20-per-cent pay raise at city hall.
The increases upset many people, including some of Benedetti's former supporters.
A protest movement sprung up to run other candidates against the incumbent.
Candidate David Pollock says a low point came when Benedetti cast a tie-breaking vote in favour of the pay hike for elected officials.
"I get hundreds of calls about this issue," Pollock told CTV's Annie DeMelt.
"I went out to dinner and they remember that 20-per-cent increase and they don't appreciate the fact that the mayor voted for that."
Pollock, a sitting Beaconsfield councillor who voted against the pay raise, is supported by several community activists including Karen Essen of the Beaconsfield Citizens Association.
Both Essen and Pollock say residents want more consultation and less spending.
"We've seen non-essential spending that could have been different down the line," said Essen, who's running for council.
The pair suggests that West Island cities and towns should share costs by co-operating on certain projects.
A clear choice
Pollock admits he can't promise anything more than minimal tax cuts if elected and Benedetti says that leaves residents with a clear decision to make.
"Between a vision of good services for young families and seniors and reasonable taxes, or lower taxes and no services," says Benedetti.
The mayor says he has many projects afoot in Beaconsfield including redoing tennis courts at Beacon Hill Park.