Despite rumours and social media toxicity, the reality is that Midland town council does care about the community and put themselves on the line to bring us (Midland residents and property owners) a compromise budget that balances giving everyone the services they expect and holding the line on taxes as best possible given that we are in the second year of a global pandemic with the attendant social and economic consequences of efforts to keep our health care system from being overloaded and minimizing deaths. This affects the town’s ability to purchase goods and services as much or more than individuals and/or private organizations.
In addition the town faces a huge infrastructure deficient and dwindling reserves. (The dwindling reserves are the case for many municipalities due to a general lack of long-term planning and fiscal management in previous decades, combined with downloading of responsibilities from ‘senior’ levels of government without commensurate increases in funding). There also have been many years of ‘belt-tightening’ and ‘making do’. (For example the town’s fleet of pickup trucks has some vehicles that are no longer roadworthy, or which cost more in maintenance than purchasing new vehicles, despite the crazy high prices of vehicles this year; I think because the vehicles are well-maintained that some folks believe the town splurges on new vehicles all the time).
That isn’t to say that council doesn’t have regrets about some of the choices (both on the possible cuts and where they did cut) they made, but ultimately decisions have to be made, and there were no easy choices this budget cycle.
It is also true that not every councillor was perfect in their words and behaviour, and there will be fallout from the budget process, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that as a whole council (and staff) did a job that is often thankless and about which many complain, but few attempt themselves.
Kudos to council.