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February 27, 2023

Letter to the Editor: Is Grey Highlands Broken?

Grey Highlands Draft Budget not allowed

LETTER TO THE EDITOR — I have not met anyone that lives in Grey Highlands that does not think it is the best place in the world to live. All the people that are from here, all the people that have moved here, all our elected officials — everyone loves GH just the way it is. What I cannot understand is why our municipal staff and these same elected officials are so focused on changing it. They have created a strategic plan focused on growth. Growth will happen as more people learn what a great place GH is. In my opinion, our elected officials should have a strategic focus to maintain our way of life and not change Grey Highlands. GREY Highlands has grown to 80 full-time employment (FTE) staff from less than 50 FTE staff just 10 years ago. Our population has increased by less than 200. We are spending hundreds of thousands each year on 'Economic Development,' a synonym for change.

In 2011, it cost $14.5 Million to run Grey Highlands (based on actual audited statements), this year the budget is asking for $31.5 Million.

We see many other Municipalities running on a far lower per capita expense than GH.

One of the biggest drivers for spending, is that each year, council passes a motion to use the prior years budget as a starting point, which means any additions from the previous year are automatically included without any evaluation.

We have very well paid staff with a excellent benefit package, however we have a 30% turnover rate. This is not normal in any business and needs to be looked at very closely.

The purpose of my letter is to encourage our newly elected council to take control and not repeat the mistakes of the past year.

Please, start leading the Municipality and stop following staff's recommendations.

Please keep Grey Highlands as close to its roots as possible.

Gary Gingras, resident
Grey Highlands


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