Mayoral candidate lays out investment strategy
A candidate for mayor of Windsor has said he has a plan to make the city administration more investment-savvy.
Ward 4 Councillor Chris Holt laid out the first plank of his election platform during a media appearance Tuesday at his Walkerville home. In it, he pointed out what he believed were errors in investment that the City had made that could have put millions into Windsor’s coffers.
Holt told WindsorNewsToday.ca that the City has made mistakes in judgement when it came to investing.
“The City of Windsor failed or did not decide to go forward with that, and the result is that our investments were below what they could’ve been, between six and nine million dollars last year,” said Holt.
Holt said, for example, that $6-million would have made a 1.4 per cent property tax increase unnecessary, adding that the money could have gone right back into the City’s spending plan.
“Having an additional six-million dollars of return on investing our taxpayers’ money, that’s almost a one-and-a-half per cent increase in our budget,” said Holt. “We could add it to the capital budget or the operating budget. We could use it to eliminate user fees at all of our facilities.”
Holt has proposed investing the City’s reserves in ONE Investment, a non-profit corporation founded by LAS, a corporation of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
In a statement issued after the announcement by Mayor Drew Dilkens’ office, it indicated that two years ago, Holt had agreed to the investment strategy that the City currently uses.
“Councillor Holt just doesn’t understand that you can’t opt to invest the sums he is proposing without simultaneously going into debt to pay for the annual municipal capital investments,” read the statement from the Mayor’s office. “His risky and radical approach would expose taxpayers to more market volatility, increase municipal debts and end up costing more through interest payments than would ever be earned back through investment income.”
Holt is giving up his Ward 4 seat to run for mayor. So far, he is running against Ernie “The Baconman” Lamont and Benjamin Danyluk. Dilkens, the incumbent, has not declared his intention to run for a third four-year term.
The election is on October 24.