Chairman tells leaders to stay informed

Everton McLean
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Says business community needs to stay on top of municipal election

The business community has to be proactive and aware of the issues during the current municipal election, says St. John's Board of Trade chairman Bruce Templeton.

And he said the board is doing its best to bring the issues to them.

"The Board of Trade is a simple organization and my role in leadership is rather simple - help and do every single thing we can to increase revenue for local business and do everything we can to reduce costs for local business," he said during a Rotary Club of St. John's Northwest luncheon Tuesday.

St. John's Board of Trade chairman Bruce Templeton addresses Rotarians Tuesday about the upcoming municipal elections. - Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

The business community has to be proactive and aware of the issues during the current municipal election, says St. John's Board of Trade chairman Bruce Templeton.

And he said the board is doing its best to bring the issues to them.

"The Board of Trade is a simple organization and my role in leadership is rather simple - help and do every single thing we can to increase revenue for local business and do everything we can to reduce costs for local business," he said during a Rotary Club of St. John's Northwest luncheon Tuesday.

"The reasons we're getting involved in municipal elections ... is governing is happening every day. Representation happens every day. Decisions need to be made every day. ... We need to take some time and step back and think through very carefully the kind of city and the kind of area we want to live in in the future."

He said the Board of Trade is bringing issues to the candidates that it believes the board members and the community want through surveys, speeches and debates.

He said he sees the board's role as asking the questions businesses and individuals want answers to, starting with the increased spending by council over the past nine years.

"In the year 2000, the budget was $105 million," he said.

This year, it's around $200 million, representing an average growth of nine per cent per year - a rate he said he doesn't think is sustainable.

"We need to know how or if we are getting good value or good results for our expenditure," he said.

Templeton said the re-evaluation of mill rates is important, and he suggested business owners need to ensure their voices are being heard.

"Businesses are a collection of people. It's your business and mine that are paying these taxes."

He said as a community, lower taxes mean a more attractive business arena.

"We must be competitive."

As well, he said the tax base should have grown considerably as new homes have been built in the hundreds, and as a result more people should be able to share the tax burden.

"Let's make sure we share proportionately in tax deductions."

As well, he said St. John's needs a written public plan that creates a vision for the future.

emclean@thetelegram.com

Organizations: St. John's Board of Trade, Rotary Club

Geographic location: St. John's Northwest

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Recent comments

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I think the Board of trade should be congratulated for the interest they have shown in this municipal election. They are one of a very few organizations that seem to actually care about the outcome. This group has invested time and money in an effort to inform the public about who is going to make decisions for us.
    $95,000,000 increase in under nine years. WOW.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    I think the Board of trade should be congratulated for the interest they have shown in this municipal election. They are one of a very few organizations that seem to actually care about the outcome. This group has invested time and money in an effort to inform the public about who is going to make decisions for us.
    $95,000,000 increase in under nine years. WOW.