for Mayor of Oshawa

What has Sara been up to for 4 years?

In an effort to make the most of our teaching city strategy and initiative, I recently completed my Autocad Certification with Durham College and am proudly now a Durham College Alumni. 

I'm also one of the first peoples' in Canada to achieve their WELL AP Certification. This industry designation places a focus on PEOPLE FIRST construction of buildings and communities. With a priority of maximizing individuals physical and mental well being. I feel this will be of great value moving forward when reviewing our future community and neighbourhood plans.

Prior to council rescheduling the public meetings to the daytime, you will find a selection of my presentations and email correspondence below.

If elected Mayor of Oshawa I will fight hard to return the council meetings to evening hours so our constituents don't have to choose between earning a living (to be able to afford to pay their property taxes) and participating in the democratic process.





From: Sara 
Date: Friday, February 1, 2019 at 9:37 AM
To: "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>
Subject: Ask City Staff the Following Today...

Good Morning!

For the additional ~$3.5 Million in funding that the city requires to cover this years shortfall, I have found some discrepancies and contradictions with the Financial Strategy Document 2016-2019 (as accessed on the City’s website).

Please note the following questions in reference to the 2016-2019 Financial Strategy Document:

Page 3 references a community vision where Oshawa is “a prosperous, collaborative, vibrant, inclusive and GREEN CITY …” how much of our 2019 budget is being dedicated to the Green City portion of our vision?

Page 3 Bullet #2 “principles of sustainability and financial stewardship which includes responsible taxation” what is responsible about another tax increase, and what is our solution to prevent the same from potentially happening next year?

Page 5 regarding financial stewardship has (5) Bullet points, none of which I feel the 2019 budget specifically addresses

Page 10 last paragraph “Oshawa’s downtown, in particular, is designated as an Urban Growth Centre … meet a target of 200 persons and jobs/hectare” what if any initiates are being funded to support this mandate?

Page 23 in 2014 we had $789 Million in infrastructure, of which Linear Assets ~$445 Million (>50% of Assets) do not have sustainable funding strategies… so why as per page 13 of the proposed budget are we acknowledging an infrastructure deficit

Page 28 continues the point above, regarding our Growing Community  “show that approximately 25% of growth-related capital costs are ineligible for funding from Development Charges, leaving the property tax base as the only source of funding available” it was a gap of $24.3 Million in 2014, what is it now? Has it improved (decreased) or has the gap grown (if so to what amount?)

Page 29 Provincial Transportation Initiatives further validates that an investment in our linear infrastructure is required (see note 5 above) at this time I do not see how funding for this project with our current forecasted budget is feasible.

Page 30 “ensure that green infrastructure is adequately addressed in the City’s Corporate Asset Management Plan” I fail to see where we are addressing this strategy in our budget

Page 35 Our uncommitted capital reserves in 2014 were ~$30 Million, what is it now?

Page 41 Oshawa is SUBSTANTIALLY BELOW the 12 comparable municipalities regarding our Tax Discretionary Reserves, what is the implications of this, if we are still in this position?

Page 52 validates that "Also, Oshawa’s debt per capita… has been higher than its municipal comparators”. Where are we currently at? What if any initiatives have we created in the last 3 years to address this issue?

Page 55 "Educate the public on the purpose of debt and that reasonable debt is manageable and legitimate form of financing” this strategy has not been deployed yet, what can we do to action on this? Also, I was not able to locate the debt information page on the City’s website. If it exists please send me the link for it and perhaps we can do a better job of making it more visible to the average individual.

Page 57 shows that our Operating Revenue from Business Fees and Permits are 1.3% and 1.9% respectively. Meaning >5% of our Operating Revenue is generated by these numbers… what are we doing to change this? What is a new target that we can work towards… 10%? 15%? How do we get there?

Page 59 “Payments in Lieu of Taxes. The Province last adjusted the heads in beds rate to $75 in 1987." We were to lobby the government to have this rate reviewed, have we done this yet? What is the new number? How successful have we been at advancing this issue?

Page 61 “Review OPUC Dividend Policy to ensure equitable distribution”. When I compared our payouts to comparable companies (ex. Veridian) we are leaving money on the table.

Page 65 Have we become proactive in identifying tax appeals? If so please provide an example, if not, what can we do to start addressing this challenge?

My Kindest Regards,