A few facts for Tucci

By  | February 26, 2010 | 10 Comments | Filed under: 2010 Municipal Candidates

This ran in the Cambridge Times……your comments invited below

 Letter to the Editor

Like Coun. Ben Tucci, I’m looking forward to Drayton Theatre coming to Cambridge.

I have worked as a volunteer at the Blyth Festival Theatre, so I have an idea how things work in the theatre business.

But Tucci accuses some people in the community of “purposely misleading the public”. Let’s not play around with words. Are you accusing them of lying or are you saying they are not giving us all the facts so that we are misled?

I believe you are doing the latter. Now, I admit a letter is not the place where you can say as much as you might like to – nonetheless some of the points you make are, indeed, misleading at best.

For example, you point out that Cambridge taxpayers are footing only a third of the cost with the federal and provincial governments paying the other two thirds.

So, are the politicians in these other two government bodies footing the bill? Where do they get all their money?

Assuming that municipalities in other parts of our province and country are also getting some funds given to them for similar projects, does it not really mean that Cambridge taxpayers are really paying 100 per cent of the costs – more or less? 

Or, do the people in Mississauga and Alberta feel so great about the theatre coming to Cambridge they are paying their provincial and federal taxes with no expectation of something in return? I feel misled.  And what about the appreciation in the value of the building you point to. You say that the building Cambridge taxpayers paid $6 million for (remember, we really paid $18 million) will be worth “$15 million the day it opens”. In reality, we have already lost $3 million using your numbers. Are taxpayers, going to receive dividends? Remember also, this $15-million building will need to be maintained. Who pays for that?

Now, even I don’t know everything, so I need an explanation of the revenue projections you give in your column. You say revenue is projected at $1.7 million in the first year of operation. Where is this money coming from and where is it going to?  Is this in the form of rent paid by the theatre? Is it taxes on ticket sales?

Are their property taxes paid by Drayton Theatre to the city and region and to education? In short, are the citizens of Cambridge, who are already paying roughly 100 per cent of the cost of $18 million for the theatre (remember they pay federal and provincial taxes as well!) – are there sufficient funds coming back to the City of Cambridge coffers to justify, at least, an investment of $6 million? I need to know so I can be as excited as you are about this “investment” we are making.

How will the profits on our investment be used? Will they help reduce taxes to Cambridge citizens? I could get excited about that. Or, will these funds simply be used to finance more projects a future council will dream up?

When taxpayers pay taxes for things such as roads or hospitals, police or fire services, everyone benefits. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about a theatre. Tickets are not cheap. The well off can easily afford these costs, but I can’t help but believe that some taxpayers who are barely getting by are helping to subsidize the cost of the theatre through their taxes. They can’t afford to purchase theatre tickets – at least not very often. But, they help pay for the theatre through their taxes.

And, here’s another fact. Politicians (and one other group) often get free admission to the theatre on opening nights. As a ticket taker and usher at the Blyth Theatre, I could see the tickets stamped “complimentary”.

And then there is the social occasion after the show is over. Politicians are treated to cute little crustless sandwiches, scrumptious squares, tarts and hors d’oeuvres, while they sip on wine. I know – I had my share as well.  Perhaps I am wrong in my facts. If so, I look forward to being corrected.

Allan Dettweiler




10 Responses to A few facts for Tucci

  1. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    tom vann February 26, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Someone remind me not to wake this guy Allan Dettweiler up in the middle of the night! Points well taken Allan. l never thought of the other taxes we pay into. You as a vollunteer at Blyth would know more than l would as you have witnessed certain things. Are you telling me certain groups of people get into events free when the taxpayer has to pay? Then get treated to freebees! No wonder Drayton would be nice to go to for these people. Maybe Tom Cruise can get an invite. Anyway the income so far is PROJECTED. lf there is a problem here financially will be like the market in l believe Kitchener that had to have a 750 thousand dollar taxpayer injection? Everything works well in theory. The ticket prices l heard batted about will be 30-60 dollars each. God only knows the exact figure. l for one would love to see Drayton come here but there is 9.9 % unemployed in this region. ls the projection for this # going to go up.? This would be a feather in the hats for a lot of people,yet the other side of the coin is a lot of people will be furious at seeing certain income groups going while they cann’t afford it yet their tax bucks are paying for it. Anyway Ben has been in bussiness a long time and l hope he knows what he’s doing. He’ll let you know what’s best for you, that’s his job. Oh, another point on PROJECTED, “How many people projected our latest economic state”? Wait till interest rates climb and we have to pay all this money back. Don’t worry though, even if you and your spouse just lost your $18.00 phr. job it’s projected many more jobs are on the way at $11.00 phr. Anyway mate maybe l’ll see you at Drayton when l’m Prime Minister. Nasty work Allan. Ouch!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. tuccib@cambridge.ca'
    Ben Tucci February 26, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    The true facts are starting to come out? You’ve got to be kidding! I stand by my comments. Allan compares apples and oranges but does makes one valid point. That is, there is only one taxpayer. However, using this analogy, we’d never have applied for any stimulus funding and that includes for the Preston and Hespeler arena improvements After all, not everyone uses the arenas either. As far as you are concerned Tracy, I’ve already gone on record to announce I am running for re-election for Ward 4. I have been away on vacation or would have registered a week or so ago. I look forward to any and all challengers. As an aside there are 3 open seats and a number of incumbent seats available this election. Hopefully some of the regular contributors on this site will take the leap. I have said all along that we need some new voices at the table. It is easy to criticize from afar using sound bites, not so easy to step into the arena to battle day in and day out with absolutely no appreciation for the time and effort required of the job. Regards, BEN

  3. Sthipel@sympatico.ca'
    Tracy Hipel February 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Hey Ben if I had a job that I could break away from I would truly run ,because I couldnt do any worse than some of the ones that have been there for far to long. I had a meeting last week with some people who will remain nameless to let them know that I was not going to run. However I am going to keep up the fight with the TCE problem in the bishop street area, something that this city has failed to help with. Maybe you should appreciate how our hard earned money is spent in this city. Have a nice day.

  4. margaret-barr@sympatico.ca'
    Margaret Barr February 26, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Please, Ladies and Gentlemen…remember what I said before; If you are a serious candidate and can afford the costs of running, then, please, by all means do so. Otherwise you are simply splitting the vote and putting the incumbent back in office. There isn’t a municipal incumbent out there, who isn’t hoping for as many people as possible to run against them; be it in a Ward, for the Region or Mayor’s spot..The more ‘fringe’ candidates who run, the better the chances that the incumbent gets back in. That is not my ‘opinion’…that is statistical fact…check it out.
    As far as my friend Ben’s comments about ‘it being easy to criticize from afar, using soundbites….not so easy to step into the arena……etc.” I TOTALLY DISAGREE! I’ve been on both sides…running for office and ‘crtiticizing’. Neither is easy, and often not ‘popular’. As far as Ben saying there is “absolutely no appreciation for the time and effort required for the job..?” Well, I completely disagree there too! If people vote for you and put you in the job…you shouldn’t need anymore “appreciation” than their vote and ‘trust’ that you are handling their tax dollars and city issues with the utmost regard for their welfare……

    I have said it before…I’ll say it again: On a personal level, I think Ben is among the best. Politically, he and I stand worlds apart on what is expected of an elected official; and what an elected official should expect from his or her constituents.

    BTW For those of you who have been asking……..I am NOT running for the mayor’s seat.

  5. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    tom vann February 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    lt’s great to have you back Ben! l for one missed you. l love your spirit you certainly go to bat for what you think is right. You and l have to go golfing this year, On me, no muligans! You remind me of Rocky, willing to face the giant. Enough butterballing you for now. l for one will congratulate you if you win this time but l don’t know who is running against you as yet or others. l am getting lots of extra costs mentioned about Drayton as well as Projected Earnings, lease agreements, workers being brought in, etc.etc. Doug and l spend some good time together once in a while over coffee and we talk about issues. l find this kind of him to offer his time and we don’t always agree, but we at least meet. l know you offered to speak with me so if it’s still open maybe we can hook-up for a coffee or lunch whatever. lf l appear less gifted than others in conversation or rebuttle that’s only because l’m new to this so l’ve a lot to catch up on, meaning you may have to point each thing out pro and con slowly. Thanks Ben Doug has my number or you can call 911 they know where l am at all times.

  6. margaret-barr@sympatico.ca'
    Margaret Barr February 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Thomas….now we know! Your and Doug’s ‘good time together once in awhile over coffee’ must be part of what’s keeping our mayor too busy to attend to other pressing city issues:-) Leave the poor guy alone, for Goodness sake…Give Doug some time to come on here and speak to all of us:-)

  7. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    tom vann February 26, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    l guess l owe that to the taxpayer Margaret. Talking to you has enhanced my outlook on many issues. l used to look forward to reading your comments in the paper and respected your honesty then and you have not let me down now.You are welcome in our home anytime. You have been a straight shooter and we are a better city because of you. l wish you all the health and success from this day onward Best Wishes.

  8. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    Thomas Vann February 27, 2010 at 8:31 am

    l talked to the Mayor on 2 issues 1 What about Drayton going to Hespeler Rd. beside the mall? Answer : to much traffic. Maybe Doug knows something l don’t but isn’t that what you want? lt could go beside the mall. there are empty bussinesses, Chrysler, Muffler Man, and the corner lot (old gas station l think). The people could bus right there, it would be in between the 3 cities, easy to find (off the 401) Hespeler Rd. stores would benifit as would others. lf travellers had car troubles shops are nearby. The list goes on. ln my world this would be the ideal place to put Drayton if we could afford it. 2nd issue. When talking to Ben and Doug l got 2 different answers as to the cost of the city hall renting on Water St. Mind you it was only off by $300,000 from one’s answer to the other’s per year. $600,000 or $900,000. lf l remember correctly it was Ben that said it was $900,000. You know if you wanted l’m sure Ben or Doug might be able to meet with people to discuss things of importance as with any other official. Just have questions written down to ask and set up a time to meet. You know the only people that are under fire are Doug and Ben it seems. l’m not saying they shouldn’t be. Especially in an election year. So what do the others do in council that we can ask. Since Karl is in my ward l’ve got a # of questions l’m going to ask since he stated in our meeting about some people put articles in the paper and don’t talk to the person directly. l think he was feeling it’s a cheap shot way to do things. l then said “guys like Tommy Vann” well that’s why l’m here Karl. Anyway Karl when you read this or here of this article please try to set aside some time to meet with me. l feel your going to run for office somewhere so l’m putting together some questions on how you stand on certain issues. Just giving you the early heads-up ’cause l think that’s fair.

  9. Debbie Duff Vitez May 18, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Why wasn’t the public allowed to decide on Drayton or Craigs Castle..?

  10. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    Thomas Vann May 19, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Same reason we won’t vote like the Feds and Province do, here in Cambridge. I guess Mrs. Woofs impaired driving charge is coming up soon. How can we work the system so people don’t care? Just bring in a Hamilton Judge to fix the problems ………………

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