November 30, 2000             
                                        The Cyberclass Network
Presents …  

A Proposal To Limit Tax Increases While
Improving Current Levels Of Municipal Government Services

by Tom-Joseph: Kennedy otherwise known as "Tommy-Usury: Free"

For background information readers are invited to visit this URL: www.cyberclass.net/abolishusury.htm

This proposal is directed to Bob Chiarelli , the newly elected Mayor and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa:

I asked two questions of you, Bob Chiarelli at the All Candidates meetings during the week just prior to the municipal election of November 13, 2000. Your responses indicated that you were willing to explore how the concept of "usury-free" community currency could be implemented within the infrastructure of Ottawa’s municipal government. During the campaign you made a commitment to meet with John C. Turmel and myself for further discussions soon after the election and you repeated your intention to meet with us at your victory party at the Tudor Hall on November 13, 2000. I  look forward to that meeting.

This communication offers some background information about how and why it is timely indeed for the City of Ottawa to study the "usury-free" community currency models already in place at Ithaca, NewYork (Ithaca Hours) and at Toronto, Ontario (Toronto Hours) so that improvements can be made before the City of Ottawa launches its "usury-free" community currency. I have just recently learned that (Calgary Transit) has launched a program with the co-operation of the Bow Chinook Barter Community whereby passengers can purchase tickets using Calgary's "usury-free," community currency.

In recent years, the local media has been bombarding us with grim financial forecasts for the entire country and particularly for the Ottawa Community. Until now, all concerned partners in municipal government have been worrying about sharing the "scarcity" unjustly, rather than addressing, "interest" - which ought to be correctly labelled "USURY" as the obvious and growing problem of traditional debt-financing for municipal government projects.

It is definitely time to consider a pilot project employing the concept of "usury-free" financing, which is now possible given the ease of modern technology. Usury-free financing will solve the "scarcity" that faces every single citizen not only in the Ottawa community but in any community on planet earth.

The critical challenge is to not only avoid further labour strife within both the public and private sectors while saving face with the taxpayers, but also to implement the optimal solution which will benefit the entire Ottawa community. To secure the co-operation of municipal politicians, local employers, employees (and unions) and community groups a re-education process must be commenced immediately. In this regard, I talked with Paul Glover, the creator/founder of Ithaca Hours on Tuesday, November 14th, 2000. On request and by fair exchange he will provide available resources that might be useful for research and education by the elected officials and the citizens of the City of Ottawa.

This particular proposal requires that experienced LETSystem users, with the support of qualified and knowledgeable "usury-free" economic advisors, have opportunities to make a series of formal presentations so that all potential participants will become familiar with the working prototype of the LETSystem and how this innovative system of "usury-free" finance can be adapted and implemented with ease by the incoming municipal government for Ottawa.

Though I have presented a "usury-free" proposal to the previous municipal governments in the Ottawa area for the past three terms, few bothered to pursue the proposal – with the exception of former Councillor, George Brown who arranged for myself and Lindsay King to make a presentation to one community group. Paul Glover urged me to familiarize yourself and the Councillors with the concept of "community currency" immediately so that a pilot project could be implemented early in your mandate.

Let’s ponder some significant points about "usury-free" community currency. I have been a keen student of the LETS software since 1983 and a satisfied participant with the Ottawa LETS since 1986. The LETSystem (Local Employment Trading System) is a community exchange system which generates abundance and moves economic transactions into the modern age of high-tech. The Ottawa LETSystem offers participating members a "usury-free" local medium of exchange commonly called "ecodollars", which function independently of "usury-bearing" federal dollars.

A magazine familiar to municipal politicians called MUNICIPAL WORLD, published an article in March 1986 which describes how "greendollars" otherwise known as "community currency" are created:

The "greendollar," by mutual agreement roughly equivalent to the federal dollar, is created not by chartered banks in the process of lending, by individual members of each LETSystem - on the strength of an implicit pledge to reciprocate with an equivalent contribution in goods or services. The "greendollar" is created in the act of spending it..... "Greendollars" are in reality debits and credits in the LETS computer, for all intents and purposes like bank entries in a bank ledger. In small communities like Powell River, B.C., the computer is replaced by a hand written ledger. The system works. It permits a multitude of transactions which would be impossible were members exclusively dependent upon money coming in from the depressed world market for their resource-based products.

According to Don Havthorne, an Edmonton consultant with a background in economics, lending and research for Credit Unions in Western Canada:

LETSystems, like other co-operatives in the past, defy conventional ideas about what motivates economic and social behaviour. In LETSystems, goods and services are provided not only in anticipation of market rewards, but also to honour obligations undertaken by individual members. And like other co-operatives, LETSystems might well represent another breakthrough in economics thought and practice.

The Ottawa-Carleton Credit Union has leaders similarly as insightful as Don Havthorne who fully recognize the LETSystem as a pioneering idea whose time has come. The Ottawa-Carleton Credit Union, is aware of the benefits of arranging for LETSystem accounts to be opened for a large database of LETS users in the Ottawa area. The Ottawa LETS already has an account at the Ottawa-Carleton Credit Union.

With an initial pilot project and the eventual implementation and growth of "usury-free" community currency, within the City of Ottawa, municipal taxpayers can look forward to paying absolutely no "usury" on future, local education debt, community projects and/or otherwise. The current system of debt-financing which extracts "usury", forces local taxpayers to pay for two or three capital projects while getting only one.

Implementation of a"usury-free" community currency at the municipal level of politics will vastly reduce the "usury" charges of capital projects and increase the likelihood that new projects will continue to be undertaken even during this current depression. The "usury-free" LETS software can be identified as a useful tool to facilitate job-creation scheme in these trying times of significant downsizing and unemployment.

Private contractors will be encouraged to build and renovate public and private buildings and their payrolls (which will operate with a portion of "usury-free" community currency otherwise known as "circulating receipts" or "tax credits") will boost the spending power of not only of their employees, but also their sub-contractors and other businesses in the Ottawa community. In fact, the function of any "usury-free" community currency is to induce a local community to spend itself into unprecedented economic health with a "usury-free" currency.

What better way to introduce the citizens of Ottawa to the real power of a "usury-free" community currency than to kick-start this perfect "usury-free" system of economic exchange by inviting all of the citizens of Ottawa on board whereby they are taught the benefits of accepting a portion of their respective salaries in "usury-free" community currency. When you, Mayor Bob Chiarelli, and the Councillors for the City of Ottawa arrange to accept this "usury-free" community currency otherwise known as "tax credits", as partial payment for property taxes, both public and private employees will be motivated to accept "usury-free" community currency otherwise known as "tax credits" in an amount at least equivalent to that partial amount of annual property taxes which the City of Ottawa can agree to accept as payment of municipal taxes.

A pilot project involving "usury-free" community currency would free up ample, unused cash so that no one would have to lose a job to meet local government budget restrictions during these times of increasing cutbacks. You, Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the Councillors will be lobbied by members of the Greater Ottawa community to assess a portion of their property taxes without "usury." You simply agree to accept a negotiated amount this "usury-free" community currency as partial payment of property taxes from those citizens with Ottawa LETS accounts.

This "usury-free" community currency can in turn be used by the municipal government as partial payment of public employees' salaries (including teachers, firefighters, policemen, public health workers, etc.) and the local Ottawa-Carleton Credit Union could administer the "usury-free" community currency accounts for a fee payable jointly by the employers and employees. Any business will accept these "usury-free" community currency as long as the City of Ottawa accepts a portion for the payment of property taxes and there is a growing data base of other businesses where they can spend them.

A renowned, though little known model of a "usury-free", local economy based on concepts similar to the LETSystem is the GUERNSEY EXPERIMENT, which was introduced in the Islands of Guernsey about 185 years ago. It still operates successfully, having restored that island's frail economy where their unemployment rate is zero, their standard of living is high and they have absolutely NO "interest-bearing" debt-financing. Currently, there are about 60,000 permanent residents in Guernsey.

A working, "usury-free" community currency can easily fund with ease a percentage of the necessary and legitimate needs of Ottawa’s local community without incurring "usury", which accompanies traditional forms of debt-financing. A municipally operated LETSystem will not only solve the immediate threats of service cuts and raising taxes, but will also establish the Ottawa community as a respected leader in the 21st Century for proposing such a timely and creative plan to restrict tax increases, while maintaining current levels of public services. Local public and private employers, in co-operation with unions might even jointly market a "proven, workable plan" to other cities and towns for cash, "usury-free" community currency or a combination thereof.

There are many "LETS" and "usury-free" community currency websites with links to browse and further your learning process. You can begin with the resource links below and/or use any search engine to find others. If anyone can be of help in aiding Ottawa’s public sector employers, private employers and municipal politicians to better understand how a functioning LETSystem of alternative, "usury-free" finance can redeem jobs during this deepening Depression of the 21st Century please write, telephone, fax or email The Cyberclass Network, P.O. Box 9333, Ottawa, Ontario K1G 3V1 Tel: 1.613.746.9702 Fax: 1.613.746.5387 Email: tom@cyberclass.net

Working with you for "Peace and plenty" by 2020
I AM

Tom-Joseph: Kennedy otherwise known as "Tommy-Usury: Free"


Resource URL's:

Proposal To Limit Tax Increases While Improving Current Levels Of Municipal Government Services: www.cyberclass.net/chiarelli.htm

Ithaca Hours: www.lightlink.com/hours/ithacahours

Toronto Dollars: www.web.net/~tordoll

Calgary Transit Pilot Project: www.cyberclass.net/calgary.htm

Ottawa LETS: www.sandelman.ottawa.on.ca/lets

Petition For A "Usury-Free" Community Currency in Ottawa: www.cyberclass.net/ottawapetition.htm

Lessons at The Cyberclass Network: www.cyberclass.net/bartable.htm

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c.c. The Media
       The Court of Public Review
       The Internet

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Read the covering letter which I sent along with the "Proposal" to Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa on November 30, 2000 by clicking here...

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Read the follow-up covering letter which I emailed to Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa on January 30, 2001 by clicking here...

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Councillor Rainer Bloess responds. Read his email by clicking here ...

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Read the follow-up covering letter which I emailed to Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa on March 30, 2001 by clicking here ...

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Read CFRA Talk Show Host Lowell Green's response on March 30, 2001 by clicking here ...

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Read the follow-up covering letter which I emailed to Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa on May 30, 2001 by clicking here ...

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Read the follow-up covering letter which I emailed to Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa on July 30, 2001 by clicking here ...

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Read the follow-up covering letter which I emailed to Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa on August 27, 2001 by clicking here ...

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Read Mayor Bob Chiarelli's response on August 31st, 2001 by clicking here ...

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Read the follow-up covering letter which I emailed to Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa on September 30, 2001 by clicking here ...

*************************************************************************************** Read The follow-up covering letter which I emailed to Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa on November 30, 2001 by clicking here ...

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Read the follow-up covering letter which I emailed to Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa on Janaury 30, 2002 by clicking here ...

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Read the follow-up covering letter which I emailed to Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa on March 30, 2002 by clicking here ...

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Read the follow-up covering letter which I emailed to Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors for the City of Ottawa on May 30, 2002 by clicking here ...