THUNDER BAY – CIVIC POLITICS – To me the city budget is the single most important item to come to council.
I watched and participated in the 2014 city budget through email.
Yes all 56 of them. Mayor Hobbs liked one idea so much he thanked me for it and presented it at council, in his version. Council discussed the merits of my idea for almost one hour. I was going to do a deputation at post budget public consultations on the budget but the city clerk issued a trespass notice against me.
I too noticed the absence of Councillor Boshcoff at the second budget meeting and am surprised that the media asked him and Councillor Giertuga for comment on the budget when neither were there.
So I have a hard time to understand how Councillor Boshcoff advocated to control spending when he was not there at budget time. I don’t even want to get into the discussion of the Softwood Lumber Agreement where I fault him for giving the You Not So Nice States of America $1.0 billion. Still harder to understand is how the city manager can find $3.5 million in savings only after learning that the city would be facing a $6.5-$7.5 million unfavourable variance by year’s end.
To hear Mayor Hobbs claim that the city paid off $23 million in debt, I would like to ask how is it that the city debt will be $184 million by year’s end when the debt in 2010 was $182 million.
While the city may not be in financial trouble, the taxpayers may be, as the municipal burden has increased to 5.4 % of household income.
Candidate for Mayor