THUNDER BAY – LEADER’S LEDGER – Dear Current River Ward and City of Thunder Bay Residents, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy new year. I would as well like to thank all citizens for their ongoing support and confidence in me. Thank you for re-electing me this past October.
It is a privilege and honour serving the people of Current River and the citizens of Thunder Bay at City Hall.
Not only do I serve you at Council meetings but I am a member of several committees including the Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board, DSSAB Housing sub-committee, Earthcare Advisory Committee (chair), Youth, Community and Cultural Funding appeals committee, Waterfront District BIA and vice chair of the Community Services Committee of the Whole.
The first major task of this new Council is to develop its Strategic Plan and to deliberate on the 2015 budget. This year’s budget will be challenging due to several factors including but not limited to decreases in Provincial funding (OMPF) of 1.5 million dollars, increase in payments to DSSAB, reductions in revenue due to the reclassification of grain elevators by the province, assessment reductions made by MPAC to large industrial properties and increases to winter control measures, legal fees and insurance premiums.
The most important task City Council undertakes is setting the budget as it sets the strategic direction for the next year. As such, I would like to inform all citizens about the 2015 budget process and encourage your input into this process. This process begins January 26 with the release of the budget document as well as the 2015 Community Handbook. These documents are available online at thunderbay.ca. On January 27 Council will receive the Long Term Financial Overview presentation. On February 3 at City Hall starting at 6:30 pm, citizens can have their input directly to Council by making 10 minute deputations on those issues that concern them most. On February 4, 10, 11, Council will deliberate further on the operating and capital budgets. On February 18 again the public will have input with a Post Budget consultation meeting where again citizens can make presentations directly to Council. Final ratification of the budget is scheduled for March 2.
This year there are a number of controversial and contentious items up for debate. It is critically important that Council hears from you about your concerns. This is your city, your city facilities and your city services. This is important, please have your say. Make sure it is the direction you want our city to go. You can also call or email councillors with your input.
In this year’s budget there are a number of very exciting budget items that we have fought hard for in the Current River Ward including extensive work on Boulevard Lake and Park area, more road reconstruction and more investment in trails, North End Rec. and Centennial Park
If you have any comments or concerns please do hesitate to contact me at 766 9914 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on twitter @Andrewfoulds1 and I have also set up a Current River Ward Facebook page.