THUNDER BAY – CIVIC – City finances are an issue that comes up regularly in conversation when I am out in the community. Citizens are concerned about rising taxes and user fees and the impacts that these increases will have on their ability to afford to stay in their homes. The business community is also concerned that rising costs are making it harder to stay competitive and profitable. Recent increases in property assessments by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation are adding to this challenge.
I commend the current City Council for their focus on capital infrastructure renewal over the past four years. Our roads, bridges, water and wastewater systems are vital to the health and vitality of our community. The dollars allocated to these projects are well spent and should continue to be a priority in the years ahead.
On the operating budget, I believe there are areas for more due diligence and efficiency. I support a full review of all City services to determine what core services must be provided by the municipality and where there are areas that the private sector can better serve the community. I believe that the city should review whether it should be competing with the private sector in the provision of some services. There may be a few
areas where it makes better sense for the private sector to be involved.
It is my view that a complete analysis will potentially show where the City can recommend that local entrepreneurs have an opportunity to step in.
I am a strong supporter of the need for the municipality to support local suppliers and believe that the purchasing guidelines should take a look at best values rather than just the costs alone. Both are important
components when making purchasing decisions. The definition of value should also include an evaluation of the number of local jobs provided and the taxes contributed to the city. In many cases, when these factors are
considered I believe that a slight difference in price would be more than offset by the value-add payback.
If elected to serve as your City Councillor, I will look for ways to spend smarter to ensure that YOUR tax dollars are used as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Candidate – Councillor at Large