THUNDER BAY – Lawrence Timko first served on Thunder Bay City Council in 1976. Timko is seeking a return to Council running in the At Large capacity.
Timko is looking for answers on the Event Centre in terms of location, questioning why the Pool Six site which was the choice of citizens at the first meeting, dropped off the selections.
Lawrence Timko Interview
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Survey Answers – Lawrence Timko
What experience do you bring to your role on City Council and how will it help you make decisions?
McKellar Ward Councillor and Councillor At Large for many years. Union executive and president of
a large union – 1200 members. I was employed as a pulp shipping Superintendent at a large Corporation, now known as Resolute. I was required to prepare an annual operating and capital budget and was expected to produce efficiences wherever possible.
I have negotiated union contracts assisted by my executive and I know what is entailed in a six month strike to seek fair wages and benefits for union members. I have been involved in city negotiations and city strike issues.
If elected, will you support the completion of a core business review to identify and recommend areas for potential service changes (alternative service delivery, privatization or divestiture)? Why or why not?
I would support a committee to review and discuss options and financial implications.
What is your position on the Event Centre?
The city should be looking at the pool six site for locating the event centre. At the first public meeting pool six and Inova Park were the two top choices and then they didn’t appear any more? The pool six site will have to be remediated someday, and the longer you wait the more costly it will be. The material from the site can be utilized to fill in the swamp area near by and create a surface parking lot for up to 2000 vehicles. The costly removal of the bus depot and sub station would be eliminated. Prime access to the three overpasses at Pacific Avenue, Main Street and sixth avenue – no train concerns. The event centre would still be in the core area and no requirement for a parkade. The large parking area would be utilized for any major event such as the Blues Fest, Canada Day etc. Longer term you could add the proposed Thunder Bay Art Gallery.
What should City Council do to support and encourage economic development?
Expedite building permits and possible zoning changes. Lobby Provincial to allow tax incentives for new Industry. Provide infrastructure requirements for major industries.
In your opinion, are City operations delivered efficiently and providing good value to the taxpayer? Explain.
There is no question that we absolutely have excellent service. Snow removal, garbage collection, transit system, park maintenance. However we must always strive for efficiencies, therefore we should re- institute the labour management committee and meet monthly. It worked in the past
Crime is a significant concern for our members. What should City Council do to support increased safety and reduced crime in our community?
Increase neighbourhood policing and more officers on the street. Lobby the Government to work towards providing adequate facilities to treat people that require special care and not leave them to fend for themselves roaming the streets. Lobby Government to increase jail time might help. Going in the front door and coming out the back door the same day does not work.
What steps should City Council take to improve the competitiveness of our city’s business environment?
City Council must work closely with our Economic Development Commission and Chamber of Commerce to discuss options and financial requirements.
What role do you see the City playing in enhancing aboriginal business partnerships, opportunities and relationships?
The City should encourage meaningful joint meetings with all parties, all levels of Government and address concerns A.S.A.P. The Ring of Fire delays need to stop. Expediting negotiations is necessary and every new road, or railway or bridge should not become major battle grounds.
Moving forward is a must and all parties may have to compromise from time to time.
In addition to mining, which sectors/opportunities would you support to advance the healthy diversified economy that is vital to our long term success?
We should be supporting the building of a wood pellet plant to fuel the power plant on Mission Island and also market the pellets elsewhere in North America. Pursue manufacturing of power producing wind mills and market throughout North America. It would be economically feasible as these wind mills are presently built in Germany, shipped to Thunder Bay and then shipped by transport vehicles to western Canada
What would you consider to be success at the end of this 4 year term?
Debt reduction plan to reduce our extremely high yearly interest payments. Lobby Provincial and Federal Governments to contribute finances for sewer and water infrastructure to alleviate the present compulsory addition to our water bills, which some day may surpass our taxes. Water is a necessity of like and is one of the only items that are not subsidized. Many seniors and low income families have a difficult time with the heavy annual increase