Mayor Hobbs – Pleased with work on Budget

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The Grade Five Class at St. Bernard School toured City Hall with Mayor Hobbs.
The Grade Five Class at St. Bernard School toured City Hall with Mayor Hobbs.

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs at his desk in City Hall
Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs at his desk in City Hall

THUNDER BAY – POLITICS –  Thunder Bay City Council has had a rough ride getting the budget down to 3.18 per cent. Mayor Hobbs expresses that he is “Pleased with the work on the budget”.

The Mayor explained in an interview with NetNewsLedger that part of the effort has been an ongoing challenge for this council and the previous two Councils to get tax increases back under control.

Hobbs says that Councils under both Mayor Lynn Peterson and under his watch have been working to overcome a massive infrastructure deficit that Peterson inherited in 2005.

The Mayor says he is proud of the work Council has done, as over the past years, that infrastructure debt is being taken care of, and the city is moving forward.

Graph shows municipal tax rates since 2004
Graph shows municipal tax rates since 2004

Hobbs says that while Council would like to have brought down the budget further, most of the emails and communications he is getting from residents are opposing service cuts.

The Mayor says that when the issue of sidewalk clearing came up he received over a hundred emails from angered residents.

Moving forward, the Mayor is looking to streamline the budget process.

The Mayor remains very hopeful and focused on Thunder Bay and having a bright future. There were several areas where the budget needs to be addressed moving forward, Hobbs explained.

Fighting poverty has been a focus of the Council, but some measures in the budget won’t let that effort go forward as they could, says Hobbs. The Mayor is looking to have the water and sewer rebate issue come back to Council.

The task of building a budget that will satisfy everyone is a task that Council and Administration try hard to do every year.

The Mayor says that overall in the past five years the Council has been investing heavily in infrastructure, and still working on keeping down the tax rate.