Judge Announces Running For Mayor of Thunder Bay
#LSN_Municipal Elections #LSN_News
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO, May 13, , 2018 (LSN) I am running for mayor to begin the process of restoring balance between the city’s finances and our local economy, to make our city a more attractive place to live and invest.
I will begin by cutting the size of city council from 13 to 9 and eliminating the ward system. Over time I want to cut $17M from our spending to allow us to use the dividend from TBaytel to pay off our record debt and build up our reserves that the city manager categorizes as “risky” because they’ve been drained so heavily.
Four years ago, during the last election, I was concerned that city council was ignoring the warning signs: our industrial tax base had largely disappeared, our city’s population was shrinking and getting older. We were having trouble finding the money to look after our basic infrastructure.
Today, those problems have not gone away. In fact, things have gotten worse. Many of our larger companies have appealed their property assessments. We’ve lost millions more from our tax base.
Meanwhile, faster than we can fix them, our roads continue to crumble into a mess of potholes.
You may recall back then that I said that a public school board trustee told me that our school age population had shrunk so much that the board was going to have to close a high school.
The media ran to the director of education and asked whether it was true. He said it wouldn’t happen. Just one year later, the public board started the process of studying the closure of not one high school, but two of them.
My point here is that people in power have asked you to join in what I call a conspiracy of wishful thinking. They say don’t worry, everything’s going to be fine. They did it with the event centre. Millions of dollars later it still hasn’t happened. That bet with your tax dollars failed and really important infrastructure projects got
pushed off year after year.
These politicians seek to stay in power by telling you that all’s well, never been better. Then you get your tax bill and your water bill. What we need to do now in Thunder Bay is recognize the risks we’re facing and to keep focussed on what’s important.
You have not heard from a single politician on this current council how costs might be brought under control so we can fix our roads. Instead, they want to create a new rainfall tax to free up funds for their pet projects.
The need for change has never been clearer.
I am seeking a mandate for a fresh start for Thunder Bay. We will start at the top. That means a smaller city council, 9 instead of 13. It means getting rid of an expensive and redundant ward system.
You know, several years ago, while council’s focus was on getting that event centre built, we had a major flood that damaged the sewage treatment plant.
Our distracted council did not make sure that someone was looking after our interests as those repairs were being made. Now we’re having to sue our own insurance company for $30M dollars....all because we
weren’t paying attention to what’s really important. I will pay attention.