During the past four years and during this election period, you have asked for my stance on several topics and decisions related to the City of Greater Sudbury and Ward 8. Included in this website are some brief responses to those questions. Please contact me directly by phone or email for any additional information.
When we speak of roads and particularly infrastructure, we must consider all of the assets the city owns – roads, sewers, water services, buildings - arenas, pools, libraries, fire halls police buildings, fleet and the list goes on. This council has doubled the annual investment in our 3,600 lane kilometres of roads. With these investments, we’re creating opportunities for residents to enjoy our community and to be prepared to take advantage of development opportunities when they come our way.
Our capital budget for 2021 was 144.1 million.
The City of Greater Sudbury has prioritized road rehabilitation on our main roads. i.e., Kingsway, BarryDowne Rd., M.R. 35 and these throughfares certainly required major work; I believe it is time to re-allocate a portion of these funds to the neighbourhood (local) roads and infrastructure improvement.
No one likes to pay taxes – neither do I! But the truth of the matter is, if residents want to maintain or improve current service levels, then taxes are necessary. Municipalities are bound by the province regarding the types of revenue available to collect. Property taxes, investments, user fees and development charges those are revenue streams. Also, we cannot offer more services than the revenue we collect.
Budgets must be balanced.
Noting budgets must be balanced, as inflation increases, and costs increase to run your community, revenue must increase. Take for example, the recent increase in the price of gas. Imagine the impact on our budget when gas prices increase as they have in the past 18 months. Now consider fueling our transit fleet our police cars our public work vehicles and so on. The increase is noticeable. It has an impact on our budget. That’s one small example. All I can say is that I will work hard to eliminate any excesses in the 2023 budget.
In 2019 I presented a council motion to have an outside consulting firm do a “Core Service Review” of the businesses the City of Greater Sudbury deliver. Some of the services such as fire, police and EMS are mandated and must be part of services the City of Greater Sudbury level. Others are not and that is the concern I have – providing services that are not in demand, over serviced or could be better provided by a private company or not for profit group.
The consultants highlighted 10 immediate opportunities for change shedding 4 million dollars from our budget and 5 of those could be implemented within 2 years, saving the corporation $660,000.00. The Core Service Report recommended 100 possible changes to our 58 lines of business. Then the effects of the pandemic altered our municipal work plan for over two years.
As we return to a new normal, I will draw attention to the recommendations presented in the report recommending tax saving measures.
The City of Greater Sudbury has initiated a Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP) which has been fully supported by Council, including myself.
The climate change mitigation plans parallel the City’s climate change mitigation efforts. I am committed to helping attain our goal of net zero emissions by 2050. To help me in this task, I am a participant to ICLEI, a global network of more than 2,500 local and regional governments of elected officials, committed to sustainable urban development. I partake in seminars and workshops to keep abreast of best practices from communities across Canada in attaining our CEEP mandate.
First, this issue is not unique to Greater Sudbury. Communities across northern Ontario and the remaining communities of the province, are experiencing the same housing issues.
There are two parts to this phenomenon afflicting our city. Homelessness (people living on the streets) and Affordable Housing, providing residents living on fixed or low incomes with proper housing.
For the homeless population, the city has provided for over 150 individuals with permanent housing. Additionally, I am in full support of Council’s decision to build a transitional housing unit to assist those with addictions whereby those individuals receive the support they need to transition to permanent residence.
I continue to encourage the revitalization of our housing portfolio to ensure the units we have available meet the changing needs of the community.
Winter road maintenance - road and sidewalk plowing
Traffic calming - speeding, failing to stop
Tree concerns – pruning, removal, stumping
Property Standards – unkempt yards, grass cutting, parking on lawns
Absentee Landlords – rooming houses, student residences
Large Projects – KED, Library, Art Gallery, Multi - Cultural Center* Centre
Trail Plans - maintenance, new development
These are just some of the topics residents of Ward 8 have reached out to me to inquire about or discuss. I am working on many of them on behalf of the Ward and, through Council, for the benefit of the City overall. Residents have also reached out to me with individual concerns about other of the many services provided by the City of Greater Sudbury. I have done my best to address those as well.
I would encourage you to contact me to discuss further and I will make every effort possible to have the concern rectified or explain the policy and rationale behind the practice.