Mayor addresses citizens, apologizes for council budget clashWednesday, December 12, 2012 by: Jamie LyleCouncil saw Mayor Al McDonald make an impassioned speech Monday evening during the final regular city council meeting of 2012.
The Mayor, in what some might say was his best speech yet, began council extolling the virtues of the city and the need that councillors and taxpayers need to keep the faith in the positive growth of the city.
With last week’s concerns put before council regarding the large sudden job losses in the city, juxtaposed against higher taxes to pay the higher costs of municipal services.
The city had many talking of the stretching of resources and costs beyond what taxpayers can reasonably be expected to pay and still remain living in the City of North Bay.
Mayor Al’s speech spoke to the attitude that the current situations are surmountable with a little positivity and time.
Along with this, he pointed out to the audience that recommendations for a three to five year plan were underway as well as studies into how budgeting and resources can be used more efficiently.
With council’s strategic vision focusing on four core objectives (economic growth, job creation, a healthy community and fiscal responsibility) as a cornerstone to the mayor’s agenda to strengthen the community.
McDonald based his argument on the underlying concern that council will compound the problems of rising costs and force future ratepayers to fund the wrong choices (to cut) today if they don’t stay the course on maintaining infrastructure and planning at the city’s current budget level.
Alluding to the sign of discontent within council as a healthy indicator that the council is indeed debating and leaving no fiscal possibility off the table, McDonald says "each of us was elected to represent the best interests of the citizens of North Bay."
While attitudes and points of view undoubtedly find countless shades of grey in council’s many debates, North Bay continues to move forward and hopefully gain positive insight and ground as to the best course forward for council and the citizens.
Mayor McDonald’s address in it's entirety Here