Council engages in lively debate with Rate Payer's AssociationTuesday, October 01, 2013 by: Jamie LyleCity Council was embroiled in an active debate on Monday evening with the North Bay Rate Payers Association with regards to how the city is procuring its purchasing and tendering agreements.
Councillors took both sides of the issue, with a difference of opinion that became, at times, simmering.
The debate began as councillors heard a presentation from a representative of the association, who was concerned about the lack of scrutinizing over city expenditures and the outsourcing of contracts to firms outside of the city, actions which could be construed by some as “leaving the gate wide open for personal bias, alliances, favouritism and abuse.”
While some councillors took the allegations as criticism that bordered on libel, other councillors encouraged the public to democratically come forward and speak to their concerns as to how the city collects their money to perform their duties.
The presentation put a direct focus on council and their ability to control spending, much to the irritation of some councillors, who felt the presenter's line of questioning was unjustified.
During the regular meeting, council approved the transfer of a 2013 ASO (group benefit health coverage) refund in the amount of $253,000, to be held in the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve.
Council also approved a sum of $3,000,000 for a Leachate Treatment Program at the Merrick Landfill Site, otherwise known as the City Dump.
Also, for their consideration, Council was forwarded a report for the operations and recommendations for the City's operating budget, along with the ongoing maintenance costs for the Water and Sewer department.
Various rezoning applications were also submitted before council, including an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board for the Greenwood Avenue Baptist Church.
Some Greenwood residents have objected to a proposed rezoning application that would allow the church to be converted into a daycare