Editor's note: Mr. McKee writes in response to the BayToday story What should North Bay do with its casino revenue?
To the editor:
1. Do not co-mingle these funds ever with the budget/budgeting process. Treat it as a separate discretionary account
2. Determine, in order of preference, major strategic focus points for dispensing these funds, eg direct to solving homeless issues, beautifying the city, supporting major infrastructure projects, furthering sporting initiatives, or ongoing professional promotion of the city, to name some possible areas of focus.
3. Take the time to involve the populace in defining and prioritizing these categories by polling, town meetings, etc .and write a short clear plan identifying short and long-term objectives. No need to rush to spend it without some goals in mind
4. Define, and put in place, a management structure empowered and accountable to manage the funding process. This management team would be accountable to the existing (at the time) council and can include a certain number of council members as part of the team, but it must be able to function independently of the council.
Lots of work and creativity are needed here to make sure the casino funds, long term, have the desired impacts.