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Mayor Al McDonald resigns from Cassellholme board

Board decides to issue municipal levies in four payments at this evening’s meeting
Cassellholme's board met this evening, announced Al McDonald's resignation, and decided to allow the municipal levy to be paid out in four installments / File photo

Cassellholme’s board of directors met at five this evening. Before launching into the agenda, board chair Chris Mayne broke the news that they will be short one member.

“Al McDonald has unfortunately submitted his resignation,” Mayne said. “I expect at the next North Bay council meeting there will be another person appointed to fill that now vacant position from the city of North Bay.”

“I would like to thank Al for stepping forward,” he said, adding that “I appreciate the concerns he had in balancing his responsibilities in both positions,” as North Bay's Mayor and Cassellholme board member.

McDonald did not attend the meeting.

McDonald's departure is the second member of North Bay council to resign in the last five weeks. Councillor Tanya Vrebosch also resigned in July, replaced by McDonald. Vrebosch told her colleagues the decision to step away was based on the "governance" of the board and was not related to the redevelopment. There were clearly philosophical differences on the board's direction.

See: Lack of support from North Bay Council pushes Cassellholme redevelopment to the brink

Despite McDonald’s departure, the business of the board continued, and discussion soon turned to details of the levy the board is issuing to the partnering municipalities who share the costs of constructing the $121 million dollar project.

See: It's a $121M+ price tag for Cassellholme project to move forward

“The board passed the levy motion at the end of July,” explained Dave Smits. “The only thing we need now to be clarifying is the approach to the levy.”

After considering some options, including levying the municipalities upfront “for their proportionate share,” the board decided to break up the payments.

Board member Terry Kelly mentioned that an upfront payment would have “a major impact” on the municipalities and was in favour of lessening the blow.

“One of the concerns with the lump sum levy upfront” explained Mayne, is that it “could be a little onerous on municipalities.”

“What we’re considering proposing is installments toward the payment,” he said, before putting forth an amendment “that the levy be financed over four installments” with specific dates to be confirmed by staff.

The board voted to accept the motion.

See: Opinion: Dave Dale, Cassellholme conundrum deserves closer look