Column: Sudbury faces massive debt unless voters change course


Foreign debt would never have increased from $36 million to over $400 million in just seven years

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Citizens of Greater Sudbury have been openly critical of how city councils since amalgamation have failed to understand the collective opportunity and benefit of cities, as well as the original city limits, for social and economic benefit. of Greater Sudbury.


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A few examples clearly show that this is the case to be considered; degradation of the city center to almost unlivable conditions; withdrawal of services from seven urban centers and rural areas; taxes become punitive, instead of doing community building, lead to a high level of taxpayer frustration.

Instead, the council is obsessed with vanity projects rather than the business of serving communities. The main purpose of any municipality is to provide services to the community.

A city council should function like a board of directors. Members of Council are the Board of Directors of the City of Greater Sudbury. A job description as directors is their function and their duty to the company. Taxpayers are shareholders of the company; directors are accountable to the shareholders of that company and good business practices should prevail.

Shareholders and taxpayers should elect directors with the experience, expertise and technical ability to direct the management of the company effectively, efficiently and in accordance with social and legal requirements, operate and maintain the assets to maximum productivity; protect assets and the value of assets; minimize costs; and keep a cash balance in reserve for contingencies.

Directors must be able to recognize internal and external developments that may impact the company and direct the company appropriately to manage these events. Leadership skills are needed to demonstrate each individual’s expertise in problem-solving, decision-making, and fiduciary responsibility.


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Most corporate directorships are not full-time positions. Most companies hold scheduled meetings to advise the CEO/CAO, their only employee, on how to move forward, compete in the market, deliver services, based on policy and financial capability.

Anything more is political and not corporate.

An example of the role of director versus the role of politician is as follows: competent directors would never declare an emergency of recognized humanitarian crises and a viral pandemic of the current magnitude, and would continue to pursue vanity projects, in preference to those crises. Administrators, knowing past experiences in this area, would have ensured pandemic emergency preparedness.

Vanity projects resulting in service reductions, asset depreciation due to asset maintenance deferrals, increased debt, increased costs, depletion of contingency reserves and inability to s adapting to changing social and economic conditions is the result of a lack of competent administrators.

Competent administrators would never have abandoned financial integrity. Deferring asset maintenance would never have accumulated an asset liability of more than $2.7 billion.

The foreign debt would never have increased from $36 million to over $400 million in just seven years.

The reserve funds could and should have dealt with the two humanitarian crises.

High-visibility home centers, advertising three-quarters of a billion-dollar company, would never be eliminated to save $20,000. These centers would have been improved to attract local economic supporters and innovators.


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If the administrators (municipal councilors) installed by the 2022 municipal elections lack experience, expertise and technical capacity, and continue current practices, by the 2026 elections, the external debt will reach 1.6 billion dollars; infrastructure debt will reach $3.2 billion; the total taxpayer debt burden will reach an unsustainable $4.8 billion. Community bankruptcy will be inevitable and your provincial taxes will be needed for recovery. More importantly, the humanitarian crisis will also continue to worsen.

Tom Price is a member of Our Towns-Our City Institute, a community organization created to inform and engage citizens of the City of Greater Sudbury.


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