Several issues, from fiscal accountability to OPP costing, cannabis and a ward system were discussed in the fifth and final North Bay Votes 2018 councillor candidate debate on Country 600 CKAT Tuesday morning.

During a discussion on zero percent tax increases, Bill Vrebosch said it’s nothing more than a deferral.

He also says a suggestion by fellow candidate Miles Peters about measured performance amounts to micro-management.

“That’s why you have people who are in a position to manage them, you have a CAO, who is the only employee of a council,” Vrebosch says.

“I absolutely disagree,” says Peters.  “We certainly need better control over activity on a daily basis…”

“We can’t go on a daily basis and check every worker…” interjected Vrebosch.

“I’m not saying every worker, but there’s systems available and we have them,” Peters says.

Alz Lauziere says a zero percent increase is possible.

“I believe the money is there, again you just have to re-appropriate some funding and increase revenue.  North Bay is a business, it should be run more like a business,” he says.

Pointing to last year’s budget, Derek Shogren says agencies, boards and commissions have to be taken into account too.

“The city actually had a zero percent increase overall in the city operation.  Is it possible, absolutely. But, when we combine the boards and commissions it then went up to 1.3 per cent,” he says.

Cindy Ciancio, who earlier called for the city’s financials to be easily accessible, says a zero percent increase is possible.

“We look at our wants versus our needs and spend what we have, not overspend.  Maybe pay down the debt, if we have a debt, I’m still trying to figure that out,” she says.

During a discussion on retaining and attracting youth, Ciancio said she would like to see a more positive attitude in the city.

But, she also says there could be opportunities with legalized marijuana.

“Somebody could open a production plant, we could even have a hemp farm, some factory for that, we have to have jobs for the young people,” she says.

Derek Shogren says the university and college are helping with the programs and supports they’re offering.

“Everyone’s got a different skill set, no job is a bad job, we have to have jobs for people with high school education, university, college, trades,” he says.

Lauziere says small businesses that are currently in operation need to be supported.

“If ten per cent of those could just hire one person, that’d be 500 jobs. That’s what we’re looking at right now, to keep what we have, no more tax increases for businesses let’s help them to employ,” he says.

On top of building the trades, Peters says there’s another way to build the economy.

“The best initiatives have come right from our local citizens, when we think back to Jarvis Clark, Miller Technology, these are all homegrown boys that have had ideas and built companies from the ground up,” he says.

Vrebosch says there needs to be more positivity and referred, without naming them, to the now disbanded North Bay Taxpayers Association.

“It’s not their ideas, it’s their methodology. I’ve never stopped any person from coming to a council meeting and I hope nobody ever stops coming to council meetings with ideas, they’ll make you an instant genius,” he says.

Country 600 CKAT is also hosting a mayoral debate on Tuesday, October 16th.

Election Day is October 22nd.


To listen to the full debate CLICK HERE.

Filed under: North Bay Votes 2018