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2014-01-28 at MIDNIGHT

City's debt management policy pushed back until March

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
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Some councillors have concerns over the way the city wants to manage its debt.

City council was being asked to approve a debt management policy that would fall in line with the province's Municipal Infrastructure Strategy and follow "intergenerational equity", which spreads the cost of things like roads over years so that all those who use it pay a share. The policy would also see that the city's debentures not exceed 10 per cent of its overall budget.

But councillors said they simply didn't have enough information.

"I understand the policy but I don’t see the numbers behind it,” Coun. Mark Bentz said. “We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Coun. Linda Rydholm said she wasn' convinced either.

Councillors referred the recommendation until March but not before Coun. Trevor Giertuga asked his colleagues to read their agendas over the weekend and get the information they need from administration before coming to meetings.

"Rather than coming here and talking for an hour and a half then asking for more information,” he said.

The referral means that a $10 million request for capital projects will also be referred until March. The report also included taking on $8.2 million for Phase 2 of the Golf Links Road/Junot project, which will now be discussed through the upcoming budget meetings.

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Comments

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Tbaylifer 1 says:
Why take out a loan when there is money in the bank we have saved to renew the city? What child born today will be paying municipal taxes in 20 years? Nothing more then a con job. Pay for items with the money we have saved, no loan.
1/28/2014 6:27:54 AM
yqtyqt says:
Or simply cut spending to what we can afford and limit borrowing to dire necessities.
1/28/2014 1:39:57 PM
Just Sayin' says:
So we talk about raising taxes before we discuss how we can save money?
1/28/2014 7:57:11 AM
bttnk says:
Thank you Trevor Giertuga!! It is so blatantly obvious that this council comes to meetings unprepared. Then they continually delay decisions because they say they require more information. The truth is, the information is there, they just don't bother preparing. And I'll be honest, it is the same councillors nearly every meeting.
1/28/2014 8:22:03 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
Maybe if you were not spending so much money you wouldn't have this problem. STOP SPENDING! If you are having problems now then just STOP the building of the new arena.
1/28/2014 8:40:24 AM
progress now says:
"Intergenerational equity"?

Perhaps the title of this story should read "City management pushes debt forward two generations."

Also, Mr. Giertuga confirms what many have been saying for some time - city council doesn't keep up with its reading.

Did April Fools come early this year?

1/28/2014 8:43:53 AM
Papercut says:
I have a question for the City Counsil and Administration; as well as any of the Economics experts that post here:

Can you reasonably expect these annual 2 to 3% tax hikes, as well as the 6-7% water hikes, and ???% Hydro hikes to continue into perpetuality?

I am no economist, BUT, I see the writing on the wall...the people in power obviously do not. It is all going to be OK though, as the world economy is about to make a dramatic shift...and I have a feeling we will have a BIG "reset"......hopefully the new powers-that-be will not make the same mistakes as these fools.
1/28/2014 9:41:49 AM
yqtyqt says:
You don`t need to be an economist to understand basic math. Spend more than you earn and you have to borrow. Spend more than you earn for long periods of time and you`re in trouble.

If the City follows the provincial lead, then we`re in deep, deep trouble. Believe me, the province are heading towards a train wreck each day, with a hand full of left wing losers at the wheel.

Who in the future will pay the government credit card bills of today. No reasonable person would manage their own money this way, although there are a few who would cite that governments don`t need to operate as custodians of taxpayers money. Nobody would pass their overdue credit card bills onto their grandchildren.

We have enough high priced experts working at city hall. But I would encourage them to work on behalf of all taxpayers, current and future. Not simply follow the provincial leap over the debt cliff.
1/28/2014 1:36:16 PM
yqtyqt says:
"City council was being asked to approve a debt management policy that would fall in line with the province's Municipal Infrastructure Strategy`. Yikes, as if having the provincial Liberals establishing debt management policies isn`t enough to scare you.

The city has gone from Pay as you Go policies (which would hold the new debt acquired to that which was retired) which was put in place at the best of times, to spreading the debt out over future users is risky. Thunder bay was built and maintained with manageable and conservative fiscal policies. Despite what you believe, and what professionals are telling us, we aren`t in the best of times.

But seeing as we have an addicted spend free council in place, they feel free to commit future generations of taxpayers for projects that were otherwise financed as needed. NO surprise, they won`t be around when the debts become due.

But following the provincial lead, is simply suicidal and stupid.
1/28/2014 9:59:15 AM
progress now says:
This is a good point:

"Despite what you believe, and what professionals are telling us, we aren`t in the best of times."

It is professionals with a vested interest that tell us this. Those without, like university professors, say something quite different.

What you say here is something thats needs to be said.
1/28/2014 6:14:10 PM
Chaos says:
If this is the debt policy you can be sure that the flow of youth out of Thunder Bay continues....the highest taxed city in the province and rising...real shame
1/28/2014 12:05:39 PM
progress now says:
I have a suggestion for the city communications group respecting the campaign to attract new residents. How about a slogan:

Come to Thunder Bay - your debt is already here!

Catchy?
1/28/2014 6:04:48 PM
tsb says:
The flow of youth out of this city has to do with how negative the place is. When you're 20 years old and you look at what this city is, what kind of people live here, and what kind of future is in store, you realize that if you stay, you're going to waste your future. Even if there were jobs, even if there were careers, there are no other opportunities here for us.

This city isn't bad when it comes to just getting a job and existing, but as a place to actually live, as a place to enjoy life, Thunder Bay is a miserable failure, and most of the people that live here not only seem content to keep it that way, but are willing to put up a fight to keep it that way.
1/28/2014 7:04:04 PM
Jack Frost says:
Absolutely SHAMEFUL !!

LOL !!
1/28/2014 6:23:50 PM
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