Opinion Letters

LETTER: Timmins Mayor's prophecy self-fulfilling

 

At the North Eastern Ontario Municipal Association (NEOMA) meeting held in Kapuskasing in February Mayor Black of Timmins stated, “If this region falls apart, it’s because the leaders of the region let it fall apart.” What he neglected to acknowledge was that he was the only leader who brought forward an issue that may produce enough disagreement to cause fracturing of the region.

 

Back to  “Let’s Make A Deal”, Mayor Steve Black and his administration massaged and manipulated a formula for (CDSSAB) Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board so many times that the majority of smaller communities outside of Hearst, Kapuskasing and Cochrane lost site of the bigger picture and aligned themselves with Timmins. Smooth Rock Falls appears to have seen Steve Black’s “Shell Game” for what it really is.

I am sure that Hearst and Cochrane can relate to what I see with respect to Kapuskasing and the surrounding communities. As for Opasatika, Harty, Val-Rita and Moonbeam…

Who provides education and sporting facilities for you and your family members at no extra charge? NOT TIMMINS. Who provides your first line general and emergency medical care? NOT TIMMINS. Where do the majority of your citizens earn their livelihood without any tax contribution to the town coffers? NOT TIMMINS.

Now let’s look at some specifics. Opasatika, who contributed financially when you were fighting to keep your mill operating? NOT TIMMINS. Moonbeam, the residents of which community support your ski hill by paying to use it? NOT TIMMINS. Which community allows you to hold a toonie drive to aid in operation your ski hill? NOT TIMMINS. The residents of which community enhance your tax coffers to a great degree by having a cottage at Remi Lake? NOT TIMMINS.

Kapuskasing residents are essentially already paying towards your portion of the CDSSAB fees by having cottages at the Lake. If Kapuskasing were to decide to cut off or charge for what they provide to the outlying communities do you believe Timmins would be there to pick up the shortfall? I THINK NOT.

Additionally, what makes these smaller communities think that should Steve Black and his administration see an advantage for Timmins by throwing these smaller centres under the bus, that they would even give it a second thought?

All you need do is reference the front page story of the Thursday February 23, 2017 Daily Press to see that the taxpayers of Timmins do not believe that Mr. Black and his administration are capable of handling their city’s finances let alone any one else’s.

As for the residents of Kapuskasing… let us not lose sight of the bigger picture.

Each and every one of us is quick criticize our local government and sometimes rightfully so. We tend to zone in on one issue whether it is roads, sporting facilities, senior citizen assistance etc. without considering extenuating circumstances.

Sure Tembec winning a tax appeal has not helped matters with regards to municipal coffers and maybe there are some places where the municipality could tighten its belt, but the “shell game” played by Steve Black and his councillors is equally responsible for things such as a suspension of a new pool for Kapuskasing and possibly other scheduled projects being postponed or cancelled. These two factors will also almost undoubtedly result in a significant residential tax hike.

The difference is the Tembec situation was outside the control of the Town of Kapuskasing. The CDSSAB situation on the other hand, could have had a better resolution for all parties involved.

Should the region fall apart, I say Mr. Black you and your “Let’s Make A Deal Shell Game” is the real reason.

 

Howard Anderson

Kapuskasing, ON.



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