Bring Back the Ombudsman
The Ombudsman provides a free service to municipalities to investigate closed door meetings when a resident makes a formal complaint. The current Council first refused to co-operate with one of the Ombudsman's investigations into Council activity, then voted to fire the Ombudsman in favour of a different investigator which charges Greater Sudbury a flat annual fee, plus over $150 per hour for work on any investigations. This is a blatant abuse of our tax dollars and a sign that current Councillors are not ready to co-operate with anyone. Mike Jakubo will move to reintstate the Ombudsman as soon as possible to restore trust in what should be an open and public process.
New Rules for Healthy Community Initiative Funds
Better known throughout the Greater Sudbury as "a councillor's slush funds" or "HCI Funds", these funds have been a sensitive issue for many. There is no doubt that each ward can benefit greatly from having a set amount of money guaranteed to be spent there each year. HCI funds are part of the Community Development budget and in particular have replaced much of the regular funding for parks and recreation. Every ward has failing parks, playgrounds, outdoor rinks tennis courts and arenas (and the list goes on) so to simply say that the HCI funds should be taken away is not fair. But what does need to be changed is the administration of these funds. Mike Jakubo will move to put the administration of HCI funds in the hands of City Parks and Leisure staff to ensure that there is no direct association to a Councillor. The City will have a current list of parks and recreation needs across each ward in order of priority and will ensure that projects are funded in that order and equitably across each ward so one community cannot benefit from them more than another over the course of a four year election cycle. Let's make these funds they truly should be and help promote the health of our communities and Greater Sudbury as a whole.
In the interest of openness, Mike will be posting Council Blogs after each meeting to bring you closer to the decision making process for our City.