Mark Brown 10/25/2013 5:05:41 AM Report
Dear citizens of Sault Ste. Marie,
At last night's SSM Association of Ratepayers 2014 BUDGET - PUBLIC INPUT SESSION there was a lively discussion about how ratepayers can give our City Council at least one doable tax DECREASE idea.
There was one idea that was agreed to by all meeting participants, and in support of that idea I would like to get YOUR INPUT on the following two questions:
1. What is the ONE ITEM that you would like City Council to stop "wasting" money on, if anything, to help make our city better?
2. What is the ONE ITEM that you would like City Council to spend money on, if anything, to help make our city better?
You can leave your answer here in the VRoom, or email me, in confidence, at email@example.com with your answers.
The leadership of the SSM Association of Ratepayers has asked me to NOT report on the main 2014 Budget idea that came out of last night's meeting which North Bay's Mark King offered to the SSMAR and which he said, via Skype, has been used to keep taxes low in North Bay for several years.
Although I don't agree that holding back the SSMAR main 2014 Budget idea, which was agreed to by all meeting participants, is beneficial to the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie, I am granting their request to not report the idea, THIS ONE TIME, because the SSM Association Ratepayers have been volunteering their significant time and effort for several years to help make our community a better place, and their meetings are not governed by legislation that require them to be open and reportable like City Council Committees are, therefore, I feel that the SSMAR deserve the opportunity to release their information on a timeline that they feel is most beneficial to our community THIS ONE TIME.
Although I understand and agree with citizens' privacy concerns, especially in our 'small town environment', and I also understand that remaining anonymous at meetings gives citizens the opportunity to speak more freely, I will NOT be granting the SSMAR the ability to hide their IDEAS AND DISCUSSIONS from the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie ever again unless I have agreed, in writing, to not report on those IDEAS AND DISCUSSIONS before going in to any of their meetings.
I hope I have made myself perfectly clear on this matter.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
P.S. If you would like to know what the confidential 2014 Budget Idea that came out of last night's meeting was, please contact the SSMAR at firstname.lastname@example.org
David Poluck 10/25/2013 6:05:06 AM Report
The idea was agreed on as a theoretical proposal, Theories require research. At this point there is no plan just the idea.
The information from the last two years needs and is being reviewed in order to garner the facts on the points of interest brought up and written on the board.
Although the idea sounds good when everyone is spit balling there is nothing to announce until the facts are checked and questions are asked and answered with the assistance of city finance and the finance committee.
If the idea pans out as doable then the finance group of the SAR can roll out a completed fact checked complete idea to council for consideration.
We want to create meaningful dialogue and workable ideas based on what we can do not what we can't.
Better to work the problem and do the methodical research than haste and waste!
David Poluck 10/25/2013 6:13:23 AM Report
If you do want to find out what is being researched or wish to volunteer time to help with research either call me at 705-253-8853 or email at email@example.com
soowat 10/25/2013 7:13:54 AM Report
You are starting to sound like someone with a hidden agenda. Threatening an organization of volunteers,whose sole agenda appears to be doing what is best for SSM makes me wonder what it might be.
Are you planning to run for council? Are you planning on running for other elected office? If the answer to those questions is negative then I am concerned that you are content to be a loose cannon or otherwise pain in the posterior. I hope the last possibility is incorrect,because if it isn't you run the risk of becoming irrelevant.
Mark Brown 10/25/2013 7:17:52 AM Report
As I have pointed out numerous times to our City Council, developing plans by experts is all well and good, exactly like you the SSMAR is proposing to do, but plans should be defined by WHAT CITIENS WANT FOR OUR CITY!!!
You, and City Council, should be consulting CITIZENS FIRST!!!
So that you might have the "grass roots" support of citizens for your plan, like that those participants suggested at the meeting last night, rather than attempting to do the work of our EXPERT city staff and going hat in hand to City Council for permission.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
David Poluck 10/25/2013 8:10:15 AM Report
"You, and City Council, should be consulting CITIZENS FIRST!!!"
Last night was an opportunity for getting people together.
Citizens spoke discoursed and spit balled and idea was brought forward that now requires research.
Is it the only possible idea..no.
But it is one that stood out last night we wish to explore to see if feasible.
We could argue method all day. This is how the organizers of SSMAR have always done anything we put our collective efforts towards. And it works!
I would say that more people"Grass Roots" would support a well reasoned and researched idea that includes options and information. We do the research so that we also may become experts on the topic so that our city staff and ourselves can have a meaningful dialogue based on facts and information that all can see and follow.
Our goal is to work with council and staff to move forward on viable initiatives. No begging..no asking permission..no hat in hand.
We are all in this together.
Mark is hiding nothing. I have always found him to be straight forward in his approach.
We just have a disagreement about method
right wing 10/25/2013 8:17:00 AM Report
You are correct, he is hiding nothing....
As Usual 10/25/2013 8:18:02 AM Report
Mark, with all due respect, you didn't the question put to you by soowat.
You gave a response like a politician when a simple yes or no would suffice.
right wing 10/25/2013 8:27:50 AM Report
He can't run for municipal office as you would have to be able to enter city hall.
soowat 10/25/2013 8:31:42 AM Report
I hope you are right about your faith in M.B. and are not doing a municipal version of Chamberlain back in the '30's
Wisenheimer 10/25/2013 8:49:07 AM Report
Idea ... Stop trying to be business leaders when you are not. Stop throwing money at "old boats", "old houses, "old streets'. Stop wanting to pave streets repair sidewalks, and do all kinds of work that the private sector is more than capable and eager to do. When you do contract out work, don't pick the same loser outfits. Use proven professionals. Don't restrict yourself to use only union labour, when awarding contracts. Again use professionals with track records. Stop buying huge buses that run around with a couple of riders. Stop wasting valuable city acres with uneconomical solar panel farms that only cause our PUC bills to rise. Stop making political decisions that just get reversed by the OMB. Don't encourage the PUC to spend one more dime other than to repair their infrastructure.
David Poluck 10/25/2013 8:53:56 AM Report
Soowat, No, no appeasement.
flyhawk25 10/25/2013 9:32:36 AM Report
We've seen two firms replacing streets in my area this year. On my street Palmer
Paving have been wonderful.
On Queen St. those bums screwed up again.
I'm not sure why the latter were so bad but I have nothing but nice things to say about PP.Nor do I know who's union or not.
Contrary to what some may think, while I'm a union guy, I also believe in free enterprise and fiscal responsibility.
Keep the goods contractors,dump and/or fine the bad ones and learn from it.
Spellchecker 10/25/2013 10:02:48 AM Report
Stausquo, so that's the way it is. In your world we'd all have to march to your drumbeat or end up in the dungeon. THANK GOD you don't rule the roost.
Spellchecker 10/25/2013 10:05:11 AM Report
Statusquo, excuse the error in your handle. I'm usually more careful.
Mark Brown 10/25/2013 10:41:40 AM Report
First, I am glad that you have such strong feelings about what I am doing. Thank goodness apathy is not your problem, there's way too much of that, and I appreciate your questions of me very much!
You said, "You are starting to sound like someone with a hidden agenda [Mark]." I completely understand why you get that feeling, soowat, it is a completely natural feeling.
It was a hard decision for me to keep the SSMRA's North-Bay-proven idea hidden from the VRoom readers, and as I have told City Council many times, "closed meetings cause nothing but suspicion, rumour and mistrust", just like you quite rightfully expressed about my motives in your comments above soowat.
There is simply no down side to open and transparent meetings, and open ants parent information.
But since I have given the SSMAR my word (above) that they can release their North-Bay-proven 2014 Budget Idea when they want to release it, I will honour my promise, soowat, because my word is as good as gold.
To answer your questions, I wlll not me running for Municipal Office in 2014, and I will not be running for Provincial or Federal Office because this stuff gives my wife ulcers, and she is way more important to me than any job.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
realitycheck 10/25/2013 10:58:16 AM Report
"Don't restrict yourself to use only union labour, when awarding contracts."
You may not know that for most contracts the city can only use firms that have union contracts because of a labour board decision years ago. It sucks.
flyhawk25 10/25/2013 11:07:47 AM Report
MB...there's no need to run for office.What you are currently doing is important.
Generally the local media just is not doing zip to keep city council accountable.
Don't kid yourself. They know it and too many count on it.
A free country demands probative questions for its politicians.Here's that word again - transparency.
Keep doing what you are doing. Along with DP you are making some of them squirm.
We elected them not canonized them.
Just Curious 10/25/2013 11:32:34 AM Report
Reality and Wisen; I beleive the city is at the moment trying to rectify that mistake,and mistake it was..
Mark Brown 10/25/2013 11:39:45 AM Report
I appreciate your support and encouragement of what I am doing to help give citizens access to our information very much.
I wish you were on City Council, fly, then maybe I wouldn't have to do what I am doing.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
theprotector 10/25/2013 12:01:49 PM Report
and the idiots speak!
soowat 10/25/2013 12:15:19 PM Report
You certainly proved your statement
Mark: I will assume you are a man of your word until/unless you prove differently
As Usual 10/25/2013 12:20:37 PM Report
Wisenheimer 10/25/2013 12:28:07 PM Report
the protector .. brain?
Hunter101 10/25/2013 12:34:37 PM Report
The protector.... Dorsal hollow nerve cord?
As Usual 10/25/2013 12:36:49 PM Report
Wisen - Your opinion please. I bought 3,000 shares of Surge at the high of the day on April 22. Do you think it's time to sell or should I hold on?
Wisenheimer 10/25/2013 1:00:40 PM Report
As usual ... hold. buy more on weakness.
Just announced 2 juicy acquisitions and increased the dividend. Wants to grow. Pays you while you wait.
Plan B. .. depending on how much you have made .. could be wise to take half off and play your remaining shares with free money. Can't go broke this way!
Mark Brown 10/25/2013 1:12:43 PM Report
I have never sought to be relevant, I have only ever tried to give Sault citizens access to our information so that we can help to make Sault Ste. Marie the best place it can possibly be.
Some don't believe that citizens should be involved in that process (read City Hall) :(
By the way soowat, I really didn't appreciate the Hitler (Chamberlain) reference. Why do you seem to hate me so much?
Sincerely and Respectfully,
As Usual 10/25/2013 1:19:27 PM Report
Wisen, I saw that. I was mulling over plan B as the stock has little more than doubled from my original purchase price. I put in a sell order for half at $7.20.
I was seriously looking at WiLan for a short term trade after the decapitation yesterday. I think I'll put a bid in at $3.25.
flyhawk25 10/25/2013 1:20:42 PM Report
Another day and here we go again with the adolescent name calling.
There is a world of newsworthy stuff out there.Why not find it and comment?
Jimssm 10/25/2013 1:59:57 PM Report
Canada's national debt has increased by nearly $5,000,000.00 SO FAR TODAY !
flyhawk25 10/25/2013 2:06:07 PM Report
Jim...not to worry. Harper's all over it. Everything will be fine. And if it isn't he'll still be fine.
Boy, I saw him act like a leader yesterday in parliament.
Screw the debt. We are okay.
soowat 10/25/2013 2:24:01 PM Report
I was making no attempt to compare you to Hitler. To me, Chamberlain is famous as an example of what may happen if you try to appease anyone,not just Hitler.
Hunter101 10/25/2013 2:31:21 PM Report
fly, why should Harper answer to an opposition who is just trying to make him look bad, answer questions he has already provided answers to and justify a job which they cannot do better themselves?
I would ignore an idiot asking a question as well.
cathyh 10/25/2013 2:41:36 PM Report
Hunter 101: They're not trying to "make him look bad", they're trying to get him to tell the truth. Do you think Harper has read Charlotte's Web?
Just Curious 10/25/2013 3:14:12 PM Report
Hunter101;the last line of your post is kinda self-explanetory,is it not...:)
On another tack,I got some realy bad news today and as I was busy feeling sorry for myself I read the news about another major earthquake in Japan... My problems now pale by comparison as do most of the other bitchers problems on this site.This world is falling apart,folks.. Japan hasn't really got a handle on the last quake and now a new one...God bless Canada. No matter what our problems,at least the ground doesn't move around all the time...:)
learningaswego 10/25/2013 3:22:55 PM Report
The HYPOCRISY of the usual Harper-hating media and the opposition goofs would be hilarious, if it weren't so blatantly disgraceful.
For months, the opposition has been howling about the evils of the 3 senators who allegedly played fast and loose with the expense rules - all because their hope was to attach it to PM Harper. And the msm of course plays right along, because they'll jump on anything - however miniscule, that they think they can play which supports their anti-conservative, Harper - is - the - evil - spawn - of - Satan agenda.
So for months they have been all over the evil 3, for their alleged transgressions.
Now, all of a sudden, the opposition and the msm are the 3 senators best buddies - now why would that be? Because, for now, it helps with the anti-Harper agenda.
Who knows which side of the fence they'll be on next week, eh? If the senators are suspended, they'll of course howl how "unfair" it is.
If the senators aren't suspended, of course they'll howl "why not"?
The ever gullible Harper-hating media will of course fall right in line.
Is it any wonder the media and politicians are considered at the bottom of the food chain? Rightly so.
learningaswego 10/25/2013 3:26:30 PM Report
PM Harper has answered all the questions, directly and succinctly.
The opposition rsoles just don't like the answers, because: a) it doesn't fit their agenda; and b) they know the Harper-hating media will give them all the face time they want, in their efforts to try to discredit the PM.
cathyh 10/25/2013 3:29:20 PM Report
learningaswego: Do you think? Maybe you should think again. Harper is deciding now to open up and tell a little of the truth. The longer they are able to inquire the more they will uncover. Listen well, I think this will be a learning experience for you.
steelworker 10/25/2013 3:42:05 PM Report
The bottom line is that the "Three Stooges" took advantage of vagaries in the Senate rules and peeled the taxpayers for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It doesn't matter if they are Cons or Libs;they are nothing less than thieves who are now playing the victim in front of a sympathetic media. Hopefully P.M. Harper sticks to his guns and has these three ingrates tossed from the Senate and charged with fraud.
flyhawk25 10/25/2013 3:46:21 PM Report
To his credit Harper handled it well.I just question why he waited so long.
Now it's up to the opposition to ask the right questions.
So far Mulcair is giving Trudeau a lesson in how to handle question period.
learningaswego 10/25/2013 3:57:13 PM Report
I could guess why. PM Harper probably views this whole charade as a complete waste of time, and of course taxpayers's money - that so many politicians and bureaucrats are consumed by this. I'm quite sure PM Harper would consider budget bills, deficit reductions, EU trade deals - the real and pressing business of the Canadian government - are what all these yahoos SHOULD be spending their time, and thus taxpayers's money on.
But because, as Steelworker put it so well, the msm is so consumed with its bash - Harper - at - every - turn agenda, then THAT is why it is getting so much attention.
In any other jurisdiction in the world, this (3-4 out of 130 senators overspending on their expenses and then agreeing to pay it back) would barely be a blip on the media's radar, let alone a "scandal".
It's only a "scandal", because the opposition parties and their bedmates/whores in the msm have decided to try to make it one.
Jimssm 10/25/2013 4:10:19 PM Report
Here is Opposition leader Stephen Harper commenting on PM Stephen Harper....
Just Curious 10/25/2013 4:12:32 PM Report
C'mon folks....We elect polititions to screw us,we know they are gonna do it as soon as they start running, we know they are gonna do it when they get in,no matter who gets in, and we know they are gonna do it to us as long as they are in. And the only time they stop screwing us is when we elect the next bunch to screw us.. What's really pissing most people off is the fact that we didn't ELECT this bunch to screw us,plain and simple...:)Politics 101.....
steelworker 10/25/2013 4:14:30 PM Report
I sent a check to "Save the Whales" but it was cashed by Mike Duffy.
Mr. Poster 10/25/2013 4:32:21 PM Report
This whole senate scandal is boring...time to move on. You all know no good will come of all this. The senators will save their fellow senators in case the mounties might come after THEM too.
Resident 10/25/2013 4:50:18 PM Report
steelworker: Your comment adds what to the discussion?
steelworker 10/25/2013 4:56:05 PM Report
It was a totally facetious comment used to "chum" the waters of debate. Discuss amongst yourselves. Also I think that the Duffster is a bloviating blow-hard who will one day rupture his blow-hole (hopefully in a jail cell).
flyhawk25 10/25/2013 6:21:15 PM Report
For the whatever time.
The senate mess is not so much about the money or even the bipartisan corruption in my mind.
It's about Harper's handling of it. If someone can't see that then we are even worse off than I'd hoped.
We all p;ay the freight and have a right to answers and leadership.I keep hoping I'll see that.
Hunter101 10/25/2013 9:28:31 PM Report
Dollar stores don't want to let Vets sell poppies at their locations.
What kind of ungrateful morons live in this country? Shame on these idiots.
joewho999 10/25/2013 10:08:57 PM Report
Poppies Are not to be sold, as I understand donations only.
Hunter101 10/25/2013 10:21:24 PM Report
Right, so why not let them?
Wisenheimer 10/25/2013 11:10:24 PM Report
The Dollar stores will be begging to get supplies of poppies for Monday Morning.
Top brass will spending the weekend deciding how best to get their heads out of their butts.
Wisenheimer 10/25/2013 11:17:15 PM Report
Here is Sootoday poster Jimssm commenting on Stephen Harper. " I hate Harper, I hate Harper, I really hate Stephen Harper. Stephen Harper is a bad man and boy do I ever hate him. I hate in the morning and in the afternoon, I hate him in the evening underneath the moon.".
And so on.
Jimssm 10/26/2013 8:14:41 AM Report
It's just a video....
Why so sensitive ??