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'It is important for all of us to work together'

Wednesday, January 02, 2013   by: SooToday.com Staff

SooToday.com received the following letter today from Ward 5 City Councillor, Frank Fata.

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In a December 10 article, Sault Star journalist Elaine Della-Mattia was discussing the issue about our current Council, with the headline, Council gets along, but where are the big projects?

The article has some validity and the question definitely has some merit.

It should be pointed out that it's often been said that the best thing politicians, especially Municipal ones, can do is stay out of the way of free enterprise and let the process take its course.

City Council can pave the way, do the proper rezoning required to allow development to move forward or expand and simply be the catalyst that's required to create progress and growth in our Community.

The end result, we have to hope and expect to work towards, is a greater tax base and job creation, especially for our youth to land reasonably good jobs and remain in their home town.

But, City Council can't do it on its own.

For projects to move forward, cooperation is required from other factions.

These include developers with viable ideas, support from upper levels of government, and eventual decisions made by City Council where local tax dollars may have to be put on the table.

But, before City Council can make any kind of move resulting in solid decisions that will move this Community forward, another faction has to be included in this equation and that is the expertise and support from a well funded agency, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

The EDC has to be a major player in this whole exercise, because, after all, they are the experts and reducing the risk of failure is extremely important for our Community's financial welfare.

As we approach the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, I do believe we have to be aggressive in moving this City forward.

But we need further cooperation.

This time its from our neighbours.

This includes all residents, but especially their leadership, from Prince Township, Dennis Township, Aweres Township, Echo Bay and our First Nations neighbours.

Many of you work in Sault Ste. Marie, use our infrastructure, such as our libraries and arenas and contribute to our health services (SAH).

So, it is important for all of us to work together, combine our resources and ideas so we all can benefit from whatever good fortunes come our way.

In other words, if there is economic development and job creation, we will "all" benefit, as a larger community.

Now I would like to take a moment and reference a few goals during these final two years of this term (in no particular order) that, I feel, we either can complete or continue to work on:

1. Continue to create a positive environment for our major employers (ie. Essar Steel, Flakeboard, Boniferro Works, etc.) We must sustain what we have as well as move forward on other potential projects.

2. City Council, with the EDC, must continue to be aggressive to keep or expand on the employment front in our Government agencies (ie. OLG, Passport office, Immigration office, etc.) We can't sit back and be complacent. Otherwise, I can assure you, we will be left behind. Our MP and MPP have and must continue to play a major roll in this very important sector of our economic well being.

3. There has to be plan for a solid level of cooperation between Sault Ste. Marie and its neighbours. We are isolated, as it is, so it is important that we come together and work as one entity. Working in isolation or being self serving will not work. As an example, to improve our traffic flow, I think we must sit down with our First Nations neighbours and MPP and see if we can get the bi-pass through that, I'm sure we all agree, has been long over do. Also, we need cooperation to develop our lands adjoining our First nations properties. Cooperation is vital. If the City benefits and expands, we will all benefit, especially in job creation. Clearly, it only makes common sense for the City and its neighbours to work together.

4. We lose a lot of our disposable income when people travel over the International Bridge because of such things as lower gas prices and multiple casinos. Sadly, this is not reciprocated from our Michigan neighbours to the same degree. This again, is a personal choice and part of free enterprise but perhaps Tourism SSM, along with the Chamber of Commerce, can come up with some creative ideas. We must continue to work on becoming a destination location (ie. from towns like Wawa, Chapleau, Thessalon, Blind River, and SSM, Michigan).

5. We want to continue to encourage development on various sites in the City. These include the St. Mary's Paper site, the old hospital site, the brewery site and of course, the Gateway site. Though we can't control the actions or inactions of the potential developers, we can pave the way in any possible way we can (ie. rezoning, severances, bringing developers together,etc.). Again, the EDC must play a very vital roll in this extremely important exercise.

6. Our work continues and is on going in the ever important areas of Doctor Recruitment,  the Arts, Alternative Energy and again, youth retention. This has to be an ongoing program which we can not let up on.

7. Property taxes must be a priority for this City Council. We must be diligent, transparent and accountable for our actions. It's obvious that taxpayers have continued to send us this message, loud and clear.

Yes, Elaine, I agree that this council has truly left the impression that they work as a team.

I can certainly agree that there has been a very healthy level of respect and cooperation within this current Council.

Personally, I have found it to be an honour to serve with these members.

On a more personal level, I have enjoyed a very positive level of respect and teamwork between myself and my Ward 5 colleague, Councillor Marchy Bruni.

There are a number of potential projects that are at various levels of completion.

We have to remain steadfast and apply full cooperation.

We may not control 100 percent of the outcome, but City Council can and must be a major player in the process, every step of the way.

Complacency is not an option.

Tax payers should expect nothing but an all out effort from each and every Councillor.

Otherwise, I'm quite sure, the taxpayers will express their dissatisfaction come November, 2014.

I'd like to thank Elaine Della-Mattia for the opportunity to respond to her article.

From my family to yours, I'd like to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas.

I also wish you a New Year that is filled with health, peace, prosperity and happiness.

Frank Fata
Ward 5 Councillor
 
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Comments
21
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
molder2 1/2/2013 6:14:33 PM Report

Work together!!!lmarfo... This city is getting way too expensive to live here..l`m surrounded..You got a $100,000 l can borrow...All empire`s will crash...history repeating it`s
self..
Tommy2Toes 1/2/2013 6:18:07 PM Report

LMAO...only way to get a decent chance at success in this town is to be related to a business owner or marry into their family...unless you do that, you don't really have a chance to succeed
Ricatoni 1/2/2013 8:16:21 PM Report

bye bye fata and bruni.......we need people who can help improve the city not make it worse like has been in the past ......two councillors in each ward is a waste of money .....we only need one per ward start saving at the top ...cut the gravy ......I cant think of any good paying manufacturing or good salary jobs created by this council or the edc in the past 20 years....funny how some councillors make comments about others but it is them that have made this city the way it is.......sault ste marie the best place you ever wanted to leave....
fatafr 1/2/2013 9:59:22 PM Report

The way you talk about our City, I'm surprised you're still living here. I can't imagine what's keeping you here ? Thank you very much for your insight mr. or is it ms Ricatoni ? With such a high regard you seem to have for yourself, you sound like a person who is ready and willing to throw their name into the municipal arena in Nov.,2014. I want to wish you well with your political aspirations.
I'm sure with your constructive criticism, you've got a lot to bring to the table for this Community.
Good luck to you...........
speed7 1/3/2013 12:39:24 AM Report

funny thing is this cyty can succeed if in the right hands, so far this city hasnt reached its full potential, too many people making promises trhey camt keep, transfer patrments to the sault need to happen and not mishandled or abused.
speed7 1/3/2013 6:47:27 AM Report

weve become much too much complacent and content with inactivity in yhis town, That attitude will get us knoehere fast. the elite dining club is nothing but a money drain. Pointless!
Stevie-E 1/3/2013 8:52:37 AM Report

The problam in this city is old-world thinking, not being related to business owners. That's coming from the mouths of people who are too lazy to make it on their own or have failed trying.

Sorry, but you weren't cut out to start your own business in the first place! Go back to school or leave this city.

I find that people are stuck in a rut here, either lazy or don't know how to look at the market for saturation (how many more Italian restaurants can we really sustain!?!)

Also, I find many people here are maybe not racist, but prejudiced towards immigrant groups coming to this city, who, by the way have wayyyy deeper pockets than most of the population.

However, I get this strange feeling that some of the incumbent business owners are creating barriers to entry for new business owners. Most of them, I can tell you have last names that end in "A," or "O" and they have their claws into city council, creating a monopoly.

It's time for new people to breathe a different life into this city and maybe you will get interest from other groups interested in new manufacturing projects, facilities and the like.

What happened to Northern Breweries? The old hospital? They were about to be purchased and the village idiots chased them away...why? because they were from another country.

Old ways are what's killing this city, not lack of opportunity.

Adapt, diversify..or die.
Stevie-E 1/3/2013 8:52:57 AM Report

*problem.
Bad Dawg 1/3/2013 9:54:54 AM Report

I am not Italian but have found plenty of employment and I have learned a trade. People who say there are no jobs, just don't want to work.
Bad Dawg 1/3/2013 9:58:57 AM Report

And I don't have "Family" here nor do I know the owners, its just me, my wife and kids..... and never been on assistance always found a job!!
Stevie-E 1/3/2013 10:15:44 AM Report

@Bad-Dawg,

Thank you! Tons of work for tradespeople in this city. We could diversify our manufacturing portfolio as well.

I don't have a trade but know there's going to be a huge shortage of them in the next 10-15 years and a new facility may create the need for more.

We are located a the hub of the Great Lakes! Frig...dredge the port out, get bigger ships in here. Start an oil refinery, something!

We have the capability
learningaswego 1/3/2013 10:44:02 AM Report

We need people like that to run for council.
You know - people who know everything.
Stevie-E 1/3/2013 11:24:04 AM Report

It's better to know something beforehand as learningaswego is a recipe for failure.
muf 1/3/2013 11:43:40 AM Report

Ouch .......burn . I can feel the heat from here ...lol
Bad Dawg 1/3/2013 3:40:31 PM Report

what does one have to do with the other?? The politicans don't bring in jobs. It is going to be people like me with a trade. And because I have a trade I do get special treatment in the construction feild. I can go work for any of the previous compainies I have worked for in The Soo.
Its not cause some politican said so.... I busted my ass to get good name in this city, I don't steal, I certainly don't beat my wife.... I am the guy that holds the door for you

The problem is the younger generation most 16-24 olds don't have what it takes to work trades. They can not get past the manual labour... it breaks them. I have tried to train these types in my roofing days and they would quit before noon, they just are not tough enough and can't respect you long enough to get through the hard jobs. How is a boss supposed to trust you with a $30,000 truck when you can't carry tools up a ladder??
Stevie-E 1/3/2013 4:01:03 PM Report

The problem with 19-34 year olds is that we were told to go to university and strive for white collar jobs.

I was in that group and lucky for me, my father made sure I was subjected to manual labour either by doing odd jobs around the house or ensured that I worked a job when I became of legal age to do so.

I was told to go outside and do something and have had a job since I was 9. However, today's parents have trouble letting their kids leave the front yard at that age. I am in my mid-30's and am appalled at how much society protects children.

There are overprotected kids that get themselves hurt because they don't know how the wold works and then there are kids that hurt others because they never had parents around to give them a swat once in a while.

I digress, but there has to be balance.
speed7 1/3/2013 8:26:53 PM Report

STEIVIE THAT IS a grossly huge offensive racist comment towards italians. you have no clue, get a grip. old world thinkiking?? yoiu mean like slavery,bondageand bloody civil wars your country adopted beating black people on the street like in your neck of the woodsn shootings at a movie theatre is supposedto be better? ?This city cant be all composed of all small bisnesses to thrive.........commom knowledge stevie. tell ithat to your walmarts,target's and giany corprate conglomerates in china who owns half your country by now. or will soon!


speed7 1/3/2013 8:42:24 PM Report

also steivie its the old world thinkers like columbus who discivere d america. most of them scientists awho have contributed old world knowledge to the new world.
Stevie-E 1/4/2013 8:48:27 AM Report

@Speed7

How do you know where I come from? I was born and raised here in SSM and come from ITALIAN descent. You absolutely have no clue what you are talking about!

How was my comment racist? It's the truth and many can attest that a select group of Italians are running this city in terms of real estate holdings, and business development. Further, I can probably guess how it got that way.

People with friends in high places get the rubber stamp when it comes to development. Maybe I am envious and it comes across as racism. I actually admire the developers and what they have done, but it seems that only the Italians are the ones doing the developing.

So let me rephrase: Old-Soo Thinking.

I apologize that I used the wrong word to express my thought.

Also, when did I say that there has to be all small businesses for this city to thrive. I said that people are lazy and complacent. Is that you, Speedy?

You must have also forgot that I mentioned that big business can be here but it seems that they are being chased away by the typical OLD SOO MENTALITY.

I take offense to all of your comments, not for the content, but for sheer stupidity and ignorance of how the world works around you. You are obviously not from Soo, Ontario.

P.S.

If you want anyone to take you BS seriously, please put a complete thought together without spelling and grammatical errors.
speed7 1/5/2013 11:47:20 AM Report

Stevie before you jump on me like a crazy baboon, think before you speak, god you are almost predictable how descrininatory you are . I assure you anyItalian businessman worked there ass off to maintain a successful business while contributing to our local economy. Ask any Italian what they've beef through post depression era treated like dirt subjected to dangerous working conditiTions. Not to mwention without Proper health and safety regulations. Think before you speak . The only bad mentality starts with you. Run for council if your so intelligent? I'd like to seewhatyou would do different. Did you read what mr fata wrote? He said we need more government involvement . If you want to fadall back on theilazy old world Italians who failed our economy. That shows yor mentality and poor character. Maybe mr fata can comment further tov show how ridiculous you are
speed7 1/6/2013 9:27:07 AM Report

STEIVIE ou are wrong I KNOW HOW the world rotrks arround me. matbe you dont though, unlike youi I waht my soo better There are too many cities around us improving you havent listened toanything i said. you havepoor reading comprehension problems. other commrnters have said you are from michigan soo in the past. If I am wrong, sorry for that. I uysually have a good memory in here. Y ou dont give us enough credit up here. s I,ve been commenting on this topic for quite somee time now. so yes i am passionate for ap rospering city where i lived my entire life. You want to blame it om lazy italians? Name me any italian who failed eith their buisness then if you know it all? gibberish. Your brain is sleeping at the wheel. Wake up!


Comments
21
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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