After reading a prepared statement at the last finance committee meeting blasting city staff and his colleagues for having “an addiction” to increasing taxes, Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti is hoping his colleagues will create a working group to study the city's roads, and put him and one other councillor on it.
Signoretti's motion, headed to the May 28 meeting, calls for the creation of a roads working group consisting of himself and one other councillor, as well as senior management at Tom Davies Square.
The idea is the group would create a report outlining what service levels residents should expect for roads, the best policies when it comes to road maintenance and the current policies in use in Greater Sudbury.
The report would be due in time for the 2020 city budget process, when money would be allocated to hire outside experts to conduct the review of the city's approach to roads, according to the information contained in the working group's report.
One of the goals would be to help Greater Sudbury staff and council “earn ratepayers’ confidence in its delivery of quality road construction and maintenance standards and designs.”
Signoretti's motion comes in the wake of his May 14 speech, in which he said tax increases are stopping people from moving here. He said managers at the city add “gravy” to their budgets before they come to city council, arguing they should be told to work from zero-based budgets and find efficiencies to keep them that way.
The city doesn't have an revenue problem, he argued, it has an expense problem. Signoretti argued that directing staff to find ways to keep budget increases at zero would eliminate the need for tax increases, and that managers who fail to deliver should be held “accountable.”
The speech drew harsh criticism from some of his council colleagues, who said he was making blanket statements designed to appeal to taxpayers, without proposing a real plan if action.