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Thunder Bay City Council 101: Councillor Quiz
Livio Di Matteo

Thunder Bay City Council 101: Councillor Quiz

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~  September 22, 2022  (LSNews)  We are now about a month away from municipal election night in Thunder Bay and the election signs have been popping up in clusters on numerous high-profile intersections across the city as both heralds and omens of the blessed event.  There is potential for a fair degree of turnover in city council this year and that will have both costs and benefits not least will be the learning curve for new councillors as they acquire the information needed to perform effectively as councillors. 

As has been noted, new councillors will need to be quick learners, multi-talented, adaptable, patient, and open to criticism both warranted and unwarranted and take it all in with a smile.  Indeed, adapting an old university joke to municipal government: City Councillors will need to take a lot of crap, the mayor will have to take a lot of crap and smile, while City Administrators must simply enjoy taking crap, given they have made a career out of it.  To assist incoming councillors in becoming City Councillors, find below a short multiple-choice quiz featuring hypothetical and not so hypothetical situations of varying degrees of seriousness and whimsy designed to test your knowledge and judgement on the eve of taking office.  If past experience is any indicator, returning councillors may also benefit from a refresher course. 

 

1.      You have spent two days with a prominent international business investor touring Thunder Bay showing them the local sights as well as parcels of municipal land available for sale and at the end of a successful visit, the businessperson announces intentions to invest.  The businessman is very grateful to you for your time and proceeds to privately present you will an expensive gift item (eg. Diamonds, expensive Scotch, etc..) as a show of appreciation.  You:

A.     Accept the gift as this is a common practice in their home country and you do not wish to offend them.

B.     You inspect the gift carefully for flaws in craftsmanship and file a report with the Canadian Manufacturer’s Association.

C.     You thank the businessperson for their kind thoughts, respectfully decline the gift and note that you were simply doing your duty as an elected official.

D.    You ask for gifts for all the members of council as well as the mayor because after all it has been a team effort.

E.     Ask for cash in lieu of the item as economists have demonstrated that cash transfers are welfare enhancing.

F.     Return the kind favour by offering to sell them a piece of land you personally own at a discount in lieu of buying the municipal property.

 

2.     By how much do you think the municipal tax levy should go up for the 2023 budget year?

A.     The rate of inflation.

B.     By whatever amount the city manager recommends but divided by two.

C.     The rate of inflation plus whatever percentage salary increase is going to go to senior city managers.

D.    Whatever it takes.

E.     Whatever the public lets you get away with.

F.     The rate of inflation plus the rate of population growth and divided by one tenth of the square root of the combined weight of any randomly selected six members of city council.

3.     Within two weeks of taking office, it is suddenly revealed that there is a major crisis in the finances of the City of Thunder Bay as a result of several successful lawsuits against the city as well as assorted unforeseen infrastructure and policing expenses, and the city is on the verge of bankruptcy.  You:

A.     Resign immediately.

B.     Blame the previous three city councils and mayors and then resign.

C.     Try to deflect attention from the crisis by proposing a motion to review street names with the aim of creating one name for streets currently with two or three separate names.

D.    Ask the provincial government for a bailout.

E.     Ask for a study from City Administration on the extent of the crisis and proposals to deal with it with a projected delivery date 12 months down the road.

F.     Take to social media with a campaign arguing that municipal financial problems are fake news.

4.     There has been talk of reforming Thunder Bay city council as to the size of city council as well as whether there should be Ward and At-Large Councillors.  City council should be reformed as follows:

A.     8 Ward councillors plus a mayor.

B.     8 At-Large councillors plus a mayor.

C.     4 Ward councillors, 4 At-Large Councillors plus a mayor and vice-mayor.

D.    4 large councillors, 4 small councillors plus a large mayor and a small vice Mayor.

E.     The Status Quo (7 ward councillors, 5 At-large plus a mayor)

F.     Modified Status Quo (6 ward councillors, 6 At Large plus an invitation to Prince Andrew to be our mayor for life).

G.    Hereditary Ward Councillors with formal titles (eg. Earl of Current River or Duke of Westfort) and the line of succession being the offspring or designate of current councillors starting, of course with the council as elected on October 24th.

5.     What are the most important things to understand about attending a City Council meeting as a municipal councillor?

A.     The distinction between a balance sheet, a revenue statement, an expenditure statement, capital budget, operating budget, and slush fund, but not necessarily in that order.

B.     When it comes to meeting length, time is money, and that long meetings must mean the participants have an abundance of both.

C.     Robert’s Rules of Order and Codes of Conduct should be viewed as mere constraints on the creativity of councillors when it comes to interacting with one another and the public in solving issues.

D.    Deputations and public input are simply a formality and should be taken as an opportunity for you to demonstrate your rhetorical skills in debate with presenters.

E.     During televised meetings, it is important to turn off your microphone if muttering under your breath as well as make sure you do not fall asleep on camera.

F.     In-camera meetings are not a photo opportunity but where the real business of council takes place.

Suggested Answers:

1.     C though F may be tempting for some.

2.     E as F while technically elegant might be beyond the math skills of the average councillor.

3.     D or E are acceptable though C is an excellent diversionary tactic.

4.     E is likely given the law of inertia though F or G might be good for tourism.

5.     F with D and E acceptable choices for part marks.

#LSN_Elections #LSN_TBay  

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The Northern Economist blog started on Shaw Webspace as commentary and analysis of economic issues and policy from a Northern Ontario perspective by Livio Di Matteo, Professor of Economics at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. It had regular posts from November 2010 to February 2012. Posts continued on Northern Economist 2.0 until 2013 when I took an extended break. Occasional posts resumed effective December 2016. With Shaw terminating its blog space functions, I have archived the old posts at: northerneconomistarchive.blogspot.ca.


The views expressed in this opinion article or photos are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Lake Superior News / Lake Superior Media.

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«September 2022»
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  • Fighting Walleye welcome Soo Eagles for Teleco Cup
    Fighting Walleye welcome Soo Eagles for Teleco Cup

    Fighting Walleye welcome Soo Eagles for Teleco Cup

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~  September 2, 2022 (LSNews)  The Kam River Fighting Walleye are excited to host the Soo Eagles of the NOJHL in a three game exhibition series at Norwest Arena in Oliver Paipoonge. The teams will be working at capturing  the Teleco Cup over the labour day weekend.

    Heck of a game tonight, you won’t want to miss tomorrow night’s big rematch!

    This is the third annual Teleco Cup with the Thunder Bay North Stars capturing the inaugural cup and the Fighting Walleye winning last season. Fighting Walleye President is extremely grateful for the corporate support “ This is the third year that Teleco has come onboard as the presenting sponsor without incredible corporate partners like Teleco junior hockey wouldn’t exist. We are very excited for our fans to have the opportunity to watch the Walleye compete against such a quality organization in the Soo Eagles. Our hockey ops staff has done an incredible job assembling this years team and we are all excited to see them in action”

    #LSN_Sport  #LSN_SSM   #LSN_TBay 

    Read more
3
  • Fighting Walleye welcome Soo Eagles for Teleco Cup
    Fighting Walleye welcome Soo Eagles for Teleco Cup

    Fighting Walleye welcome Soo Eagles for Teleco Cup

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~  September 2, 2022 (LSNews)  The Kam River Fighting Walleye are excited to host the Soo Eagles of the NOJHL in a three game exhibition series at Norwest Arena in Oliver Paipoonge. The teams will be working at capturing  the Teleco Cup over the labour day weekend.

    Heck of a game tonight, you won’t want to miss tomorrow night’s big rematch!

    This is the third annual Teleco Cup with the Thunder Bay North Stars capturing the inaugural cup and the Fighting Walleye winning last season. Fighting Walleye President is extremely grateful for the corporate support “ This is the third year that Teleco has come onboard as the presenting sponsor without incredible corporate partners like Teleco junior hockey wouldn’t exist. We are very excited for our fans to have the opportunity to watch the Walleye compete against such a quality organization in the Soo Eagles. Our hockey ops staff has done an incredible job assembling this years team and we are all excited to see them in action”

    #LSN_Sport  #LSN_SSM   #LSN_TBay 

    Read more
4
  • Fighting Walleye welcome Soo Eagles for Teleco Cup
    Fighting Walleye welcome Soo Eagles for Teleco Cup

    Fighting Walleye welcome Soo Eagles for Teleco Cup

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~  September 2, 2022 (LSNews)  The Kam River Fighting Walleye are excited to host the Soo Eagles of the NOJHL in a three game exhibition series at Norwest Arena in Oliver Paipoonge. The teams will be working at capturing  the Teleco Cup over the labour day weekend.

    Heck of a game tonight, you won’t want to miss tomorrow night’s big rematch!

    This is the third annual Teleco Cup with the Thunder Bay North Stars capturing the inaugural cup and the Fighting Walleye winning last season. Fighting Walleye President is extremely grateful for the corporate support “ This is the third year that Teleco has come onboard as the presenting sponsor without incredible corporate partners like Teleco junior hockey wouldn’t exist. We are very excited for our fans to have the opportunity to watch the Walleye compete against such a quality organization in the Soo Eagles. Our hockey ops staff has done an incredible job assembling this years team and we are all excited to see them in action”

    #LSN_Sport  #LSN_SSM   #LSN_TBay 

    Read more
  • HYMERS FALL FAIR 2022 Labour Day Weekend
    HYMERS FALL FAIR 2022 Labour Day Weekend

    HYMERS FALL FAIR 2022 Labour Day Weekend

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~  August 26, 2022 (LSNews)  The Hymers Agricultural Society is proud to announce its 110th Year and extremely excited to announce this year’s Hymers Fall Fair!! This year’s theme we will be celebrating “Apple Trees and Honey Bees.” There will be a full line-up of music to kick up your heels to, starting at 9:30 am both days, so we hope everyone will get an early start to the day and take in some music before visiting all of our wonderful animal features!

    #LSN_CircleTour #LSN_TBay 

    Read more
  • Sensational Hot Rods at Chippewa Park
    Sensational Hot Rods at Chippewa Park

    Sensational Hot Rods at Chippewa Park

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~  September 1, 2022 (LSNews)  The Friends of Chippewa Park announced today that the final Sundays in the Park Concert series will feature the Sensational Hotrods, one of the most popular entertainment groups in Northwestern Ontario.

    #LSN_TBay  #LSN_Arts 

    Read more
5
  • HYMERS FALL FAIR 2022 Labour Day Weekend
    HYMERS FALL FAIR 2022 Labour Day Weekend

    HYMERS FALL FAIR 2022 Labour Day Weekend

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~  August 26, 2022 (LSNews)  The Hymers Agricultural Society is proud to announce its 110th Year and extremely excited to announce this year’s Hymers Fall Fair!! This year’s theme we will be celebrating “Apple Trees and Honey Bees.” There will be a full line-up of music to kick up your heels to, starting at 9:30 am both days, so we hope everyone will get an early start to the day and take in some music before visiting all of our wonderful animal features!

    #LSN_CircleTour #LSN_TBay 

    Read more
6789
  • WTIP Announces Lineup for 15th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival
    WTIP Announces Lineup for 15th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival

    WTIP Announces Lineup for 15th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival

    COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA ~~~~~  April 13, 2022 (LSNews)  Grand Marais, WTIP Community Radio is thrilled to announce the lineup for the 2022 Radio Waves Music Festival, Sept. 9 to 11, at Sweetheart’s Bluff in the Grand Marais Recreation Area. This marks the 15th year of this family-friendly festival, which features an array of diverse local and regional acts that span musical genres from folk singer-songwriters, classic country, R & B, rap and alt-rock to funk, zydeco and New Orleans jazz. The event showcases three days of live music under the big sky and bright stars on the North Shore of Lake Superior

    #LSN_Arts  #LSN_CookCounty  #LSN_MNNews 

    Read more
  • Shuniah Forty Miner
    Shuniah Forty Miner

    Shuniah Forty Miner

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~  June 16, 2022 (LSNews)  The largest bike event in Northwestern Ontario is returning for 2022. The Shuniah Forty Miner Presented by Tbaytel, is a mountain bike marathon cross country race with the 48 kilometer race as the feature. Last year we saw over 500 people in attendance and this year, with COVID restrictions lifted, the Blacksheep Mountain Bike Club is expecting quite a large turn out. The event takes place September 9th and 10th at the beautiful Kinsman Park with the trails in Trowbridge Forest in Thunder Bay, ON

    #LSN_Sports  #LSN_Outdoors  #LSN_CircleTour

    Read more
  • Shuniah Forty Miner bike Event
    Shuniah Forty Miner bike Event

    Shuniah Forty Miner bike Event

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~  September 6, 2022 (LNews)  The largest bike event in Northwestern Ontario is returning for 2022. The Shuniah Forty Miner
    Presented by Tbaytel, is a mountain bike marathon cross country race with the 48 kilometer race as the feature. Last year we saw over 500 people in attendance and this year, with COVID restrictions lifted, the Blacksheep Mountain Bike Club is expecting quite a large turn out. The event takes place September 9th and 10th at the beautiful Kinsman Park on the trails in Trowbridge Forest in Thunder Bay, ON

    #LSN_Sport  #LSN_TBay  #LSN_NorWest

    Read more
10
  • WTIP Announces Lineup for 15th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival
    WTIP Announces Lineup for 15th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival

    WTIP Announces Lineup for 15th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival

    COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA ~~~~~  April 13, 2022 (LSNews)  Grand Marais, WTIP Community Radio is thrilled to announce the lineup for the 2022 Radio Waves Music Festival, Sept. 9 to 11, at Sweetheart’s Bluff in the Grand Marais Recreation Area. This marks the 15th year of this family-friendly festival, which features an array of diverse local and regional acts that span musical genres from folk singer-songwriters, classic country, R & B, rap and alt-rock to funk, zydeco and New Orleans jazz. The event showcases three days of live music under the big sky and bright stars on the North Shore of Lake Superior

    #LSN_Arts  #LSN_CookCounty  #LSN_MNNews 

    Read more
  • Shuniah Forty Miner
    Shuniah Forty Miner

    Shuniah Forty Miner

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~  June 16, 2022 (LSNews)  The largest bike event in Northwestern Ontario is returning for 2022. The Shuniah Forty Miner Presented by Tbaytel, is a mountain bike marathon cross country race with the 48 kilometer race as the feature. Last year we saw over 500 people in attendance and this year, with COVID restrictions lifted, the Blacksheep Mountain Bike Club is expecting quite a large turn out. The event takes place September 9th and 10th at the beautiful Kinsman Park with the trails in Trowbridge Forest in Thunder Bay, ON

    #LSN_Sports  #LSN_Outdoors  #LSN_CircleTour

    Read more
  • Shuniah Forty Miner bike Event
    Shuniah Forty Miner bike Event

    Shuniah Forty Miner bike Event

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~  September 6, 2022 (LNews)  The largest bike event in Northwestern Ontario is returning for 2022. The Shuniah Forty Miner
    Presented by Tbaytel, is a mountain bike marathon cross country race with the 48 kilometer race as the feature. Last year we saw over 500 people in attendance and this year, with COVID restrictions lifted, the Blacksheep Mountain Bike Club is expecting quite a large turn out. The event takes place September 9th and 10th at the beautiful Kinsman Park on the trails in Trowbridge Forest in Thunder Bay, ON

    #LSN_Sport  #LSN_TBay  #LSN_NorWest

    Read more
  • Twin of Chippewa Park Carousel Horse
    Twin of Chippewa Park Carousel Horse

    Twin of Chippewa Park Carousel Horse

    THUNDER  BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~  August 22, 222022 (LSNews)  On July 21, Canada Post released an enchanting set of stamps to celebrate the wonder and playfulness of vintage carousels in Canada.

    #LSN_TBay #LSN_CircleTour  

    Read more
11
  • WTIP Announces Lineup for 15th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival
    WTIP Announces Lineup for 15th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival

    WTIP Announces Lineup for 15th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival

    COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA ~~~~~  April 13, 2022 (LSNews)  Grand Marais, WTIP Community Radio is thrilled to announce the lineup for the 2022 Radio Waves Music Festival, Sept. 9 to 11, at Sweetheart’s Bluff in the Grand Marais Recreation Area. This marks the 15th year of this family-friendly festival, which features an array of diverse local and regional acts that span musical genres from folk singer-songwriters, classic country, R & B, rap and alt-rock to funk, zydeco and New Orleans jazz. The event showcases three days of live music under the big sky and bright stars on the North Shore of Lake Superior

    #LSN_Arts  #LSN_CookCounty  #LSN_MNNews 

    Read more
121314
  • Central Canada Resource Expo
    Central Canada Resource Expo

    Central Canada Resource Expo

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~  July 30, 2022 (LSNews) Central Canada Resource Expo is a gathering place for all those who thrive in the business of resources (Mining, Forestry and Energy). The expo will be showcasing the latest in resource technologies, expand the discussion of sustainable development with industry leaders and provide a forum that fosters economic regional growth. The Expo is an opportunity to network with experts, ask questions, see the latest in technology and where the industries are going tomorrow. Cen-Can Resources Expo will be showcasing the richness of opportunities to the world Sept 14th -15th at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition grounds in Thunder Bay.

    #LSN_Econ  #LSN_TBay  #LSN_NorWest

    Read more
15
  • Central Canada Resource Expo
    Central Canada Resource Expo

    Central Canada Resource Expo

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~  July 30, 2022 (LSNews) Central Canada Resource Expo is a gathering place for all those who thrive in the business of resources (Mining, Forestry and Energy). The expo will be showcasing the latest in resource technologies, expand the discussion of sustainable development with industry leaders and provide a forum that fosters economic regional growth. The Expo is an opportunity to network with experts, ask questions, see the latest in technology and where the industries are going tomorrow. Cen-Can Resources Expo will be showcasing the richness of opportunities to the world Sept 14th -15th at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition grounds in Thunder Bay.

    #LSN_Econ  #LSN_TBay  #LSN_NorWest

    Read more
1617
  • 39th Annual Toys for Tots Motorcycle Ride
    39th Annual Toys for Tots Motorcycle Ride

    39th Annual Toys for Tots Motorcycle Ride

    THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~  September 14, 2022 (LSNews)   Motorcycle enthusiasts ride this Saturday in the 39th Anniversary Toys for Tots Ride in support of The Salvation Army Christmas Toy Campaign.

    Bikes sporting stuffed animals, trucks, dolls, and other toys will make their way across town to deliver their gifts. They will gather at Thunder Bay Harley-Davidson between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 17, 2022.  The ride will leave at 1:00 p.m. with the bikers travelling through the city to The Salvation Army’s new Journey to Life Centre on Cumberland St. arriving about 1:25 p.m. where they will present their gifts.  Financial donations are also accepted.  Anyone not able to participate in the ride can drop off donations at The Salvation Army Journey to Life Centre prior to the ride.

    #LSN_TBay  #LSN_NorWest

    Read more
18
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  • 3rd Annual Golf for the Good
    3rd Annual Golf for the Good

    3rd Annual Golf for the Good

    COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA  ~~~~~~ September 7, 2022  (LSNews)     Superior National at Lutsen is once again partnering with the North Shore Health Care Foundation to bring you the 3rd Annual Golf for the Good – NSHCF Weekend on Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1. It’s coming up fast and we need you!

    #LSN_Health  #LSN_CookCounty 

    Read more
1
  • 3rd Annual Golf for the Good
    3rd Annual Golf for the Good

    3rd Annual Golf for the Good

    COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA  ~~~~~~ September 7, 2022  (LSNews)     Superior National at Lutsen is once again partnering with the North Shore Health Care Foundation to bring you the 3rd Annual Golf for the Good – NSHCF Weekend on Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1. It’s coming up fast and we need you!

    #LSN_Health  #LSN_CookCounty 

    Read more
  • Applications Due Oct 1 for Last Round of 2022
    Applications Due Oct 1 for Last Round of 2022

    Applications Due Oct 1 for Last Round of 2022

    COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA  ~~~~~sEPEMBER 16, 2022 (LSNews)  The North Shore Health Care Foundation (NSHCF) will be awarding its final round of 2022 grant funds this fall. Applications for Foundation funding for projects that work toward a healthy community for all are due Saturday, Oct. 1 by 4 pm.

    The Foundation works to address gaps in health care and community health-related needs in Cook County. A total of $34,000 has been budgeted for in the 2022 NSHCF budget to help fund community organizations and programs that contribute to equitable health care and healthy living in Cook County this year, through the semi-annual community grant program.

    #LSN_Health   #LSN_CookCounty   %LSN_MNNews 

    Read more
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