ON ELECTION DAY, WILL WE CHEER OR WILL WE GRIMACE?

No taxpayer in any city in Canada deserves to have gone through what the citizens of Sudbury have had to endure in the last several years. We are all familiar with the lack of transparency, the dysfunction at the Council table, the very bad decisions, the abuse of tax dollars, the constant attacks and disrespectful behaviour towards our mayor, the transit scandal, and frankly, the lack of action and the inability to make sound decisions.

The tools of the past will not fix our fractured city and will not solve tomorrow’s problems.

We will need a wholesale shift of resources from low-value to high-value activities. We will need a jumbo-drill to dig into the waste, cost overruns and mismanagement we all know exists.

Either we choose to take on some changes or we face the inevitable and serious decline of our city. Status quo is simply no longer an option.

Our mandate must be modernized. Smart decisions will need to be made about what needs to be improved and what needs to be abandoned.

We will need courage and truth-telling, integrity and transparency. Everyone who works for the city, Council included, will need to be held accountable for their actions.

The new Council will need good political judgement and a passionate determination to meet the challenge. We will need to move with vigour, because the little mincing steps of the past have dissipated the energy of the existing Council, as well as the citizens of Greater Sudbury.

We seem to have a mindless love affair with planning in our city but little will to actually perform. This is not planning. This is suffering. It’s painful and it’s expensive. We must ponder less and do more because as we ponder, costs double.

To do what everybody else has done for 30 years is not a challenge. It’s just re-heating the soup. After 15 years since amalgamation, we are still floundering to define ourselves. We need a clear and compelling picture of our preferred future.

Council’s goals and objectives must lead to sound strategic action, clearly articulated then set in concrete.

This election, it is important that every voting citizen becomes informed about the candidates running in their ward, that they make the best choice for our city and that we finally move forward with confidence and pride. There are excellent candidates out there. Forget the showmen and forget those who can’t follow simple election rules. Forget those who can’t treat their fellow candidates with some modicum of respect, providing they deserve it. Forget those who quibble with each other over minor issues before being elected. They will continue to quibble over minor issues at the Council table.

Come election day, we will cheer or we will grimace. We will enter an era of high endeavour or we will continue on our safe, do-nothing and expensive little path to nowhere.

There is no place in today’s city for old-style politics, the good old bully boys and the status quo. We need to do municipal governance differently, with action, integrity, professionalism and a clear sense of purpose.

(Keep scrolling for more posts by Lynne Reynolds)

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