Mayoral Inaugural Address - 2018 As Presented By: His Worship Mr. Al McDonald On December 1st, 2018
Presented at 11:00 a.m. in North Bay City Council Chambers
On behalf of the Members of Council, it is an honour for us to serve you and our City. I would like to thank our families for giving us the time to devote to public service knowing full well, it will take precious time away from you. To all our supporters, thank you for your confidence. To the citizens of North Bay, you have spoken, we are ready to serve. We have the greatest respect for those that put their name on a ballot so we would like to thank those that put their names forward in 2018. We would like to thank Jeff Serran, Derek Shogren and Sheldon Forgette for all their efforts in the past 4 years. They put in countless hours to help move the City forward. To Daryl Vaillancourt thank you for 15 years of dedication to our City and community. You will be missed for your focus and determination.
To George Maroosis, thank you for over 30 years of public service to our City and community.
You are an icon here and your efforts over the years are noticed and welcomed. We will miss your knowledge and expertise around the table but don’t be surprised if any of us, including staff, show up at your door on Main Street looking for advice.
For the past month, I have met with every Councilor one on one to hear their thoughts on the upcoming 4 years. I will say each and every Councilor is excited and ready to get to work to face the challenges and seize the opportunities in front of us. Our Councilor elects have met with staff; have been briefed on all the files and procedures so they will be up to date on day 1. To our new colleagues welcome aboard, it is far from easy to serve. My advice to you is, develop elephant skin as you are going to need it. We are looking forward to working with you.
I have worked closely with my Deputy Mayor elect and many Council Members one on one since Tuesday after the election. The large capital projects are key important infrastructure projects that need our attention. Our Budget Chief Chairs and other interested Council Members are already working on these files.
The Deputy Mayor and Budget Chief has clearly stated her objectives, direction and I applaud her. Tanya has been putting in long hours at City Hall since the election, to get ready for the 2019 budget.
I know as she has worn out a path on the carpet in my office already. This Council is engaged and excited to move the City forward. This group in front of you has been working hard to be ready. I am very proud of all the work they have put in to set the table for the next 12 months and the start of the term. We have the looks of a great Council team focused on growing our City, working well together and moving the business of the City forward. We will work closely with our staff to develop the policies that will able us to achieve growth.
To be clear, I, the Deputy Mayor and the majority of Council Members ran on a mandate of growth and growing our city and that will be our focus this term. The Deputy Mayor, myself and Councilors have been meeting with investors, developers, the Chamber, Invest North Bay, business leaders, community leaders, the Labour Market Group, Creative industries, Heritage Gardeners and other business and community organizations. Their message to us was the same and very clear, we need to grow, to beautify and make our City vibrant, a place where everyone wants to be. They have told us, growth supports local business, creates jobs, spurs construction, assists homebuilders, attract new industry, attracts skilled labour, increase assessment to lessen the financial burden on all citizens.
In a fiercely competitive global marketplace, we need our community partner’s support and leadership. They have told me, the Deputy Mayor and many Councilors, they are ready to assist, share their concerns and ideas, to roll up their sleeves and help grow the City. Our success as a City and community rests with all of us playing our roles to the best of our abilities and having the best interest of the City. To signal to our citizens, the Province, the Country, we are open for business, positioning ourselves to grow our City, cut red tape, welcome investment and ready to work, we are being sworn in today, on the very first day of the mandate, Saturday morning December 1st. I believe we are the only City in the Province that will swear in their Council on a Saturday, further reinforces our “can do” approach to growing our City.
In conclusion, growth and development are about the evolution of North Bay. It's about the City maturing into what it needs to be for the future. It's about encouraging new business and people to come, so we grow our tax base and population. It's about nurturing and supporting local initiatives that feed into that growth. We ask you to join us, as we build the City we love, North Bay.