Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti wants answers to his questions.
Signoretti said he wants to know why the city’s roads continue to be sub-standard and he wants to know what can be done to remediate the situation.
Signoretti introduced a motion at Tuesday’s council meeting that asked for an exploration “of better ways of building and maintaining our infrastructure.”
He said he wants to establish a working group to “be directed to prepare a report describing terms of reference that identify service level expectations; and assess current legislation, corporate policies and best practices in relation to current road maintenance practices, all in contemplation of a business case to conduct the work as part of the 2020 budget.”
In the motion, he said “rate payers in the City of Greater Sudbury expect maximum benefit from the spending of their tax dollars on road infrastructure.”
He also pointed out the city wishes to earn the confidence of residents by delivering “quality road construction and maintenance standards and designs.”
Introducing the motion now is timely, Signoretti argued, since council has recently been discussing a core services review.
Signoretti also asked that a business case be presented to council for inclusion in the 2020 budget that includes “the option to engage the services of external experts to conduct the review, in consultation with the working group.”
According to the motion, a working group would be established that consists of two members of council – Signoretti and possibly Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh, who chairs the operations committee – as well as “key senior management and infrastructure department staff.”
But McIntosh said with all the work already taking place – by staff and members of the operations committee – she did not feel the motion was necessary and would not support it.
Despite his colleague’s concerns, Signoretti said he did not see any harm in creating a working group that involves two councillors.
Ron Foster, the city’s auditor general, said his department was previously aware of the motion and Signoretti’s concerns. He said his department is currently concluding an audit on road maintenance over the winter and spring seasons.
“I’ve heard there’s a large appetite for this information, and an expectation from the public. Management is aware of that, as well,” Foster said.
Signoretti said he was not seeking external consultants; he said the expertise exists within city hall. But he said the working group could turn to other cities and Infrastructure Ontario, for example, to solicit advice, shared wisdom and best practices.
Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann suggested Signoretti defer his motion until Foster has made his report public. She said at that time, if he is still not satisfied, then he could re-introduce the motion.
In the end, Signoretti took Landry-Altmann’s advice to heart and asked that the motion be deferred until September. Council agreed and easily passed the deferral.
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