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Accountability key to Brohart's mayoral platform

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Aug 26, 2014 - 10:05 AM |
Mayoral candidate Jeanne Brohart says like any corporation, a municipality must be accountable to its stakeholders — namely taxpayers.

Mayoral candidate Jeanne Brohart says like any corporation, a municipality must be accountable to its stakeholders — namely taxpayers.

Finance expert says it's time for Sudbury to redefine itself

Like any corporation, a municipality must be accountable to its stakeholders — namely taxpayers, says mayoral candidate Jeanne Brohart.

In a news release, Brohart said she holds an M.A. in finance and worked for SBC Communications in Chicago, Ill., before leaving work to care for her autistic son.

“At SBC Communications, I oversaw three key applications for the company, applications which literally drove our many business divisions,” Brohart, orginally from Espanola, said. “As such, I had the opportunity to work with professionals from all levels and across numerous disciplines.”

She describes the experience of working on project teams that included sales, service, customer support, legal, IT, payroll, marketing, finance and more as invaluable skills that would serve her well, should she be elected mayor of Greater Sudbury.

“I believe a municipality must be run as a corporation and accountable to its shareholders, in this case residents and taxpayers,” she said.

Brohart said tax increases should only be a last-resort option after other avenues — like finding internal effiencies — have been exhausted , and only after properly looking at cost/benefits, liabilities and, where necessary, and justifying the increase to taxpayers with the facts of why the hike is necessary.

This — justifying increases — is not something the city does well at, Brohart said.

“As the taxpayers of Greater Sudbury face numerous tax increases – both past and future – I could no longer stay on the sidelines realizing proper disclosure of material facts impacting taxes, liabilities and so much more had not been made to the people of Sudbury,” she said.

Brohart said an example of this is an issue with structural defects in roof systems affecting not only Sudbury, but municipalities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. In a news release, she says elected officials and staff in Greater Sudbury, the province and the federal government have been aware of the issue for several years, but have not acted.

She encourages voters to visit her website — www.OurSudbury.com — to learn more about the issue Brohart said she has uncovered. In the release, she also challenges mayoral candidate Brian Bigger, who served as the city's auditor general before taking a leave of absence to run for office, for not looking into the issue she said “dwarfs the transit missing funds scandal.”

“Brian Bigger stated he has issues with secrecy at city hall,” Brohart said. “I have only one question for Mr. Bigger: Where is your audit of building services …?”

If elected to the mayor's seat, Brohart said the first audit she proposes is a comprehensive audit of the building services department.

“Leadership requires more than the ability to read financial statements,” Brohart said. “It requires the ability to identify problems, to prioritize issues, to look at processes and options to determine the best way of doing things – even when the decisions that need to be made are difficult.

“It is time for Greater Sudbury to redefine itself.”

To learn more about Brohart and her campaign, visit OurSudbury.com.

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