Ring Fact Checks Millroy -Letter to the Editor

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letter to the editor

I am somewhat surprised by Mr. Doug Millroy’s recent column as I had expected someone with his experience to grasp the issues I have been raising. In his most recent column titled “Rory Ring In attack-dog mode”, he is unhappy with me running a campaign to hold the Mayor to account for his dismal record and lack of progress in our community. In fact, I would expect that Mr. Millory would be asking similar questions, and fact checking why the Mayor has no plan to move the community forward, why he raised taxes 11 percent, why he is insisting on private council agenda setting meetings and how he voted on important issues.

Mr. Millroy should own up to the fact that he and his columns during this campaign have been slanted with the sole purpose of discrediting me as a legitimate contender for Mayor. Frankly this community expects more from a veteran journalist who has made a name for himself as an investigative reporter who has exposed government and justice system failings for years. Why is Mr. Millroy not checking the facts now?  While I have put forward an effective plan with community input to give the citizens of our community a positive alternative to higher taxes, mismanagement and poor leadership, Mr. Millroy is spending time dismissing the issues I am raising and spreading misinformation.

FACT

The city sued Essar Algoma while it was in CCAA proceedings. The proceeding brought by the city was the equivalent of a lawsuit within the CCAA process.

FACT

The Mayor, having sat on his hands for months at the start of the CCAA proceeding decided to go to court in Toronto to force payment instead of focusing on the assessment appeal. Essar Algoma won a reduction of assessment from $85MM to $42MM.

FACT

The Mayor spent almost $600,000 on Toronto lawyers trying to collect money that the city was statutorily entitled to receive. If you are a resident and you don’t pay your taxes the city seizes your property and sells it to recover 100% of taxes owed.

FACT

When an assessment decreases, tax rates rise so that same amount of tax is collected. At the City Council meeting of September 11, 2018, when the Mayor announced “his” deal with Essar Algoma, Councillor Rick Niro asked that if there is an assessment loss does the City lose tax revenue? The Mayor responded, “no we just raise the tax rate to collect the same amount of taxes.” This should have applied to the renegotiated assessment value of $60 million, then Essar Algoma would still owe the taxpayers another $15 million. Taxpayers lost $15 million and I call that a failure of leadership.

FACT

After our industry and small businesses lost $25 million, the large industrial tax rate was increased from 7.45% in 2016 to 11.67% in 2017. Our small business industrial rate was increased from 4.19 % in 2016 to 6.58 % in 2017. The increase is these rates for both tax classes is 56.7%. Do the math and check the rates.

FACT

The 56.7% increase for existing business will be phased in over 10 years but small industrial employers are now unlikely to invest in our community because of the new higher rate.

FACT

I submitted the Freedom of Information (FOI) request for good reason. The Mayor has shown the police chief, fire chief and numerous other senior managers the door. The Mayor can tell us how much the City has paid in severance costs, but he is refusing. It is taxpayer money and we have the right to know.

FACT

I have called for the agenda review committee to be open for councillors to participate, which is a legitimate practice. The agenda committee has complete control over all items that come before council.  Since the Mayor is the only elected official on the committee, he sets the agenda. He has made a choice to keep councillors from participating.

FACT

Mr. Millroy compares me to Donald Trump and criticizes me for being relatively new to the Sault. Comparing me to Trump is low and unfounded and is clearly intended to scare voters.  Criticizing me for being new to the Sault exposes Mr. Millroy as a man who has given in to the old boy’s club and the notion that the current Mayor is entitled to the job.

FACT

After speaking with over 7,500 citizens of Sault Ste. Marie there is one thing I have learned, the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie want and need change at city hall.

I have built a platform with the input of thousands in the community and I am proud of the work our team is doing in addressing the difficult issues, even if some in the media have already made up their minds.

Rory Ring, Candidate for Mayor

Click here to read Doug Millroys Column.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Mr Ring posting a list with headings that read “FACT” as bullet points do not verify that these alleged “facts” are accurate.

    I’ve never been a fan of an attack style campaign. Tell me what you stand for, and what you plan to do, and I will decide who gets my vote. Please do not engage in mud-slinging, as it provesnothing except that those engaged do not deserve voter’s consideration.

    Sadly, the other contenders are not, in my opinion, strong enough to take the lead and win the election.

  2. I noticed a typo in my comment in section #2. It should have read “25 cents-an-hour”.

    (The Wynne Liberal Government was legislating a three-dollar-an-hour increase in the minimum wage in the course of a year, which could have been accomplished through 12 monthly increases of 25 cents-an-hour. However, that could have generated a book-keeping nightmare with pay-rate changes monthly.)

  3. #1. I applaud Mr.Ring’s initiative. He addresses several real issues in a straight-forward way.

    #2. However, he also was one of the loudest voices denouncing the $14-an-hour minimum wage. Not because it was pushed in large chunks that were hard to adjust to, but because he said it was too much to pay. I contend that it should have been implemented in a similar time-frame with monthly increases of 50 cents-an-hour to introduce a more gradually approach.

    The substantial increase in the minimum wage was not only overdue, but entirely justified.
    The rate-rise not only boosted wage-earners meagre incomes, but contributed to a tremendous support for the Sault Ste. Marie economy because low-income wage-earners tend to spend their increased incomes LOCALLY.
    They tend NOT to spend it on distant travel and on imports.

    I am not aware of Mr. Provensano denouncing Mr. Ring’s anti-$14-dollar-an-hour position.

    Is Mr. Ring or any of the candidates for Mayor are NOW of the opinion that the minimum wage is not just essential, but must be raised to $15 in January, 2019?

    #3. With respect to the local newspaper, it seems that printing 2 or 3 Front-Page pictures a week of Mr. Provensano to the exclusion of coverage of the other Candidates is extremely unfair. Pictures of city events were NOT about the Mayor, but about those who were part of the news and the pictures should have been featuring those individuals and NOT the incumbent.
    These pictures should have to be recognized as Monetary Political Contributions to the Mayor’s Campaign.

    #4. Ted Johnston is a complete breath of fresh air in this election for Mayor. He merits serious consideration. His campaign challenges all of Sault Ste. Marie to participate in Municipal Affairs throughout the 4-year term, and promises to facilitate it.

  4. Mr. Ring implying that the back taxes owed by Essar were anything similar to a residential or regular commercial property with tax arrears is laughable. That property is a wasteland, you cannot put it up for tax sale and collect 100%. That is apples to oranges.

    The “lawsuit” he is stating took place was no lawsuit, but an argument made to ensure that Essar was required to pay its CURRENT taxes (as opposed to its back taxes) DURING the entire CCAA process so that they did not continue to add up as arrears and would ensure the City bleeding would stop. Unfortunately, the court did not agree with the City. Nonetheless, this argument needed to be made for our City. It seems Mr. Ring would have preferred the City take a wait and see and sit back approach relying on its “security”. Bankruptcy and CCAA is a sharkpool, the biggest shark usually eats the most…and for the record, we were not the biggest shark…not by a longshot.

  5. Incumbents always have the edge. Current mayors always have a following.Lets be different and give Rory a chance. Milroy is entitled to his opinion…and it is only an opinion.

  6. Yes he is right the City needs a new Mayor but I hope no one is gullible enough to vote for Rory Ring ,he is a con artist at best .

    • “exposes Mr. Millroy as a man who has given in to the old boy’s club and the notion that the current Mayor is entitled to the job. ”

      Fact

  7. You are right about one thing, Ring. The city needs a new mayor in the worst way, unfortunately there are ZERO worthy candidates running for the job. Also, again unfortunately, there are enough gullible people out there that somehow think the current mayor is doing a good job that will vote him in for another term. Watch and see!

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