Vre­bosch wants to give city an­other voice

North Bay Nugget - - NEWS - Gord Young

North Bay Coun. Bill Vre­bosch is look­ing to re­tain his po­si­tion on the Ru­ral On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal As­so­ci­a­tion’s board of di­rec­tors.

Vre­bosch, who has been a long­time zone rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the ROMA board for North­ern On­tario, is seek­ing re-elec­tion to the po­si­tion for an­other term. If he’s suc­cess­ful, North Bay will have a voice at the ROMA ta­ble for the first time – at least in re­cent mem­ory.

Coun­cil en­dorsed the move Tues­day by pass­ing a res­o­lu­tion en­dors­ing him for the po­si­tion. The elec­tion will be held next month.

Vre­bosch ac­knowl­edged some res­i­dents may won­der why the city would re­quire a rep­re­sen­ta­tive on a “ru­ral” mu­nic­i­pal as­so­ci­a­tion.

But, he said, the ROMA board in­cludes rep­re­sen­ta­tives from larger cen­tres such as Ot­tawa and Caledon, which – like North Bay – con­sist of ru­ral ar­eas with­out ser­vices like pub­lic tran­sit. In ad­di­tion, he said, most is­sues the group takes on are prov­ince-wide mat­ters that would di­rectly im­pact smaller cities such as North Bay, and North­ern On­tario as a whole.

He pointed to is­sues like trans­porta­tion, in­fra­struc­ture and ac­cess to nat­u­ral gas as ex­am­ples.

“It’s an­other voice for North Bay at the provin­cial level,” said Vre­bosch, not­ing there’s no cost to the city to be af­fil­i­ated with the group or to have a coun­cil mem­ber serve on the board.

Vre­bosch said much of the work re­lated to the po­si­tion is done via email. And he said ROMA cov­ers ex­penses re­lated to travel for meet­ings, which most of­ten take place in Toronto.

ROMA is the ru­ral arm of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of On­tario (AMO). Ac­cord­ing to ROMA’S lat­est call for nom­i­na­tions for zone rep­re­sen­ta­tives, the next term runs from 2019-2023.

The group is ex­pected to meet eight times an­nu­ally, al­though mem­bers may serve on sub-com­mit­tees from time to time or be asked to be a ROMA rep­re­sen­ta­tive on other’s com­mit­tees.

Mem­bers are en­ti­tled to a per diem of $75 per day when at­tend­ing meet­ings on be­half of ROMA busi­ness. The as­so­ci­a­tion will also re­im­burse travel ex­penses to board meet­ings, AMO board meet­ings and a sum­mer re­treat. Meal costs of up to $75 per day area also cov­ered.

As a ROMA board mem­ber, Vre­bosch also serves as an AMO ru­ral cau­cus mem­ber. But he will be step­ping down from that po­si­tion if he is re-elected be­cause Coun. Mac Bain, as an ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber of the Fed­er­a­tion of North­ern On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties (FONOM), al­ready has a role with AMO.

Bain was ap­pointed by coun­cil Tues­day as the city’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the FONOM ex­ec­u­tive for a an­other two years.

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