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Auditor’s resignation focus in Toronto

December 11, 2012
By MARK J. MILLER - Staff writer , The Herald-Star

TORONTO - City Council members learned of the city auditor's upcoming resignation during its Monday meeting.

Robert Owen, who has served as city auditor for the previous 10 years, said he is resigning on Dec. 31, according to a letter from Owen read during the meeting.

"Thank you for the opportunity for serving the city of Toronto as auditor for the past 10 years. It has been a great learning experience, and I have enjoyed working with all of you," the letter read.

"I look forward to spending my retirement with my family and enjoying life," Owen continued. "Again, it has been a pleasure serving the city of Toronto."

Owen was appointed to the position by previous city Mayor Bob Wilson, and he'd been re-elected to the position several times. Second Ward Councilman Dorothy Blaner said Owen's service is a credit for the city.

"The city will be losing a professional," said Blaner, adding Owen's years of banking experience was a plus for the city. "The city has benefited from his expertise."

In other matters:

Mayor John Geddis told council the Jeddo Road bridge had been closed by the city after a determination it was no longer safe for travel. Geddis also said the bridge recently was struck by a heavy vehicle, seriously damaging the bridge's infrastructure.

"The concrete (bridge deck) is the only thing holding it up," said the mayor, adding it is unknown who struck the bridge. "I haven't heard one person complain it's been closed. It's inconvenient, but it's unsafe."

Geddis said he is going to explore different options for eventual bridge replacement.

Geddis requested council send a letter to state officials stating the city's opposition to the Municipal Tax Uniformity Bill, which would transfer local collection of tax revenues from local collection to state jurisdiction. Geddis said he was opposed to the bill and warned it could affect the city's share of taxes.

Council agreed to send the letter.

"(State government) can't even collect the state taxes, and now they want to collect ours," he said.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 41 attended Monday's meeting to earn civic government merit badges.

There will be a special council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday to consider pending legislation. The next regular council meeting has been changed to 7 p.m. Dec. 27. Both meetings will be in council chambers.

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