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The Oshawa Council voted to dissolve the Oshawa Business Improvement Association (BIA) and its board after its members participated in a recent survey on whether or not to dissolve the organization. Councillors Bob Nicholson, Mike Giberson, John Gray and John Nicholson were all in favour of dissolution, while Councillors Gibersson, Bradley and Marks were against it. Although the Council dissolved the organizations in a special session and rejected a motion to repeal the Articles of Association 94-74 by a two-thirds majority of the Council, the Bia will continue as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization until the end of 2017. The motion, which was seconded by Nicholson and re-examined by the council by the two-thirds majority required to repeal the bylaws, was tabled by Coun Councilman JohnGray.
A total of 47,223 eligible members cast their votes, of which 28 voted in favour of dissolving the organisation. Although democracy is a difficult process, it is the responsibility of the members to decide whether or not to continue with the organisations. He said the decision to disband the BIA was not the conclusion he wanted, but it was the right one and volunteers had campaigned for it for more than 15 years. It is time we dissolved the BIA, "he said, pointing out that only 19 members voted to remain.
Nicholson said, however, that members of the BIA had been given the opportunity to vote on an issue that the council should respect. He continued: "Although we have not made a decision for or against the Bia members, we have asked members to express their views in a city-led vote.
He said that based on the city's current tax rates for downtown commercial real estate, it would be fair and reasonable to continue charging higher rates than those for commercial real estate elsewhere in the city.
Kornic said he could not see the dissolution of the BIA as a positive thing, but it no longer makes sense for downtown businesses to pay an additional five cents in tax levy compared to other downtown commercial properties.