KAWARTHA LAKES-Kawartha 411 News is starting our municipal election coverage with a profile of each of the new 8 wards. The next Kawartha Lakes Regular Municipal Election will be held by internet and telephone voting over 10 days ending on Monday, October 22, 2018 at 8pm
The new Ward One is in the northern part of the City of Kawartha Lakes. It includes the villages of Coboconk, Norland and Kirkfield. According to the 2014 final voters list there are 9,679 electors in this ward.
The boundaries are as follows:
North – Municipal Boundary
East – South from Municipal Boundary at Lot 17 Concession 13 and 14 of Somerville; All lands lying west of Lot 16 Concession 13 and 14 and lots 37 to 72 Concession fronting on the River (Gull River and Silver and Shadow Lakes) east to Balsam Lake, including all islands; south to intersection of Rosedale River and Balsam Lake.
South – North ½ of Lot 26 Concession 1 and 2 Fenelon and North of Lot 16 Concession 1 to 11 Eldon.
West – Municipal Boundary
There are four candidates running to represent the people of Ward One in the municipal election. Emmett Yeo, Raymond Blais Couture,Don Logan and Rob Macklem.
We asked each candidate the same three questions.
1)What are the top three issues in your ward?
2)If elected what would you do about these issues?
3)A Facebook poll we conducted found that the majority of residents (who answered the poll)would prefer better roads over lower taxes. Would you increase taxes to fix our roads?
The responses are posted in the order in which they were received.
1. Top three issues in Ward 1. There are many local issues in Ward 1, as it encompasses most of the North of the City, but there are some issues everyone shares. Roads, taxes and red tape seem to be the big three shared by most everyone I have talked to.
2. If elected I would ;
– continue on our Roads plan we adopted last year, it is an aggressive plan to bring all our roads up to an acceptable standard while maintaining the good roads we do have.
– I would make a commitment to maintain tax increases at the rate of inflation, or cost of living. The way to succeed at this is to hold Staff accountable for their departmental budgets with minimum overruns, and quit trying to be everything to everyone. We must set a level of service and stick to it.
– We must simplify the permit process, develop a reduced scope site plan process and be more user friendly, by far the most difficult of the three, it will take a culture shift to succeed at this, but we have to try.
3.We already have raised taxes to tackle the roads issue as part of our aggressive road plan. The plan calls for increases over the next couple of years of around 3 – 4 %, I believe through accountability and hard work we can reduce this to the cost of living and maintain our roads plan even if it means extending the payback by a year or two . We can’t continue to abuse the ratepayer and let the municipality off easy, there has to be a degree of internal pain for this to be successful.
Raymonde Blais Couture
Short term rental, service agreement for private & unassumed road, shortage of doctors on rural road (outside Lindsay) also speed reduction on some roads in the area.
- Short term rental: with be treated as a full time business, the same way the city impose bylaws on resort, bed & breakfast. The rule should be the same.
- Winter service for private & un assume road: two years ago the city give winter service agreement why cancelling those, we pay the same taxes for what? two garbage’s bags this have to change.
- We have a lot of issue with speed in the small town that need to be reduce, Carden, Kirkfield school zone, We need to work very hard on those before someone get kill or hurt.
- Shortage of doctors, we need to give those more to keep them here or keep Dr. Warsi here as he is the only one left, Woodville going, Kirkfield also going. The city again is looking at $ for the doctors to pay rent to a fair market value, what is a fair market value, now those office will be left empty like the library. I will like to know how much the doctor’s that work st the hospital pay for rent.
This is my plan, no more taxes increase, only to give to Lindsay NO the money we pay on taxes should stay in the small town where we live, the money will be put in a account for each town like this we can improve our road in our ward#1
Issue 1: Health
Facilities for doctors that look after us are tied up in conflict and red tape. We’re going to watch a Wal-Mart go up, but the Coboconk medical centre sits vacant and condemned due to bureaucracy and poor planning on the part of the powers-that-be. Yet we’re getting a gas station and a Timmies within two months of the go-date.
As another example, many years ago a nice young lady I’ve known all my life passed away. A year later I find that they need my permission because they accidently buried her in my family’s gravesite. I signed all the documents that were presented to me so that they could move her to her proper resting place. I was shocked when fourteen months later they came to me and asked me to sign the paperwork again because they hadn’t moved her yet. This is personal but I was dumbfounded that something so sacred took 26 months to rectify, because it was an extremely delicate matter for all parties concerned. Why did it take an extra 14 months to get permission? Because they ran out of time and the exhumation order had expired. What about the families concerned? I even sought out the young lady’s brother to assure him that I was not the cause of the delay.
This is a management problem. If you can’t manage good people to do a good job, then you have a management problem. I see this as a common thread in a lot of services, and I intend to fight for more accountability at all levels of municipal government, as well as chase down solutions to get more doctors and support services for health into Ward 1.
Issue 2: Roads
There is a huge amount of wasted time, money and materials being spent on roads. Paving roads and then cutting the fresh pavement days later to put in culverts shows very poor planning. I intend to push for accountability and ask some very, very uncomfortable questions. I regularly drive all over the northern regions of the City of Kawartha Lakes so I will be able to see what is being accomplished in a timely manner, instead of waiting for a report.
Issue 3: Building Upgrades
There is currently no public input on any minor or major retrofits of existing buildings. When suggestions are pointed out by the actual people that use these buildings, the powers-that-be ignore them and still feel they know what we need in our small communities. Nine times out of ten they are wrong. I doubt that any consultant has our best interests at heart. For example, there have been two master fire plans done and I’ve never been consulted on them, as former chief and now the hall coordinator of Hall 17, Norland, and with a total of 31 years service as a volunteer firefighter. We need a consultation protocol put in place so actual people with their boots on the ground are consulted, and that will be one of my top priorities.
Would I increase taxes to fix our roads?
You can always fix something with more money, however, accountability will make for better efficiencies. I would only increase taxes if I felt there was going to be a great benefit, and not the current patch-work system of road upgrades. We have the best gravel available for road construction right in our area, gravel that is regularly transported to Toronto and beyond at great cost. Surely we can benefit from this resource.
1. What are the top three issues in your ward?
With everything from quarries to short term rentals, downtown revitalization
to lake management, doctor recruitment to large scale fill operations, to
pick the top I’d have to say;
1. Policy; road ownership status service level policies & LSA’s will be big
for Ward 1.
2. Municipal Law Enforcement; we need more MLE officers and hours of
3. Landfill lifespan; we are fortunate not to be out of landfill space, but
need to be planning for it. With estimated landfill capacities and growth
Kawartha Lakes is seeing, how to manage waste will be hot topic within next
2. If elected what would you do about these issues?
In my 1st term as Councillor I’ve served on the Culture &
Heritage task force, Municipal Heritage, Property Standards, Order to
Restrain, Waste Strategy and Planning Committees, the Dalton, Carden and
Norland Management Boards. I’ve joined the Miller Public Engagement
Committee, Kirkfield and District Historical Society, Victoria County
Historical Society and Norland Summer Festival Committee. The north often
feel left out, I look forward to working with a reduced Council to create
common sense policy taking care of the basics to level the playing field.
Right off the bat we cut the NIMBY discussions in half, increasing your odds
of being heard!
3. A Facebook poll we conducted found that the majority of residents
would prefer better roads over lower taxes. Would you increase taxes to fix
We all want better roads, there is a good plan in place to
catch up on our road repairs if we focus on service level policy to make it
work. Additional tax increases over what we’ve seen this term would not be
in best interest of fixed income residents.
A Ward Two profile will be posted on Tuesday.