KAWARTHA LAKES-Ward Three is in the centre part of the City of Kawartha Lakes. It includes the villages of Fenelon Falls, Cameron and Rosedale. According to the final voters list for 2014 there are 8294 electors in Ward Three.
The boundaries are as follows:
North – North of Rosedale River to and including island to intersection of southern boundary of Fenelon/Somerville Boundary – east along fourth boundary of Somerville
East – Boundary with Ward 2 to Sturgeon Lake; west to Island Canal to Lot 27 Concession 5 Ops
South – Sturgeon Lake west along Lot 27 Concession 1 – 5 Ops and Lot 23 Concession 11 Mariposa and east ½ Lot 22 Concession 11 Mariposa; north along east ½ of Lot 22 Concession 11 to intersection with south boundary of Ward 1.
West – Boundary with Ward 4
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) The top 3 issues in Ward 3 are, 1) Infrastructure. Our Roads and Bridges are like the arteries of our body. It`s how we get around. It is so fundamental. We take it for granted until we hit a Pot Hole or a Bridge is closed. In truth without good Roads and Bridges, no Pleasure, Work or Business can take place. It is no good spending money to make a paradise if you can`t get there. 2) Property Taxes are rising too quickly, along with front end loading on Water and Sewer bills. We have made a point of attracting Retirees to this area. Even defined pension plans are only keeping up with inflation (1.25%) Property taxes are increasing at an effective rate of 8% a year through the mathematical magic of MPAC PLUS the Mill Rate! Utility bills make you pay $170.65 whether you turn the tap on or not! 3) Issuing of Building Permits, Zoning etc. To get a Building permit, even to replace and existing house, can easily turn into a nightmare. Every week we read in the paper of some poor builder, developer or entrepreneur being bogged down by the issuance of Permits from the City, new requirements that pop out of nowhere. All at great expense. The City says it is open to business yet presents a never ending series of road blocks for anyone who wants to create opportunity! This has to stop!
2) I am running as part of a group : Citizens for Direct Democracy. We have a plan that we have worked on for 2 years to remedy many of our problems. I know this is tedious but one of the main reasons we cannot address the real problems.. ie Roads, Bridges etc., is because of wastage in the millions of dollars in poor decision making and unnecessary staff. I would remind every one that everything you see around you, all the Bridges, all the Road, Community Centers, Arenas etc. Were all built and maintained by usually a 5 person Council, a Clerk plus Asst. A Roads Foreman and 3 – 4 workers! When the Road Foreman identified a problem with the road he called the Road paving Company and got an estimate which was presented to the Council. We did`nt hire a Consultant, We did`nt do a study. We just did the job! The World has`nt changed that much. We now spend $77 million a year (Out of $105 million collected in taxes) on Staffing and Consulting. Staffing costs increased by 24% last year alone! Or $15 million. How many roads and bridges could we repair or replace with that? I notice that Brampton and Bancroft have recently ditched their CAO`s and Senior Staff, for one reason or another. In the Bancroft case, obstructing a cooperative relationship with the Public. We would like to see each Ward with it`s own budget, with it`s own (Evening) Council Meetings to deal with local issues. A monthly meeting in Lindsay to solve issues that effect all of us. Public Consultation being a central theme rather than an after thought as it is now. Hot patching is not only cheaper but more permanent as a repair than cold patching. There will be extra money from re allocation of staff to afford a permanent crew repairing the worst sections and moving quickly to repave Roads and replace Bridges. A Citizens Advocacy Department will assist Builders and Developers obtain permits in a timely fashion. Once a Permit is issued it will not be subject to change! Taxes will be held to the inflation rate and Front end loading with be stopped! A vote for me is a vote for you!
Infrastructure is the first priority,as we need to repair many of our roads,streets,sidewalks,
Downtown redevelopment is now becoming a reality in our urban centres,and
Fenelon Falls is on the cusp of seeing both the opportunity and the means for restoring the downtown.Now that a Community Improvement Plan has been passed we need continued support for our volunteers and merchants to see storefronts,facades and street scapes transformed..In addition the reconstruction of Colborne St.is scheduled for 2019,this will provide a new road,sidewalks and street furniture.This will result in increased tourism and help make Fenelon a destination.Also requiring support is the Enviromental Assesment being done which will make recommendations on helping to solve the summer traffic situation that occurs on most weekends.
We need to insure the new Council is working well,and that the committee structure is effective and efficient,as much of the work of Council takes place in those Committees.We need to continue to improve our Planning,building,public works and Engineering service levels.Our Economic Development Dept needs additional resources to deal with a host of opportunities which could bring increased tourism and jobs to the area.Sound budgeting is required to take advantage and accomplish many of the initiatives that will present themselves,while watching that our tax dollars are spent wisely with good results.
HOW WOULD I DEAL WITH THESE ISSUES
We need to continue with our economic plan which sees extra money going to our infrastructure with the extra debentured funds we committed to,this will also allow us to replenish our reserves and keep a steady budgeting process with known and manageable tax increases.
As the incumbent I would continue to sit on the committees with our volunteers to make sure Downtown Revitalization gets the proper attention it needs to be successful. I would also work to make sure proper budgeting was done in order to have the funds available for these upgrades and improvements.
As a three time Councillor I have the experience and knowledge that allows me to work well with Council,staff and volunteers to insure the new Council and Committee structure has the resources and help they will need to be efficient and effective.We need to hit the ground running in order to accomplish the work that needs to be done to move our community forward.
BETTER ROADS OR LOWER TAXES
Council has already allocated extra funds for roads and infrastructure,an additional 4.5 million has been earmarked for our most needy gravel roads.An enhanced schedule of upgrades and maintenance as well as a ten year road plan has been developed.We need to monitor the results of these initiatives before committing more funds.We fully expect that this extra activity will be noticeable and result in a reduced infrastructure gap.
ISSUE 1- we are lagging terribly behind neighbouring municipalities when it comes residential development. Lindsay and Bobcaygeon seem to be the focus at city hall for the concentration of new home development and infrastructure improvement. I will ensure that the fenelon area gets the attention it deserves. I will not sit quietly and allow us to be left further behind.
ISSUE 2- wait times and red tape at city hall for building and development applications is unacceptably slow. Willing developers should not be forced to wait years for project approvals. Whatever needs to be done in our development services department to expedite the processing of applications would be a priority for me.
ISSUE 3- roads and streets in our ward are an embarrassment. We have become the ? cold patch capital ?.
I would not support increased taxes to improve area roads. it is my understanding that the city has secured a 25 million loan to make improvements to infastructure. i would hope that road and street improvements are part of the city strategy.