Councillor – Ward A
1 – Improvements for TML / Better Community:
Great question…I have been a strong supporter of the ‘continuous improvement’ adage and mindset established during our previous Council. That Strategic Plan crafted and enacted has stood this Township in good stead and shaped future narrative on a wide variety of topics for ‘next Council’. Bold Budgeting will be critical to enable the Master Plans (Parks & Rec, Fire, Transportation, C.I.P., Official…) we worked so diligently towards with extensive Public input. That will be a decisive and forward-looking direction upon the next group…I also feel some sub-committee structures require re-alignment…Economic Development + Affordable Housing as one is an obvious choice for me.
2 – Tax Increases / Effective Delivery:
As indicated in #1 above, new Council must be brave in either re-constituting a zero-based Budget approach or some sort of one-time stipend to realize funding beyond year over year/ongoing expenses. As Chair of G&F and Budget Chair these past years, experience has taught there is no ‘extra $$$’ nor anticipated Provincial funding for new initiatives beyond existing service levels. Given that premise, Council must cultivate funds from within, critically eyeing existing protocols and Departmental expenditures…or examine Capital Reserves and the possibilities that may offer as a way forward…heavy lifting to be sure.
3a – Data to Justify Environmental Improvements:
I wouldn’t…’justification’ for the proposed changes would be to deny that these changes are necessary-I believe they are and beyond that, do not feel we should be denying that age-old septic systems (if installed at all) are not ticking environmental time bombs on properties throughout this Township.
3b – Financial Impact of Regulatory Environmental Changes:
In the affirmative, we can minimize negative H2O impacts through inspection and resultant compliance realization. Generally, property owners will not render maintenance on out of sight/out of mind essential cottage systems until there is a break/failure/leak of (except for water into their place). The difference between ‘improvements’ (your word) and status quo is vigilance’…it costs what it costs and should be engrained into our psyche-currently It. Is. Not.
4 – Affordable Housing:
It will take all tiers of Government to tackle this issue in a significant sense…together. Creating an appetite to develop here is one thing, it is quite another to fund same. Zoning regulations as you refer to are not the main detriment to fulsome affordable/attainable housing. Interestingly, the Township stands in no one’s way of their plans and vision…it is the multi-layers of Governance that confound and confuse-added to the privately funded ROI necessity and the matrix of multi-facetted cost/benefit. Council is not intent on discouraging investment on these would-be projects…the Global financial condition takes care of that! Our Bala/Port Carling developmental nodes are ready and waiting for interested parties…unfortunately, underfunded, and idealistic enterprise views a quick buck and that is a cautionary tale, based on past negative experience. Bring on Housing in all its forms…