Q1. Will you commit to returning the Hope Township LLRW TRUST Fund capital and unspent interest to the W2 ratepayers? A1. YES. Absolutely, as stated by me as the only Mayoral candidate to attend the recent meeting at the Lion’s Centre It is a ridiculous outcome of administration mismanagement. It is also a ward 1 and 2 issue. This will be corrected asap after the election I would not spend money on a Toronto lawyer, not needed. It is a coffee, kitchen table type conversation. I have zero tolerance for this and hold our current council and administration fully accountable to have let his occur.
Q2. Will you respect the terms of the LLRW Agreement (Schedule 8, Township of Hope Fund) which states that the annual interest on the $10M Hope Township LLRW TRUST Fund will be used “to defray the lower tier municipal taxes or levies which would otherwise be payable by the ratepayers” of the former Township of Hope? A2. YES. Absolutely, as stated above.
Q3. Will you commit to re-open the area rating of taxes between Ward 1 and Ward 2, cancel the 37% tax increase to Ward 2, and work out a fair, equitable and transparent sharing of taxes between Ward 1 and Ward 2? A3. YES. Of course. And further to that, I would propose that I have public representation on the budget committee from day 1. I would like to have representatives with a sound financial background participate in the budget process from the start so we have public involvement and overview.
Q4. Will you demand a cost breakdown and public disclosure of where our tax money is being spent in each department and in each Ward? A4. YES. I have proposed a full independent financial breakdown and it will be made public if I am voted as your mayor. In addition, any irregularities will identified and dealt with in a public and appropriate manner. It’s time – for a fresh start.
Q5. Will you agree to continue OPP policing for Ward 2 as long as Ward 2 residents wish it to continue? A5. YES. I would further ensure that Ward 2 has representation on the Police services board and O would like to see a Ward 2 representative work with the OPP. The citizens of Ward 2 are entitled to have a say in the policing of their ward and a say in the financial costs.
Q6. Will you agree to keep the Welcome Fire Station open? A6. YES. The safety of the community is paramount and trumps financial consideration. If we stop the wasteful spending and high administration costs and make us a “how can we help you town” we can make sure we spend properly.
Q7. How will you address and overcome the current discord between Ward 1 and Ward 2 with positive action?
I believe much of the discord is due to an administration and council who have made bad decisions at all levels (financial and communications just to stat). Ward 1 and 2 have the same common frustration, that not only sees our council and administration ignoring us and spending inappropriately The issues that Ward 2 have are valid and need to be addressed but it is imperative that council listens to the citizens and treats everyone with respect with open dialog. Public participation is critical. The citizens must be the primary drivers of what is done in the community and the council must listen and ensure the staff and administration does what they are asked to do and they must do it well. The tail does not wag the dog.
In the end, there may be disagreements on issues as there is in any family but like all families, you talk them through and move forward in support of each other. We must be listened to, we must have respect and we must have a say.