Tag Archives: Issues

Continuous excellence in REPRESENTATION and LEADERSHIP

TODAY is ELECTION DAY and this will by my last campaign blog about the issues.  Please feel free to comment and discuss the issues.  I do not have all the answers but you may contact me to discuss them.

Excellence in REPRESENTATION is critical to getting heard and ultimately resolve critical issues.  I have met with citizens that issues and work with them to find a solution.  The solution is not always what the citizen expects but we always work within the framework of our municipal government that is controlled by laws and regulations dictated to us by The Municipal Act.  It gives us the right to govern as a council but under certain controls and regulations.  If Council decides to ignore the rules, there would be serious consequences that could include suspension of the Council.

Excellence in representation also means that we are prepared to meet with all citizens on a regular basis.  Throughout this past four year term, I have co-sponsored Constituents Meet and Greets with my colleague, Angie Desmarais.  Twice per year we invite Ward 2 constituents to meet and talk to us about their concerns.  The last ward meeting lasted until early into the morning.

These meetings allow us to feel the pulse of this community and find out what issues are important to the community.  It helps us to plan what issues are priority that need to be presented to Council during the next six months.  While some issues have been resolved, others have been presented more than once and others are still pending.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is excellence in representation and demonstrates that Councillor Desmarais and I care about our neighbours.

LEADERSHIP is defined as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task“.

Good leaders can be spotted by the cooperation and strengths as seen by their constituents.  They may not be the loudest but they are effective at problem solving and obtaining consensus.

An effective leader is also honest, straight forward and skilled at influencing others.  They are also successful by gaining the trust and friendship of others around them.

In my 19 years on Council, I have honed these skills and have used them to the maximum benefit of those that I have been honoured represent.

While I am prepared to continue my role of providing excellence in leadership on behalf of the citizens of Ward 2 and the entire city, this can only continue when everyone VOTES today – Monday, October 27.

I will carry on with being reliable, dedicated, committed and professional.  You can continue to rely on me as your elected representative. 

Election 2014 is all about the issues that are important to you.  Read more about me and what I will do for you.  If you have any questions, there may be an answer in my Frequently Asked Questions.  Feel free to  contact me with your own comments and questions.  Thank you for your continued support.

ELECTION DAY REMINDER:  Poll hours today are 10am – 8pm.  If you live in Ward 2 and your address is SOUTH of Killally St. E, your polling station is Community Living on McRae Street.  For those residing NORTH of Killally St. E, you will vote at the Vale Health and Wellness Centre on Elizabeth St.  Please feel free to contact me if you need a ride to your polling station.  For further information, see Election 2014.

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HOT BUTTON! The TRUTH about Port Colborne Taxes

During the Election 2014 campaign, some candidates have been fear mongering by telling voters that Port Colborne has the highest property taxes in the Region. The problem is, they cannot produce any evidence to support their claims.

The facts are now in!  Recently, the City of Port Colborne staff researched this issue.  The results are: Port Colborne property owners enjoy the lowest municipal residential property taxes in Niagara!  The proof can be seen in this graph.

Among other things, it clearly shows that Port Colborne property taxes are nearly $3000 lower than the most expensive (Niagara-on-the-Lake) and more than $800 below the average of all 12 municipalities.

Anyone that says that Port Colborne cannot retain its current residents or attract new, because it has the most expensive property taxes, has not done their homework.

Maintaining the services that residents expect and providing them as cost effectively as possible is a delicate balancing act.  Inflation is a fact of life and impacts everyone.  Municipalities are not immune to increasing costs.  The challenge has and continues to be the delivery of services that are affordable and will not cause a significant negative impact to the taxpayer.

In my 19 years as a city councilor, I have worked very hard to make Ward 2 and all of Port Colborne a great place to live.  That includes making decisions with the team of other elected officials and staff that would maintain as many services as possible while keeping property taxes in check.  During my terms in office, the councils have strived to keep property tax increases at or near the rate of inflation.   Without any reservation I can say that these councils have done quite well to achieve this goal year after year.

If re-elected, I will continue to do everything that I can to maintain the fine balance between service delivery and the costs associated with it so that Port Colborne continues to be an affordable and enjoyable place to live!

Further reading: Responsible Investment in Infrastructure will explain why property taxes will NOT be rising by 20% or more.  What cannot be explained is why the same candidates are propagating these false statements.

Ongoing support for our youth, seniors and the most vulnerable members of our community

In the next 4 weeks I will be blogging about the issues as I see  them  and as I have been able to extrapolate from the last 4 years.  Please feel free to comment and discuss the issues.  I do not have all the answers but feel free to contact me and I am willing to discuss them.

This issue is one that Ward 2 must be conscience about because it appears to be all around us.  Youth, Seniors and the most vulnerable make up a large portion of our population.  The youth often feel betrayed by the establishment due to this establishment forgetting how important they can be in developing and expanding our social networks to help other youth in our community.  The youth find it difficult to speak to anyone but people their age.  We need to engage them as much as possible and make them understand their worth to this community.  That comes back to MYAC(Mayor’s Youth Action Committee) and their importance in helping council understand the needs that youth have and will have in the future.  I am the council representative on MYAC with many young people that care about their community and want to take part in creating a future that includes them.  This council has been open to the youth.  We should continue to engage our young people for the future of our Port Colborne.

The Seniors deserve our gratitude for all they have done within our community.  With them at the helm, they have created a future that we can be proud off and continue to expand.  This respect has been well deserved and we must continue to help them through their time with us.  That is why I am part of the Seniors Advisory Committee which is a committee of council.  This group has been very active and very vocal in their wishes and guidance  to council.  They continue to be active and we need to listen to their needs as the years go on.  They have created a baseline for us that is high but if we follow their example we can only hope to develop and leave such a baseline for the next generation.  Their wisdom is important for all councils in our country.

The last part of this issue is the care we must give to our most vulnerable in our community.  This defines us as a humane and understanding society.  Community Living helps us reach out to these people and allows us to understand their needs.  I often speak to many handicapped individuals.  They often need the help and understanding that is characteristic of a society that cares for all its members.  I will continue to interact with them and Community Living to insure a good quality of live for all individuals in our city.

Election 2014 is all about the issues that are important to you.  Read more about me and what I will do for you.    If you have any questions, there may be an answer in my frequently asked questions.  Feel free to  contact me with your own comments and questions.  Thank you for your continued support.