I recently shared my Doorstep Greeting video on Facebook so that people living in the ward would have a chance to hear me speak and maybe get a feel for my ideas. I received some great feedback from a gentleman who was concerned that the video didn't contain many details and wondered if I could expand on some of the ideas I discussed.
The gentleman seemed to like my reply and suggested I share on my website the sort of information that I shared with him on Facebook. So I'll follow his advice and the following is my reply as to further details on my priorities:
Posted on Facebook - Feb 4th
Thanks again for your comments, keep them coming! To be a little more specific:
1- Fiscal responsibility - I don't want to see our taxes rise over the next ten years like they have in the last ten years. To provide a brief summary of where I plan to start, it will be in two steps. The first, ensure the S.A.V.E. process work that has begun is fully realized. Only 22 of the over 2500 suggestions brought forward in the program have been implemented. In order to efficiently work with administration and capitalize on work that has already been done it seems prudent to push and ask a little more from this initiative. The second phase will be to change the basic way in which the budget process is handled. Currently, administration plans what it thinks it needs to spend and then the taxes that must be raised are determined from there. I want to start to change the process whereby the amount of anticipated tax revenue is calculated first to determine how much money there is to spend and then work through the process to decide what the best way to spend it will be.
2 - Transparency - Fewer private meetings of council. This will require questioning the need for this and the alternatives available at almost every meeting. For example - this week the council meeting went in private so that councillors could ask questions to the medical officers of health with regard to the covid situation and response. The reasoning given was that the officer available was not authorized to speak in public.
Once a meeting goes in private, none of the items discussed can be share by the councillors with their ward. A better plan would have been to either a: have an officer attend the meeting who is authorized to speak. or b: just schedule a simple meeting with the officer who can't speak in public with those council members who have questions. Because it would not be an official in private session, the councillors would then have more flexibility to share this important information with their ward.
3 - Respect - I have already heard some candidates speak about going in with guns a blazing with a whole list of things they are "going to implement". They may not realize they are just one vote of 15 in council and forcing their way will probably not accomplish anything. While these candidates might make a stir and elicit a response with voters, there could great disappointment when they realize that they are unable to accomplish much of what they promised. Much like a councilor needs to respect the views and desires of the constituents in order effectively represent them, they also need to show respect for those they work with in order to accomplish their objectives.
I apologize as once again these may seem like broad strokes without the substance you are looking for but the space to explain in further detail in this format (Facebook) is a little awkwardly small. My hope at this point is that you can get a general feeling for my "head space" on issues. We have learned over the last year that it is almost impossible to determine what challenges are going to arise. With this in mind, it may be important to get a feel for how a candidate thinks when confronting these issues in order to understand if they may provide appropriate representation.