"Focused on a BRIGHT FUTURE for our town"
EG Election 2014
Election day is Monday, October 27, 2014.
Click here to see if you are on the EG voter list
EG advance polls: (you can vote at any advance poll with a valid Ontario ID)
Town of East Gwillimbury Town Office:
October 14 to 21
9 am to 4 pm
Excluding the weekend
At the following four locations:
- Ross Family Complex
- Sports Complex & Arena (Sharon)
- Holland Landing Community Centre
- Harvest Hills Activity Centre
Saturday, October 11 Saturday, October 18 from 10 am to 5 pm
Jack Hauseman's Platform
MY GOAL - "To create a lean, efficient, cost effective government for existing and future residents of East Gwillimbury."
"Team ...Team ... Team"
As a Town Councillor, you have my pledge that I will work as a Team Player with my fellow Colleagues and our Mayor. I will respect and embrace each of their talents and abilities so that together we can make East Gwillimbury an even better place to live, work and play.
MY PLATFORM Ė A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR EAST GWILLIMBURY
LEAN ACCESSIBLE GOVERNMENT - When governments are in a growth mode, thereís a tendency to create multi layers of management at a central location, and not address the need for more front line workers in the field. This trend makes government less accessible to residents by creating too many levels of bureaucracy. If weíre not careful, I believe weíre headed in that direction. I feel itís time we revisited and reviewed our staffing needs, defining specific roles and responsibilities for both our management team and front line workers. If we find government too top heavy, we should take steps to reduce our management complement, and have a plan in place to increase our front line workers in the field. As a number of our management staff are slated for retirement in the next few years, this doesnít mean layoffs. This can be achieved simply through attrition.
GOVERNMENT SERVICES AND RESPONSE - Residents deserve good basic municipal services; well maintained roads, sewers, clean water, leisure services, nice and well maintained parks and trails, enforceable municipal bylaws, libraries, sports and recreational facilities, and a wide range of municipal programs. Our complement of front line workers must be able to respond to residents concerns and emergencies. As an example, earlier this year parts of East Gwillimbury experienced a devastating storm which resulted in severe tree damage. Iíve heard from many residents who felt it took far too long to clear downed trees and storm debris. Many of our roads and sidewalks remained closed, in some cases for up to 3 weeks. We have to have a system in place to respond quickly in future to insure this does not happen again.
EMERGENCY SERVICES - We have a proud history of dedicated volunteer firefighters providing emergency services in our small town with limited tax resources. Recently weíve backed them up with a complement of full time firefighters. As we grow, this practice will continue, as we eventually become a full time fire service after significant growth down the road. I support this practice fully. My one concern with the current Council has to do with the recent renovation and expansion to the existing firehall in Queensville. Our approved planning documents have us building a new Firehall halfway between Queensville and Sharon in the near future to better service both communities. Why therefore would we spend a significant amount of dollars now on the existing Queensville firehall in north Queensville when we clearly need a new, better located hall in the near future to service growth in both communities? In the process, it also meant closing the only existing community centre in Queensville, and moving the offices of our Chamber of Commerce. In future we should assess our needs more carefully and take into account all other community implications before jumping forward.
PARKS AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES INFRASTRUCTURE - Over the past several years, our Councils have undertaken many upgrades to our existing parks and facilities, as well as creating several large new and innovative parks. Earlier this year I drove by several of our parks and noticed the state of disrepair. Weeds were growing everywhere and generally our parks appeared to be unmaintained. From the road the fields actually looked yellow not green. After such a large investment in building and renovating these beautiful parks, we must provide adequate front line staff and resources to properly maintain our park infrastructure. This must also hold true for our community facilities.
PLANNING FOR GROWTH - Over many years our Council have put in place first class planning documents including our Strategic Plan, Official Plan, Planning By Laws, Building Codes, suggested Streetscapes, future School locations and a host of other documents outlining the type of growth and where growth when and will take place in our municipality. All our planning policies were finalized only after much input and consultation with residents in a proper public process. These documents, coupled with both Provincial legislation and Region of York directives outline a bright future for East Gwillimbury. We must adhere to our plans for growth if we want to build complete communities. Our phasing policies insure that only a certain amount of residential development can occur before an offsetting amount of commercial, industrial and retail development is built. By balancing growth, we insure that new and existing residents will have the availability of both new public and private services, stores, and employment opportunities. If new good jobs are provided locally, it means many residents can work as well as live in East Gwillimbury. Our planning documents also insure 70% of East Gwillimbury will remain free of any further development, allowing our residents a continuing choice of rural and urban lifestyles while protecting our environmentally sensitive areas. By phasing in the building of new community facilities and services, it means we will insure we have the increased tax base and financial resources in place to afford these facilities and services. Public Transportation must also be a major consideration, linking residents to local retail and commercial service providers, and to other public transportation systems such as GO Transit. As East Gwillimbury is now fully transversed by Highway 404, a major provincial transportation route, the opportunity now exists for our Town to develop a plan to attract large industrial and commercial players to locate in designated locations in or plan close to this highway. Our own municipal Business Development Committee has provided great initiatives in past, helped brand our Town, and continues to offer meaningful dialogue on how best to create a positive climate for businesses to locate in our Town. We are also blessed with an active and vibrant Chamber of Commerce in touch with the needs of our growing business community. We must continue the positive interaction with our committee and chamber, and develop partnerships with industry aimed at promoting our Town as good place to do business.
SERVICES FOR SENIORS - As our population ages, we must look for opportunities to address the need for more Seniorís housing and professional and medical services. We must recognize that our Seniors have given us a lifetime of service in providing us with the opportunity of enjoying an even better life than they had and a bright future for all of us Already seniors in our community face long waiting lists at existing facilities and are forced to move elsewhere for assisted housing and services. Our phasing policies will insure that many private and public services are available, but we must develop a plan to attract more Seniorís housing opportunities in our town. Our plan should examine possible initial municipal tax breaks and incentives to the development industry to encourage the building of more Seniorís facilities.
OUR YOUTH OUR FUTURE - Our children are our future. As parents, aunts and uncles, guardians, and grandparents, our children come first. As a Council we must work closely with our minor sports organizations, our schools, our library, and other private and social bodies to provide good facilities and programming opportunities for our youth. Our Town has a very active Recreational Staff whoís primary goal is to create a positive environment for development and learning. I support their efforts and feel strongly that we must continue to do so in future.
VOLUNTEER SUPPORT Ė We have been blessed in East Gwillimbury by the efforts of thousands of volunteers. Whether itís involvement in our minor sports organizations, charitable causes, church groups, schools, on our community centre boards, municipal committees, or for many other specific initiatives and causes, our volunteers make a substantial difference in the success of our town. We must continue to offer our special volunteers our ongoing support through Council participation, encouragement and support, and recognition.
RESPECT FOR RESIDENTS AND OUR COMMUNITY - Residents should expect their local municipal government to operate in an open, accessible and time sensitive manner. We must communicate effectively with our community. If changes or disruptions in service are proposed, we must consult with residents effected and work with them to minimize the impact on their enjoyment of life. Residents must have the assurance that any requests, concerns, or applications they bring forward are dealt with in a professional and time sensitive manner by Council and Town Staff. Whether itís a request to enforce a Town By Law, a Zoning Application, Minor Variance, new Town Initiative, Request to appear before Council, or other concern, there must be clear guidelines and deadlines in place to insure a proper time sensitive response or resolution to their request. Council must act as a voice for the residents we represent. We are elected not to be the great defenders of the existing way things are done, nor to be the great criticizers of the current system, but rather to listen to all sides of any issue or concern before making a prudent and knowledgeable decision. I was disappointed when Council reversed an agreed upon route for the expansion of Doane Road in our planning documents without allowing for public comment from affected residents, then only reversing their decision after a great deal of public pressure. It is important that we ALWAYS notify residents of any proposed changes to our planning documents and allow for further input. I also wonder if our Council really took into account the concerns of Queensville residents about the close proximity to their community of the new sewage treatment plant. In my view other locations could have been explored more thoroughly before a final decision was made.
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE DEVELOPMENT INDUSTRY - During this significant period of growth in our Town, itís important that we develop a professional and fair relationship with the Development Industry. We must hold fast to our existing planning policies and documents and not make exemptions to or grant special favours to one developer over another. Doing so will lead to countless appeals to the Region of York and Ontario Municipal Board at great cost to our taxpayers. We must also assure our developers we have a full complement of planning and building staff available to review plans of subdivision, perform building inspections, adhere to approved building code requirements, etc. We must encourage developers to meet with existing residents to alleviate any concerns resulting from construction traffic, building, noise concerns, etc. and to work with both parties to minimize these concerns. By dealing with the Development Industry in a fair and equitable manner, we will avoid conflict and insure that the growth we experience is as outlined in our documents. We must also encourage Developers to partner with us in new community initiatives providing private dollars to give us additional resources to address needs in our Town.
THE ENVIRONMENT - Our planning documents all outline where development can take place while insuring that 70% of East Gwillimbury remain free of any further future development. Our environmental and other Town documents and those of the Province of Ontario and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority go into more detail about the governance of our environment and natural heritage. We must adhere to those documents and work closely with our local conservation authority and other levels of government and industry to minimize the affect of growth on our environment. We must also partner with these organizations on new initiatives with the goal of strengthening our environment. As a Council we must do our best to attract concerned volunteers to our own municipal Environment Committee and heed their suggestions carefully.
AGRICULTURE AND TOURISM - We must never forget our Agricultural Heritage. Agriculture will continue to be a major industry in East Gwillimbury in future. Our plans insure most areas of our town will remain free of further urban development. We must dialogue with farmers and providers on how to best market this industry and assist in making it stronger. We also have a strong Horse/Equestrian industry in our Town with major showing and riding facilities. We also have several Marinas linking us to the Lake Simcoe/Trent Severn Canal System, and a world class private Fishing Club but as of this date, our only entry in a major annual Provincial tourism publication is the Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park. Even our War of 1812 Anchor, and the Sharon Temple, a national historical site are not mentioned in this publication. Our Town must do a better job in future of promoting our significant tourist assets.
OUR HISTORY AND HERITAGE - We must always remember where we came from and preserve our own unique history as a major player in the development of our nation. As a Council, we must work closely with our local Historical Society to document our history. We must respect the efforts of advocates who have researched our past. Where possible we should examine ways of preserving our historical streetscapes in our villages, our early significant buildings and sites, our World War I and II Cenotaph, and establish and plaque historical sites that played a major role in our history (eg. The Upper and Lower Landing on the Holland River as part of one of the first major transportation routes in Canada). We must continue to work with the Sharon Temple Museum Society to insure this unique National Historic Site remains in good repair and accessible to future generations.
THE TWO HOUSES - When our Town purchased the property north of the Civic Centre it was to secure land to be used in future in the development of a Civic Square. While it was wise to explore whether the existing farmhouse could be saved, restored, and incorporated into our civic square, it is now evident that the cost of such a restoration would be prohibitive. To me, the intended use of a restored farmhouse as extra space for municipal staff is unacceptable. The building itself, while once attractive, is not historically significant enough to spend well over a million dollars in restoring. Although some of this money would be coming from the development industry, these are still dollars that could be used for many other more important needs Iíve identified (eg. Maintenance of our parks, a new firehall between Queensville and Sharon, etc.) Ė I say document itís history but tear it down and avoid this terrible expense. We have more pressing needs in this town.
While keeping and moving the old Queensville Radial Line Station to a new location in Sharon on Mt. Albert Sideroad with the assistance of the Sharon Developers was a good initiative by Council, it is time the building be restored. Currently itís sitting as an eyesore and looks sadly out of place. My only objection to the move is that Iíve heard Council gave the developer extra sewage capacity to move the station. I think it would have been far more prudent to work with the Government of Ontario and the developer to share in the cost of such a move in view of the fact that the station had been located in the Highway 404 construction zone, and that the Station now is to be incorporated into the Sharon residential area and sold as a private residence.
ACCESSABILITY - Many of our residents suffer from a host of disabilities. Over the past several years governments at all levels have come to realize that our facilities must be fully accessible. Many of our facilities have been upgraded to meet or even exceed new standards, but much still has to be done. Our new planning documents incorporate new legislation and new development will insure public accessibility. As a Council we must listen carefully to the suggestions of our own Town Accessibility Advisory Committee and take action to insure all can take part in the enjoyment and life experience of our Town.
CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS - As was the case in 2010, I will again NOT be accepting donations of any kind to my campaign from the development industry. Whether itís from a Developer, a Corporation tied to the development industry, or an individual associated with the development industry, I will not be accepting any contributions. Your Council must be completely transparent and independent especially during this time of unprecedented growth. You may wish to ask whether any of my fellow candidates plan to do the same.
RESERVE FUNDS AND DEVELOPMENT CHARGES - For years our Town has used Reserve Funds to borrow against to reduce Bank Charges associated with using our approved Operating Line of Credit. This is a prudent practice as long as those borrowed funds can be offset by current taxes and other receivables. I hope this is the case. Otherwise we are in effect creating longer term debt and depleting our reserve funds. I believe it important to review the current state of our Town reserve funds and report to the public the true net value of these accounts. This should also be the case with our Development Charges Accounts. We receive these funds from the Development Industry to pay for future infrastructure as growth takes place. In past we've been too quick in my opinion to pay for new initiatives out of these accounts that only loosely fit the requirements of new development criteria. This then depletes our accounts over time and our ability to pay for major growth related infrastructure down the road. Again, it's time we had a full public report on the true balances of our Development Charges accounts.
PROPERTY TAXES - I will strive with my colleagues to pass budgets that support a lean, efficient local municipal government. I will do my very best to keep property taxes as low as possible without cutting needed services or service levels. Over the years Iíve gained a reputation as Councilís watchdog on expenses and will continue to look at ways of reducing and eliminating duplication and unnecessary spending. I also encourage you to get involved during our open public budget process. In past residents who have participated have come up with excellent ways of saving tax dollars.
OTHER ISSUES - If you have another issue you'd like me to comment on please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
© Jack Hauseman 2014