I support growth in our community – it pays for improved services for residents and businesses. But we must grow with a view to protecting what we value as a community – small town culture, quiet neighbourhoods, a walkable and cycle able community, waterfront, green space, trees and wildlife. I have strongly advocated for higher development property standards, tree preservation, phasing, so that entire tracts are land are not clear cut and decimated for years at a stretch, and limits on the operating hours of heavy equipment.
As Councillor this term, I supported the elimination of forty percent the Town’s debt while increasing revenues and strengthening our reserves. This was accomplished while reducing the tax rate year by year. Collingwood now has a long-range financial roadmap, and with the right Council we can see our way clear to investing in the community providing more and better services, without burdening taxpayers.
We will have some important decisions and a responsible plan to make on some big ticket items in the not-too-distant-future – the Collingwood Terminals, the Waterfront Masterplan, and the imminent need for a multi-use facility. Let’s make sure we plan…SMART!
Jobs, Housing, & The Economy
Collingwood is now ranked as one of the top 10 Canadian cities for entrepreneurship and small business expansion, and is the Number 1 ranked town in Ontario. To continue to grow, our businesses need employees. New workers to our town need affordable accommodation and reliable transportation. I supported the investment in expanded public transportation and I will continue to encourage the development of mixed use neighbourhoods with housing options for a range of family budgets.
Health & Active Transportation
Our town today exudes healthy lifestyle – I supported the extension of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge which promotes physical activity and healthy eating among our children – and when kids take this message home, the whole family benefits. Collingwood is seeing more people than ever before cycling for work and play, and I support the expansion of trails and bikes lanes throughout the community.
Arts and Culture
Arts and Culture are one of the 5 pillars of the Community Based Strategic Plan – they are very important to the residents of this community. We have taken affirmative action this term by expanding on the number of cultural events that we host, like Sidelaunch Days, the creation and growing use of the Shipyards Amphitheatre, and our Memorandum of Understanding with The Simcoe Street Theatre to provide a wide range of performing arts programming that is accessible to everyone.