Lora Petro Answers Questions 15 To 20 And 22 To 25

Lora Petro’s answer’s are:

15: In your opinion why are we 67 million in debt? How do you think it got to this? What will you do to stop this from happening again?

I believe the main point here, is that the community at large still has yet to have been told in concrete terms how we got this far. I do not believe in making assumptions as to what happened, but I do believe in finding out how it happened. I have supported a detailed audit so as to determine the history of events leading us up to this situation. From those events, as well as with the recommendations provided by Deloitte, the new Council should have no difficulty in not travelling down the same road again. I am a fiscally responsible person, and have always needed concrete facts before determining an outcome. As your Councillor I would ask for those facts, the cost of a project now, its long term expenditure etc before making the decision to ensure that the Municipality could indeed, afford it.

16: What is better for Amherstburg:  500 tourists or one newly-created full-time industrial job?

As stated by previous respondents, 500 tourists may be seen during one festival (eg. SOE Wine Festival), while one newly-created full-time industrial job requires a pre-existing company. What I believe in is the promotion of the town to engage tourists to the area for multiple festivals that are family friendly, while actively seeking new commercial and/or industrial facilities to our area for our residents for employment.

17: What will you do to ensure that citizens living outside of the historical core of Amherstburg receive the same quality municipal infrastructure and services? This means sidewalks, parks, multi-use trails, neighbourhood commercial and institutional uses.

Current and past Councils have done a tremendous job in the development of infrastructure and available services within the historical core of Amherstburg. However, with the focus on the historical core, those residents living outside have gone unnoticed. I believe by engaging the public stakeholders in their neighbourhoods, to develop a plan moving forward would allow for those residents to see changes to their neighbourhood (ie. Sidewalks, parks, etc.) that they so desire. This requires stakeholder engagement and buy in, as well as Council and Administration engagement. This may be completed by Community Committees to determine the wants of the community at large, and Council creating a plan to move forward on certain items. However, costing of each must be factored in. I believe it is time to start the process of improving infrastructure and accessibility of services to those outside of the historical district while being conscientious in spending habits.

18: Do you believe the Poision Pill Clause should be eliminated in the Police Contract in order to get an OPP costing to compare the costs of policicing of OPP versus Amherstburg Police.

As I have mentioned in previous questions, I believe that the “Poison Pill Clause” should be fairly negotiated out if an OPP takeover was to occur to secure the futures of our current civil servants. With that said, yes it would be a variable in the cost comparison of the two forces, however I believe with strong negotiations it will be eliminated and would not financially factor into the comparison.

19: How would you prioritize infrastructure projects in Amherstburg?  How would you fund them? Do you agree or disagree with the decision to not sell the towns share in Essex Power Corp?  Do you feel that by not selling we can avoid insolvency or bankruptcy by using share dividend payments to off set accumulated/future debt? If the town becomes insolvent or bankrupt, what would happen to this share?

The prioritization of infrastructure projects in Amherstburg needs to be done carefully to allow for continued progress in improvements. One improvement can either delay or fast track another. We must first complete the water/sewer projects to alleviate issues with current flooding issues that have become more prevalent in the past years. Road repairs to improve traffic flow would also be near the top of priorities. These projects would need funding through government grants, however with grants do come expenses for the town. A cost:benefit ratio would be required to ensure that the improvement may initially increase the financial burden on the town, however would lessen the overall negative impact to residents. We must proceed cautiously with improvements to ensure they do not overwhelm our municipality financially.

I do not believe it is a wise choice, at this time, to begin selling off assets (such as Essex Power Corp Shares), this thought I believe is echo’d throughout our residents, and that the dividend payments may be used to off set accumulated debt. The future council should work to ensure that the elimination of the accumulated debt is indeed a priority in their long term financial plan.

20:  What measures would you take to ensure that the Town’s employees do their proper jobs and are accountable for their performance?

Job performance indicators first begin in job descriptions. As stated within the Deloitte report, that firm job description be placed in certain financial positions to increase accountability within the department. By reviewing and formalizing all job descriptions, along with concrete duties and requirements to hold such a position, a formal job evaluation can occur. When performance indicators are not being met consistently, there is an opportunity for review and assistance to increase performance. Job performance reviews should occur annually at minimum. Recurrent training to keep staff abreast of technology utilized within the town and new policies and procedures will allow for all staff to remain current. Finally, providing opportunities for further training and specialization within a department will help this town continue to move forward.

22:  As a candidate running in this Municipal election are you aware of the Fraserville mosquito issue and are you aware of the time sensitive mosquito nuisance program proposal and it’s immediate approval to ensure GDG Environmental to acquire MNR permits to commence as early in Spring as possible?  Will you be supportive and receptive to this program being implemented?

I am very aware of the Fraserville mosquite issue, as I have spent many hours within the neighbourhood itself over my years as a resident of Amherstburg. Yes, I completely support this program and its implementation with hopes in alleviating this issue for those residents most severely affected in Fraserville.

23:  What accreditations do you possess to attest to you being elected to council?

– Baccalaureate and Master’s degree from the University of Windsor

– Post graduate studies at the University of Windsor as a Nurse Practitioner

– Post graduate studies through the University of Toronto

– Crisis Intervention Training Leader

– Past member of the Emergency Response and Planning Committee of Leamington Hospital

– Past training director of AAM Volunteer Ambulance Service

– Past social director of the AAM Volunteer Ambulance Service

24: I was wondering what specifically made you run to represent Amherstburg?

I believe everyone initially runs for council out of shear dedication and commitment to their community. This was my initial reason and still continues to be my main motive in the hopes to represent the residents of Amherstburg. Although I am not a life long resident of this community, it is one I have come to call home and love the life I have here. I began giving back to my community with the AAM Volunteer Ambulance Service in 2001, and like all other members was sad to see its time in the community end. I believe I can continue to help our community move forward and be a gem within the County again. Above everything, I want to be a representative for a vibrant town, with many attractions and continue to see that town grow and flourish.

25: Do you believe that the Town of Amherstburg needs a hotel?  If so, do you feel the town should provide financial support to help make that happen?

Yes, I believe that the creation of overnight accommodations in the means of a hotel would be beneficial to Amherstburg. This would not only provide benefit currently with our festivals, but also in future roles as the DRIC comes to completion with a short transit time to the US. I believe the town should provide some incentive for any type of development in the area in an attempt to draw business and increase its tax base.

All answers to date from those who have answered are on the candidate answers page.