Ron Sutherland’s Answers are below and in this document: CANDIDATE QUESTIONS.
Question 1: Toxic Culture At Town Hall
There have been many employment terminations at town hall that were done without Council input. This is wrong. If I am elected Mayor, the Mayor and Council together will be much more involved in these types of decisions.
Question 2: Work With Admin to Fix Toxic Culture
This question is similar or identical to Question 1.
Question 3: Support Full Independent Audit
I voted for the audit the first time, I voted for the audit the second time and I will vote for it again. I am just like all the other taxpayers in this town. I want answers to questions.
Question 4: Increase Time To Study Agenda
Council doesn’t have to vote on something that is put in front of Council on just a few days notice. Council should take its time to consider matters. As Mayor, I will encourage Council not to vote on anything important the first time around, but rather to take as much time as needed, and get public input when appropriate.
Question 5: Bring Heritage District To Amherstburg
I believe that a heritage district can be beneficial to Amherstburg. I would like to hear from the affected property owners first before approving a heritage district. For some reason, this was put on the back burner. Council must deal with this because it’s an important issue.
Question 6: Obtain OPP Costing, Remove Contract Clause
Yes, I will commit to obtaining an OPP costing. I would seek legal advice regarding the OPP clause in the existing contract. Although I am running for re-election, I have not sat on the Police Services Board for the last eight years. If I am elected Mayor, I will be sitting on the Police Services Board and will have the power to bring this matter forward with the Police Services Board.
Question 7: Tourism Role; 1 Million Dollar Budget
I believe that there is a role for us to plan tourism but the current $315,000.00 budget needs to be reduced. We simply cannot afford to do that anymore.
Question 8: Curtail Spending; Pay Debt; Reduce Budget
The City of Windsor was able to reduce its spending and we should be able to do the same. It’s a question of will power.
Question 9: Walkable Neighbourhoods, Amenities in All Areas
Many people in Anderdon and Malden feel like way too much money is spent in the centre of Amherstburg and not enough money is spent in other areas. Certainly, almost all the grant money we got for beautification and parks was spent in the centre of Amherstburg. Anderdon and Malden should receive some more attention.
Question 10: Establish Regional Transit
Regional Transit would be very difficult to establish for Essex County. We don’t really have the population density to make it work. However, we can make Amherstburg more walkable and bikeable with good planning decisions.
Question 11: Societal and Environmental Issues
This question was about societal and environmental issues and is way too big to answer in one short paragraph. I simply say that there is a provincially mandated body called the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA). It is made up of representatives of all the municipalities in Essex County. It has the mandate to deal with most environmental issues in the county.
Question 12: Selection Of New CAO For New Council
I have already stated publically many times that the new CAO should have been selected by the new Council. This is not to detract from Mr. Micelli’s qualifications or expertise. It is simply common sense.
Question 13: Police Contract Buyout Clause
This question is related to Question 6 above. It is not clear to me why the OPP buy-out clause was inserted in the first place; although I have heard some explanations. I will commit to obtaining an OPP costing. I would seek legal advice regarding the OPP clause in the existing contract.
Question 14: Flooding Damage
This question is about flooding. It is clear that spending millions of dollars on infrastructure didn’t stop the flooding. Infrastructure issues are an ongoing issue and anyone who claims to have fixed all our problems for the next 30 years is obviously wrong.
Question 15: Why are we 67 million in debt?
Our debt is high because we have not controlled our spending. We must control our spending. It is a question of will power. It’s that simple.
Question 16: Tourism Or Employment
One full-time industrial job can pay anywhere between $40,000.00 to $80,000.00 or more per year. Typically the worker and the family would spend most of that money in Amherstburg. I don’t think 500 tourists can generate that amount of spending. So I would have to say the industrial job is economically better than 500 tourists.
Question 17: Infrastructure and Services For All of Amherstburg
If you live outside of the main settlement area, then it is harder to provide sidewalks and other services. However, we can still provide quality services such as good garbage removal, good snow removal, good police response times, good ambulance response times and good fire department response times.
Question 18: Eliminate Police Contract Poison Pill Clause
This is a repeat of Questions 6 and 13.
Question 19: Prioritize/Fund Infrastructure
I feel very strongly about keeping our shares in Essex Power. That corporation was set up for the benefit of today’s taxpayers and future taxpayers. No one has a right to sell those shares just to bail themselves out of their own bad money decisions. The Essex Power shares should be seen as a legacy to be handed down to our children and our grandchildren. I am very firm on this.