A Look Back – Candidate Patricia Simone

We had ‘A Look Back’ at Aldo DiCarlo, who is not seeking re-election; now let’s take a look back at candidate Patricia Simone and her SimoneforAburg site.

My Pledge to Amherstburg included:

  • Elected official must direct town employees and administration toward the objectives of the residents. As your elected official, I promise that the taxpayers’ agenda will govern my decisions and I will stand up for the community at town hall.
  • Discussion with elected representatives is important. As your elected official, I promise to be available to answer any questions you may have.
  • Transparency:
    • I believe in open government that communicates with its residents.
    • Information should be readily available.
    • Notice of meetings and proceedings at town hall should be better advertised.
    • We need live streaming of council meetings for those who cannot attend at town hall.
    • I will conduct a complete review of our communication processes to ensure our residents are getting the information they need.

Simone’s other page, My Platform includes:

Consultation

Resident consultation committees have been eliminated. This is the wrong way to go. We need more consultation with residents, not less. I will support the creation of consultation committees that invite input from residents, while maintaining that the final decision-making authority remain in the hands of the elected Council.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Time Commitment

From a reader in 2014:

Question For Mayoral Candidates: For our Mayoral candidates who have full time employment: How will you be able to put in the 40 or more hours required each week as Mayor of Amherstburg? Will you be at Town Hall every day? Will you get a leave-of-absence from your current employer?

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

I have checked into this to see if I could find a reference for the question. I could not find any job description for the mayor of Amherstburg or any reference to a 40 hour work week. The job for mayor of Amherstburg is still listed as a part time job, as it is in all the other municipalities in Essex County, except for Windsor. I do not believe that this election is about a debate for a full time or part time mayor’s position. This election is about deciding who the most qualified individual is for mayor, not the one with the most availability. I investigated further, by speaking with several past CAO’s, council members and staff from the Town, and they all agreed that if the job of mayor is done by a competent individual with skills in delegating, personnel and finance, there should be no need to have a full time mayor. This is a good thing since we can’t really afford one right now, nor can I afford to leave my full time employment and support my family. It would be unfortunate for Amherstburg if we started to limit the candidates for mayor to retirees or people of wealth. I do not believe that the mayor should be doing everything. The work should be distributed amongst the councillors, the deputy mayor, and administration. This develops cooperation, transparency, accountability and a positive work environment, regardless of how much time the mayor has to dedicate to the job. That said, I have a full time job with flexibility and I intend to put in whatever amount of hours is necessary to get Amherstburg back into a positive position. Whether that time is in Town Hall, in my home or in someone else’s home, I can’t say right now. I will say that I can do it more efficiently and more productively than it was done, at least by those on council in the past 4 years.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Bankruptcy Declaration?

From a reader in 2014:

Question 40. Have you ever been personally declared bankrupt or been in a position of authority of a business that has been declared bankrupt? Do you feel a bankruptcy declaration precludes candidates from running for municipal office?

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

I have never been personally declared bankrupt, nor have I been in a position of authority of a business that has declared bankruptcy.

Personally, I do not feel a bankruptcy declaration should preclude candidates from running for municipal office, on its own. A candidate’s attribute’s should be looked at as a whole. Although a candidate may have financial management issues, they may excel in other attributes that would help, especially as only one member of a council. The most effective council is one that has a balance of different talents. Not every person has to have every qualification, as long as on a whole, the council can deal with everything.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Continue To Pay CAO Phipps

From a reader in 2014:

Question 39. What I’m looking for here is a straight forward yes or no answer with your reasons why? Do not want a politically correct answer from someone pursuing a seat and trying not to offend anyone but also at the same time, not answering the question. There have been many of the candidates who have mentioned the 41 items or areas of concern brought forward from the Deloitte review. Are these not 41 issues of concern that have happened under our present CAO/consultant? This is a person hired because of his experience and knowledge of municipal procedures. Is this the same person we want teaching our new CAO? How long do we continue to pay Mr. Phipps once the new CAO comes on board? Either yes you want him to stay on or no, you do not see the need? Your reasons are?

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

I believe my answer to question 34 should satisfy the reader. If not, please feel free to contact me.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Influential Citizens’ Requests

From a reader in 2014:

Question 38. There seems to be special considerations given to certain influential citizens that over ride the concerns of the average citizen. Bylaws were not always supported if special interest individuals sought to get exemptions to pursue projects that were not supported by those affected. What would your approach be to favours requested by wealthy, influential citizens over the average citizen?

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

My approach would be the same, regardless of who I am dealing with. Policies and procedures. Transparency and accountability. Applied equally to all tax payers, without discrimination. Develop new policies and procedures with the new council, the administration and with public input. Make sure everyone understands them. Make sure everyone follows them. Make sure everyone reports on them. It is very easy when everyone does what they are supposed to, starting at the top.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Mr. Marion Hired To Run Election

From a reader in 2014:

Question 37. Has anyone received their voting sheet from the town in the mail yet? It is only weeks away and no one has? The Town after hiring another bureaucrat under contract, one Mr. Marion to run our election as far as administration responsibilities is now blaming Canada Post for this screw up. The Town simply forgot to mail them out! This is just another example of our administration doing what they want with no council awareness or approval and costing us more money. How will you end such blatant incompetence and get the new council back to running this town?

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

This question begs many answers. I have not received my voter registration card yet. Perhaps Town Hall doesn’t want me to vote for change? I have been told that Mr. Marion has a lot of past experience and is quite competent as a Clerk. The question I have is, “Why did we have to hire another Clerk to do the Clerk’s job?” Perhaps I should ask why the full time Town Clerk wasn’t capable of running the election? The answer is clear job descriptions, policies, procedures and hiring practices. I’m sure there’s more that can be done, but I stand by what I’m campaigning on. It’s time to create some policies and procedures that will actually provide transparency and accountability, not pretend they already exist. If they do exist, why is no one following them? If they are following them, why do the citizens continue to receive no answers or progress?

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Developer Special Deals

From a reader in 2014:

Question 36. Yes we need to move this town forward! We need also to find out who has benefited financially with secret or special deals while the Town continued to pile on debt. Did anyone or developer get a special deal, or have fee’s waved? How did Season’s (developer) attain a different classification to avoid over 3/4 million dollars? Did the developers of the geared to income apartments on Simcoe get some special deal or avoid development fee’s? Developers have also passed on to the residents, the expense of final layers of pavement on their projects. These are only few of the stories being heard around our town. If these and others are true? Someone should pay? Not the taxpayers anymore!

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

This question seems more like statements of frustration than a question. I can relate. Without being elected or currently on council, I can’t properly address any of the statements. I do, like others, wonder why no one else on council can address these issues. If the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and councillors can’t confirm or deny these issues, why can’t they tell us why they can’t? This information should all be readily available to the public. If I am elected Mayor, it will be.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Developer Fees

From a reader in 2014:

Question 35. On the issue of local developers and development in itself, how can you assure the residents that these developers will pay the current development fee’s and live up to their obligations through out the entire project until it is completely finished? An example of this is the future of Boblo Island. Mr. Amicone is proposing an additional 200 or more homes. How can you assure us that all future capital costs associated with this project are his responsibility? Who will pay for a projected fire hall and staff (current fire chief is already making his Christmas list) and equipment? Police station (same Christmas List) and staff? Sewage line? Additional ferries? These are all costs which should be born by the developer and passed on to his projected buyers? Examples of this abuse are the fee’s waived already costing this town over a million dollars.

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

Not to offend, but this question seems trivial. The answer is bona fide contracts. The issue seems not to be whether or not there are different development fees but that some builders aren’t obligated to pay them. If these accusations are indeed correct, there will be a very different policy if I am elected mayor. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES. If the Town has any, they sure don’t seem to be followed. Frankly, some other candidates insist they exist, while the CAO insists they don’t, at least in his response to certain citizens. I WILL help council, administration and the public develop NEW policies and procedures that apply to all developers consistently. It is hard to address every circumstance that may occur, but for the ones suggested in the question, I don’t see why the developer was exempted from fees that the Town desperately needs.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Two CAOs’ Pay

From a reader in 2014:

Question 34. Sometime in October, not quite sure of the actual day? Amherstburg will have their new CAO (another of a long line) while at the same time paying Mr. Phipps $80-$90 per hour for his consulting. How long will you let this double salary, or paying two CAO’s go on? In our current contract with Mr. Phipps, there is a 30 day walkaway clause from either party. Do you allow Mr. Phipps to remain on the payroll while at the same time paying our new CAO his salary? His salary is also unknown since Sutton, Pillon, Davies and Hurst voted against Dianne Pouget’s motion to make his salary public? Also would you let mr. Phipps stay on under some other title? (This is rumored)

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

I do not believe that Mr. Phipps needs to stay any longer than what we are contractually obligated to pay for. In other words, 30 days after exercising the Town’s right to walk away, he needs to walk away. Mr. Miceli developed his experience in a city far bigger than Amherstburg. Although he may need a familiarization period, I don’t believe he needs any direction from Mr. Phipps. As a matter of fact, I’d prefer he doesn’t receive any direction from Mr. Phipps, as I don’t believe Mr. Phipps has operated in the best interests of the Town, nor has he communicated with the citizens in a respectful and accountable manner. I have researched Mr. Miceli and spoke with people who worked with him at the city of Windsor. They were of the opinion that Mr. Miceli was experienced and capable of moving the Town forward. I have addressed this in a previous answer as well. Mr. Miceli will be paid even if we were to hire someone else. I have no interest in paying any more people to do the job of one CAO.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Candidates Not Answering

From a reader in 2014:

Question 33. Why aren’t some of the candidates answering important questions? Do the incumbents think they are a “shoo-in” as they are a part of the “4” and a proud member of the good ol boy’s club? Or are they “newbies” that fail to realize their answers may get them a vote? If either is the case you can trust me when I say you will not get my vote!!!

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

I’m not sure whether the question meant ALL questions or just some questions. Since I have answered questions in the past, I can only speak to the remaining questions. I only answer the questions after careful consideration and research. If the intent was to ask those who hadn’t answered any questions to date, I supposed I just answered a different question.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Kingsbridge Amenities

From a reader in 2014:

Question 32. Kingsbridge lacks walkable destinations and sidewalks. If elected, will you vote to fund the preparation of a Secondary Plan and/or Community Improvement Plan for Kingsbridge so that all residents have an accessible and walkable community with neighbourhood commercial and neighbourhood institutional scale destinations? Kingsbridge needs walkable small scale retail, medical and professional offices, and perhaps a new elementary school in this part of Amherstburg and a few small neighbourhood parkettes. Tell us how you will make Kingsbridge a community that is complete safe, vibrant and accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

As I believe in being transparent and frank, I do not see funding any development in the Kingsbridge area in the next 4 years. The Town’s debt load is far too great to embark on yet another project we can’t afford. I agree with everything mentioned, and I believe that all areas of the Town would like such development. I would not be opposed to such development for Kingsbridge once our debt load is stabilized, paid down and other promised projects are completed. Texas Road has been an issue that started as far back as 1997 I’ve been told. Projects like this must be seen through to completion before beginning new projects. Sadly, I don’t believe we have the money to spend in the near future.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Post Amalgamation Unequal Benefits

From a reader in 2014:

Question 31. Once amalgamation took place, Amherstburg as a whole ( Anderdon, Amherstburg, Malden ) received tax money from ALL the tax payers of the town. Unfortunately only downtown Amherstburg ( old Amherstburg ) seemed to receive the benefits of this amalgamation not Anderdon & Malden. If you are able to win in this election, will you make sure that all the taxpayers receive the benefits of being in amalgation and not just the downtown ( old Amherstburg )?

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

In my discussions with voters over the past several weeks, it seems clear that the more rural areas of Amherstburg are not being serviced as they should. This seems more unreasonable when the reason for amalgamation is considered. Amalgamation was intended to improve efficiencies, lower taxes and build reserves. This seems obvious when you consider that the separate townships no longer need to pay for 3 CAO’s, 3 police departments, 3 fire departments, etc. Instead, the town of Amherstburg is in debt and the outer rural areas are not receiving the same level of service that ‘old’ Amherstburg is. I will make sure that the Town gets back on track, distributing services equally to ALL the taxpayers, not just the ones in old Amherstburg. With appropriate policies and procedures, obviously not in place as outlined by the current CAO, this issue should not be hard to develop and maintain.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Electronic Polling

From a reader in 2014:

Question 30. Would you support electronic polling (secure) on substantive matters plus immediate public release of results? One day perhaps ‘OPP versus local police’.

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

Personally, I am all about technology and feedback. I like the idea but it would require more investigation to make sure it is feasible and affordable. Much like the ward issue, I also believe it is more an issue for the citizens as a whole. If the majority of voters would like to use electronic polling, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be implemented.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on No Public Funds To Create Barriers To Accessibility

From a reader in 2014:

Question 29. Will you commit to a municipal policy that no public funds will ever be used to create or perpetuate barriers against persons with disabilities? Will you commit to specific plans to ensure fully accessible public transit and taxi services in your community? How, specifically, will you make Amherstburg more inclusive?

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

I don’t believe we need a policy regarding the use of public funds that might create or perpetuate barriers for persons with disabilities. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 seems to legislate the requirements for inclusive planning appropriately. As much as I would like to see more public transit, it is an issue that has to be addressed with the other municipalities. I don’t believe that any municipality in Essex County can afford public transportation on their own. This is an issue we need to keep investigating as a County initiative. Taxis are private enterprise and it would be difficult to regulate their accessibility outside of the laws of the province. Amherstburg does currently have the Care-A-Van service, which I believe addresses the public transportation for persons with disabilities. I would work with the Province, County and the Amherstburg Accessibility Advisory Committee to ensure the Town of Amherstburg addresses and meets the needs of persons with disabilities.

Amherstburg Vote 2022

A Look Back – Candidate Aldo DiCarlo on Ward System

From a reader in 2014:

Question 28. Amherstburg seems to have an unusually high amount of staff for its size and population; do you think the town has grown to the point that a ward system would better serve the residents?

2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo

As a resident living on Richmond Street, I haven’t had any service issues. I have heard from residents in the more rural regions of Amherstburg that they can’t seem to get proper representation. Ultimately, I believe this is a question for all of the residents collectively. I would not oppose such a change if a ward system was the preference of the majority. As for the staff issues, I have heard from a great many citizens that they have concerns. Staffing will have to be reviewed.

Amherstburg Vote 2022