Lora Petro Answers Question 40

Question 40:
No I have never declared bankruptsy or applied for a consumer proposal. I have also never been associated with any business that has declared bankruptsy.
I do not believe it should preclude an individual from running however, should be disclosed if applicable to their platform.

All answers to date are on the candidate answers page.

Joshua Rene Answers Questions 31, 32

31.  Post Amalgamation Benefits
Amherstburg should not begin and end with its down town core! All residents should enjoy the benefits of being a part of this community. If elected I will do my best to ether work with the money available, or put plans in motion so that we can finally feel like one Amherstburg.                                                          

32.  Commit To Kingsbridge Improvements
As I mentioned in my previous answer I will do everything I can to bring together all the communities here in Amherstburg. Unfortunately with our debt so very high and our reserve accounts so very low, the next four years of Council will be about cleaning house and guiding Amherstburg back to where it truly belongs.

All answers to date are also on the candidate answers page.

Joshua Rene Answers Questions 34 To 39

34.  Two CAOs Pay?
A long line is right. I have stated before that Mr. Phipps should stay for the bare minimum once our new C.A.O takes over. The residents are demanding change! The general consensus is out with the old and in with the new! Mr. Phipps is a part of the old.

35.  Development Fees Collected?
Building a sustainable Amherstburg will require working hand in hand with the developers of these projects. Before undertaking any projects the town and developer must sit down and hammer out a contract. With clear and concise terms this protects the town from less then perfect developers, but also the tax payers who can literally pay no more! We have to start putting our residents first.

36.  Special Development Deals?
Agreed. No one should ever get special treatment.

37.  Where Are Our Voter Notifications?
Accountability,  accountability, accountability!  My wife and I just received our cards yesterday. There are still people I know who haven’t received theirs yet. No voter cards = low voter turnout.

38. Preferential Treatment?
Absolutely not! Equal treatment for everyone!

39.  Straightforward Answer Sought Re CAO
I believe that Mr. Phipps should stay on for the bare minimum. Simply this is this person, that is that department. That’s it! We CANNOT afford two C.A.O’s on payroll. Mr. Phipps though I do believe had good intentions, is part of the problem at town hall.

All answers to date are also on the candidate answers page.

Pauline Gemmell Answers Question 39 Straightforward Answer Sought Re CAO

Question 39:
Mr Phipps should not be required to remain when Mr Micelli takes over the CAO position. Mr Micelli should be prepared to take over the responsibilities of the position. He will likely meet with the staff and department managers as well as Council and begin the process of taking over as the CAO. It is not unusual for a CAO to take over the leadership role without having the previous CAO remain.

All answers to date are on the candidate answers page.

Lora Petro Answers Question 39 Straightforward Answer Sought Re CAO

Question 39:
Yes, Mr. Phipps should stay on until his contract expires. This is not necessarily to teach Mr. Miceli, but to familiarize him with our Town. This should be able to be completed within the 30 day period. With all of the turnover our Town has seen, is it not fair to allow Mr. Miceli a chance to acclimate to our Town, how we are in fact implementing the 41 recommendations? Although these 41 recommendations were found under our current CAO, I do not believe the blame rests solely on his shoulders. It has taken us years to get this far, and will take a solid foundation to move us forward.

So my answer is this…

YES to stay on until contract expires

NO to a stay after

All answers to date are on the candidate answers page.

Marty Adler Answers Question 39 Straightforward Answer Sought Re CAO

Question 39:
Yes to Mr. Phipps staying on during the transition period.

My reasons are simple. He knows what has been going on in house, and he alone can answer any questions the new CAO will ask, pertaining to what he (Mr. Phipps) has discovered while on the job.

All answers to date are on the candidate answers page.

Stephen Mickle Answers Question 39 Straightforward Answer Sought Re CAO

Question 39:
I have already answered this question. Mr. Phipps goodbye. When he went on vacation who took his place? Dean Collver. Was he trained, qualified? Seems to me the last 5 CAO’s had no on the job training. The only thing the new people need to do is get familiar with the people and area. And with the small Town office and daily meeting s that should bring up to speed very quickly. This is a mid sized Town not a metropolis.

All answers to date are on the candidate answers page.

Pauline Gemmell Answers Questions 21 To 32

21.  Affiliated With Political Party

22.  Fraserville Mosquito Issue
Yes I am aware of this issue which I believe is a serious health and safety issue. I will be supportive of this program.

23.  Accreditations
I am a Canadian Citizen and reside in the town of Amherstburg.

I have a degree in Psychology and Law from Lakehead University, a diploma in Gerontology from Confederation College, a certificate in Mediation from Canadore College. I have worked for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of Community and Social Services. I am currently a Director on the Glengarry Non Profit Housing Board, the Business Improvement Association of Essex Board, and the Police Services Board. I am an Area Committee Member for Legal Aid Ontario.

I have previously been a Director and Board Chair of the Placement Coordination Board and the Heart and Stroke foundation.

I have worked in the far north of the province of Ontario, the city of Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, North Bay and the city of Toronto.

I have owned a business and as a part of that business provided services to the Business Development Bank of Canada. In that capacity I developed business plans for entrepreneurs and provided analysis and co-management services to business experiencing failures.

I am currently employed as the Executive Director of the Essex County Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic with two locations – Essex and Windsor. I was one of four founding directors. As the ED my job is risk management and financial accountability. I provide financial statements to a 7 member Board of Directors monthly, quarterly financial reports to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and I provide the financial documentation to the Audit firm appointed by the Board of Directors annually.

Prior to this position I worked as the Specialized Services Manager at the Canadian Mental Health Association.

24.  Motivation To Run
I have always had an interest in Politics and as I approach retirement I would like to become more involved in the community where I have chosen to live. I don’t think that it is particularly helpful to complain without stepping up to help. I believe that we all need to give back in some way and I plan to retire here in Amherstburg so I feel that giving to the community is a good use of my time. We are a community and we need to work together to keep our town a great place to live.

25.  Hotel Needed?
Yes I do think that Amherstburg needs a hotel. Other communities like Essex struggle to attract some events to their community because they lack a hotel. We attract people to the area but there are not sufficient accommodations for them although we do have great bed and breakfasts we also need a hote.

26.  Support Nuisance Program for Fraserville?
Yes because this is a health and safety issue.

27.  Procedure To Handle Concerns From Fellow Citizens
Citizens should have access to elected officials to discuss issues and/or to facilitate resolution of an issue. Staff at the town office may from time to time be called on to provide resources to the citizen and Councillor. Follow-up should occur from the Councillor if that person has been addressing the issue. Issues that can be dealt with by the town must be however if there is a need for further advocacy follow-up should be provided by the Councillor.

28.  Ward System Better Serve The Residents?
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?

Yes given that the town has grown with the additions of Anderdon and Maldon a ward system would ensure that all citizen’s interests are considered.

29.  Commit To No Public Funds On Barriers; Inclusion.
Yes I will commit to a municipal policy that no public funds will ever be used to create or perpetuate barriers against persons with disabilities.

I will work with transit and taxi providers to ensure that they are fully accessible. The town has an Accessibility committee that include both town staff and citizens. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act outlines the legislated requirements within the act. This committee works toward the goal of ensuring that Amhersburg is accessible.

30.  Support Electronic Polling?
I am unsure of what this question is asking.

31.  Post Amalgamation Benefits
Yes – a ward may resolve this.

32.  Commit To Kingsbridge Improvements
I would want to know more details about this before I would support this for one area in particular. I think walkable destinations are a great way to keep all citizens engaged and active both families and our seniors.

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

Glenn Swinton Answers Question 39: Straightforward Answer Sought Re CAO

NO. If the proper referencing has been completed to verify the past performance and credentials of the new C.A.O. coming in, they should be a qualified enough individual to know what they are walking into. They should be prepared to do the job of a C.A.O. without the need for “on the job training”. If they need to be directed from Mr. Phipps then we obviously have hired the wrong person for the position. I think that hiring a new C.A.O. before the new council is elected is plain stupid. We’ve gone this far and clearly the majority of our current council has no clue what they should be looking for. In the plain english your asking for… another “hurry up lets vote” asinine decision.

All answers to date are posted on the Candidate Answers page.

Scott Kendell Answers Questions 34 to 37

Scott Kendell’s answers are:

34.  Two CAOs Pay?
I did not think that hiring a CAO with the old council was in the best interest of Amherstburg but then again the question remains why are these decisions being made so close to an election?

There should be a transition period between new council and CAO and also Mr. Phipps with the new CAO  that would be in the best interest of Amherstburg. In regards to the wages for same if it is part of contract that is binding Amherstburg must honor, Let’s move Amherstburg in a more positive direction.

35.  Development Fees Collected?
Everybody has to pay there fair share no favoritism, You have to have a set of rules and contracts that are agreed upon before starting any project and people that understand the consequences so they are protecting the interest of the town of Amherstburg. On the other side of promoting Amherstburg for future growth you could have incentives for developers to invest in the new Amherstburg. “Let’s build a new Amherstburg together”

36.  Special Development Deals?
I would be shocked if there was special deals made but not surprised. This is a good area for transparency The developer is to shoulder all costs to hook into services roads sidewalks etc. and provide a written binding agreement  for the same. That is signed by appropriate  departments and approved by council. Nobody rides for free. Maybe a ward system committee  made up of island residents would be beneficial to island residents where they can have fire , police, healthcare, clinic, ambulance, ferry service that they pay for to service their own needs as they see fit. With the size of the island and the growth they are seeing they will need to address these issues sooner rather than later, One mans dream should not cost us anything more than the original agreement that was signed when given various permits.

37.  Where Are Our Voter Notifications?I received mine last week, I was questioning where it was also from what I understand he is trying to help out the town of Amherstburg just for this election and would like to thank him for his efforts under the circumstances.

All answers to date are on the candidate answers page.

Aldo DiCarlo Answers Questions 21, 26 To 38

Aldo DiCarlo’s answers are below and in this document he provided: Aldo DiCarlo – Question 21 and 26-38

Question 21:  Affiliated With Political Party
I have not been employed by, fundraised for or held a position with any political party (provincial or federal) in the last 10 years. I was affiliated with 2 of the parties in Canada some years ago. It was so long ago, I honestly don’t remember if it was within 10 years or not, but I thought I would mention it for transparency. To the best of my knowledge, none of the people volunteering for my campaign are comprised of, or directly affiliated with, a political party. In other words, none of the political parties have provided me with any support people or resources. I have not asked them for their political affiliations outside of my campaign work as I don’t believe it is any of my business.

Question 26:  Support Nuisance Program for Fraserville?
Yes. It was brought to my attention by a Fraserville resident that the Town wanted to charge a levy to those affected for the program. I do not agree that those residents should have to pay a levy for an issue that is not common to the area and is primarily the result of neighbouring industrial lands. I am, however, confused by the contradicting comments by current council members. Ron Sutherland simply states that the issue “…has been dealt with by council previously” implying it has been dealt with. Diane Pouget states “Administration is expected to have a full report before the new Council in mid January 2015.” It seems that Diane has the more appropriate position that council is still investigating and supports the Nuisance Program. I believe the issue should be dealt with as quickly as possible, hopefully before it begins again in the Spring.

Question 27: Procedure To Handle Concerns From Fellow Citizens
It has been my practice, in all my leadership roles, to follow up with people that their issue was addressed satisfactorily and/or in a timely manner. I also like the practice laid out by Diane Pouget and the detailed plan by Lora Petro. Setting out policies and plans that must be followed by staff seems like the best answer. The policies and plans should be a joint effort by council and administration, with the publics’ input. Being able to review and reference the complaints at any time is useful for council, administration and the public. This practice should eliminate the ratepayers’ frustration and unnecessary duplication of investigation work.

28.  Ward System Better Serve The Residents?
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.

29.  Commit To No Public Funds On Barriers; Inclusion.
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.

30.  Support Electronic Polling?
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.

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?

Aldo DiCarlo Answer:

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.

31.  Post Amalgamation Benefits
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.

32.  Commit To Kingsbridge Improvements
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.

33.  Why Not Answer Questions?
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.

34.  Two CAOs Pay?
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.

35.  Development Fees Collected?
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.

36.  Special Development Deals?
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.

37.  Where Are Our Voter Notifications?
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?

38.  Preferential Treatment?
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.

All answers to date are on the Candidate Answers page.

Marty Adler Answers Question 34 To 38

Marty Adler’s answers are:

34.  Two CAOs Pay?
The new CAO has been hired. Mr Phipps has indicated he is only staying to the end of his contract, and in that time will be helping to transition Mr. Micelli. It sounds reasonable to me to fulfill the contract. If there is a rumour that Mr. Phipps might be staying on, I am only assuming it will be the new council that will have the say. The current council is a lame-duck one at best. As for release of the salary of the new CAO, if transparency is the keyword for council, then the answer is obvious.

As a note, I would like you to know that I have followed Mr. Phipps, and I really like this man. I believe he knows his stuff, what is best for the town, and has the experience to get the job done. We are lucky to have had him. From what I have assessed, he may be a little rough around the edges, but he does have spunk. You might be amazed with what he can and would offer, if one would give him a little respect – and I for one, surely would!

35.  Development Fees Collected?
I am quickly finding out that councils in this town have made some screwed up deals to attract development. I can see offering ‘deals’ when we have undesireable properties to develop, but to offer deals on prime properties makes no sense. So, what is prime and what is not? It appears to me that deals made in the past would hold the town ransom in the future. To keep a lid on such activity, you need a mayor with backbone. As for municipal Christmas wish lists, if I am elected mayor, Christmas won’t be coming anytime soon.

36.  Special Development Deals?
The horse is gone, and the barn door has been closed. You cannot expect a new council to carry the burden of the past at this early stage in the game. There are more priorities to deal with when a new council is formed. Just remember, whoever made these supposed deals, they were put in place by the people who voted them in; and that is why you need to look at a strong council and mayor, one that is beyond reproach. Show up at the candidates debate, and don’t prejudge this time around. In this case, as in all the cases where citizens complain, it’s the citizens who ultimately are to blame!

37.  Where Are Our Voter Notifications?
I received mine on Friday. I have no issues.

38.  Preferential Treatment?
You obviously have a bone to pick with someone or something. If you demand transparency, then what is good for the goose, is good for the gander. What are you talking about? Specifics please. All citizens should be treated equal, wealthy, influential, or average not withstanding.

All answers to date are on the candidate answers page.

Pauline Gemmell Answers Questions 1 To 20

For the first time, Amherstburg Police Services Board member and candidate Pauline Gemmell answers questions:

1.  Toxic Culture At Town Hall
As a result of Bill 168 all employers are required to develop policies relating to workplace harassment and must review these on annual basis. I would recommend that the managers at the town hall provide training to all staff relating to the identification of harassment, the process and requirements to investigate if an employee believes that this is occurring and to ensure that managers deal with ALL complaints of harassment. The policies need to be in writing and posted in an area where all employees have access. Reports of harassment must be submitted in writing and the policies regarding reporting and investigation must then be followed. The employees must be trained in order to identify what harassment is and is not. This process adds structure and accountability and ultimately an opportunity for the organization to gain some control over a workplace culture that is or has deteriorated to this extent. The Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act ensure the rights of the employees and offer protection against harassment. The head of all organizations have the responsibility of ensuring a safe workplace.

2.  Work With Admin to Fix Toxic Culture
I do not know if there is a toxic work culture in the organization. It is not unusual for senior managers to relocate to new positions within an organization or look for opportunities outside the organization. Senior managers who leave an organization following a short stay is an indication of serious problems and is concerning. The CAO is accountable to and required to brief Council on any risk situation and any staff leaving an organization is a potential risk. I am unsure of why the CAO has not addressed and resolved this issue within the organization. The CAO is also responsible to ensure a stable work environment and ensure that the staff at the town are not at risk and as a result of Bill 168 this includes harassment.

Employees should be receiving annual performance appraisals. If many employees are being terminated that is a risk to the organization and council must be made aware of this and reasons why terminations are occurring. Any risk situation must be investigated including frequent terminations. I would want to know how involved the Joint Health and Safety Committee at the town is with this situation.

3.  Support Full Independent Audit
Before I would support this I would want to know what we currently have in place to ensure the integrity of the financial systems in place. The 41 recommendations clearly outlined recommended processes needed including long term financial planning and training for council members. A new Council must be elected with management and financial experience in order to determine what the situation at town hall truly is. Once the new Council has reviewed the existing processes a decision can be reached about whether a full historical audit is required and for what period of time.

Annual audits are required to be completed by an independent audit firm for the town, appointed by the Council and reporting back to Council typically within a few months of the end of the fiscal year. I am not clear on what the situation is at the town hall and I’ve heard that from many citizens as I campaign. This is a problem.

I have repeatedly stated that the Town of Amherstburg is a large corporation. Large corporations need skilled directors who are prepared to take on the role and responsibility of directing the operations. They need to have formal post – secondary education, senior management experience, have prepared financial statements, have direct control of large budgets, have worked with various ministries and have capacity to function as directors.

4.  Increase Time To Study Agenda
I will request the Council information package by Wednesday in order to allow sufficient time to read the material.

5.  Bring Heritage District To Amherstburg
Yes I will work with the Town Administration and the Heritage Committee.

6.  Obtain OPP Costing, Remove Contract Clause
The current costing model for OPP is changing and as such will be difficult to get a clear cost for OPP at this time. I think that council should always be looking at the cost of all services and be looking to less expensive and equal quality alternatives. We have a great Police service here in Amherstburg and there are many benefits that we enjoy as a result of having a local police service. Our officers are skilled and dedicated to this community.

7.  Tourism Role; 1 Million Dollar Budget
I would want to know what the tourism department is currently doing and what outcomes they have produced. Are they increasing traffic to the community? Is tourism a source of revenue to the community? Who is benefitting from this traffic? It’s important to have traffic for retail business as well as hospitality but what other benefits is this department producing?

Businesses bring people to town – people shop for clothes, cars, houses and while they’re here they might even stop for a meal. I would like to know how is this different from what the tourism department is doing.

8.  Curtail Spending; Pay Debt; Reduce Budget
Before any jobs or budgets are reduced a review of each department needs to be completed and each department head must outline where they will cut their budget and how that cut will impact service to the community and a long range financial plan needs to be developed including the recommended cuts. This process will take time to implement and needs to have mechanisms for reporting and updating Council and the public on the progress. Our citizens are already engaged in the budget and this is evident in the questions they’re asking and the attendance at Council meetings.

9.  Walkable Neighbourhoods, Amenities in All Areas
As a society we have become increasingly concerned about our fitness levels and reliance on motor transportation. I think that our community should have a plan in place to increase the walkable neighbourhoods and promote ‘active transportation’. Most of the areas mentioned have a high ratio of young families with children increasing the need to have sidewalks for walkable neighbourhoods. Parks become increasingly accessible as we provide walkable access for the families.

10.  Establish Regional Transit
This is a difficult to answer without having some information about what access is required. I have spoken to some of the young citizens who attend university in Windsor and live here in our town. They rely on family and friends for transportation since a vehicle is not within their budget. This is an area that needs to be developed in collaboration with other municipalities. We need to keep our young residents in our community and facilitating access to other communities encourages them to remain here.

11: Societal and Environmental Issues
Anytime a group of people face economic instability the result is typically fear and uncertainty. The citizens of Amherstburg need to be part of the process to resolve this. They need to have information about the action plan that the new Council will develop to address the recommendations from Deloitte and for ongoing controls that need to be implemented in order to ensure the status of our town.

Life is unaffordable for many families. At a time when we should be looking for solutions to the challenges facing our town we have seen our community and Council divided. This is not how to build a thriving town. The town of Amherstburg needs responsible and responsive government. It’s now time to elect a council that is skilled at directing the affairs of a corporation where all the residents are shareholders. The new council must work to reestablish the confidence of the residents and the business community.

Question 12:  Selection Of New CAO For New Council
Yes I believe that the new CAO should have been selected by the new Council.

Question 13:  Police Contract Buyout Clause
I believe that our Police provide an excellent service. The buyout clause is outlined in the contract. As with any corporation preparing to lay off large numbers (this would be situation here) the Employment Standards Act prescribes the basic requirements for any payout. Beyond that the town would be required to honor provisions found in the contract.

We have a good and effective police service in our community. The cost factor needs to be discussed once the negotiations but other factors also must be considered along with the cost factor. It’s important that we all know what would be the result of having OPP in our community instead of our own police services. We need to look to other communities who have done this. Where are the officers dispatched from? There is a new costing formula and that also needs to be considered.

Question 14:  Flooding Damage
Amherstburg must deal with the flooding issues. Other communities are also experiencing this. Residents won’t stay in our town if we are not able to determine the cause of the flooding and to provide service that will prevent ongoing flooding. The new Council must look at means of resolving this. Our residents must feel that they and their assets are safe in this community.

Question 15:  Why are we 67 million in debt?
We need to implement the 41 recommendations and begin the process of structuring the financial accountability processes. We need to ensure the new Council receives financial statements from the CAO every month with a review of the areas of risk. The statements must be shared with residents so that they can also review them. An annual audit must be completed by an independent audit firm selected by Council.

Our community needs: Accountability; Responsibility; Transparency

Question 16:  Tourism Or Employment
One newly created full time industrial job because if that person works that person will also be spending in our community, possibly raising a family who will also spend in our community and attract others to do the same. The potential could go on forever for this option because it has more likelihood for sustainability that tourism does. Both are important but without employment people will leave the community and without our town we likely won’t attract tourists. We need to ensure that our citizens have opportunities within our community and job creation is a critical ingredient to ensuring this.

Question 17:  Infrastructure and Services For All of Amherstburg
We need a long range financial plan and included in that must be infrastructure requirements for all of our communities. Families and seniors live in these areas and as a community we need to provide sidewalks and trails that allow people to be active and fully participate in leisure, social, cultural and spiritual activities. The ability of the town to provide these may be compromised or delayed depending on the current financial status of the budget.

Question 18:  Eliminate Police Contract Poison Pill Clause
Having a costing for alternative services is not dependent on a clause in a contract. The police services is currently beginning to prepare to negotiate a new contract and as such this is something that should be considered during these negotiations.

Question 19:  Prioritize/Fund Infrastructure
I spoke at the meeting to discuss the sale with the town Council and spoke against selling the shares.

Infrastructure projects become part of the long range financial plan and need to be prioritized according to need which also requires definition.

Question 20:  Town Employee Performance
The CAO must ensure that the managers are completing Performance Appraisals for each employee on an annual basis. Any performance issues must be addressed by the individual managers and reported to the CAO. If there is a risk that an employee will be terminated Council should be informed by the CAO since this presents as a risk situation.

Ongoing training is a critical ingredient to ensuring that employees maintain competence and the individual need for training should be part of the performance appraisal.

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