The following is a summary of some of the issues and perspectives facing our city and the west end. Please join the conversation by adding your comments in the “News Blog” section of the site or click the link asking for your opinion and/or comment.
Taxes and Fiscal Management.
This is probably the biggest issue in the election and it really comes down to a question of value for tax dollars; what can we do in order to keep taxes low, what cuts are in order to insure that becomes reality? Everyone agrees that taxes should be low, but how can we lower property taxes but still maintain levels of service?
Public Consultation and Operational Transparency.
It seems that almost every outreach from the City on just about any issue is followed up by a group of people who feel they were not given notice and call for greater transparency and public consultation. Having said that, I have also seen the frustration of planning staff with public turnout so low on many issues that entire meetings are cancelled.
Are we missing something? What is working and what can be done better?
Waste Management within Condominiums.
The last two places I lived in Guelph have been condominiums. Waste collection for multi-residential units has a number of options and alternatives but no clear solution. Looking back we need to adapt our services to better serve the current housing stock and promote upgrades to better facilitate waste diversion for multi-residential properties.
The go forward solution would be that we expand the development approval process to promote waste diversion in multi-residential properties and stop allowing multi-residential units to be approved without a clear and sustainable integration with municipal waste collection services. If we don’t do this we are only adding to the problem.
There is ongoing concern about the ever increasing traffic volume and speeds along Elmira Rd? I spoke with a school crossing guard who is just terrified at the prospect of Costco opening and the certain increase in speed and volume along Elmira Rd where she helps the primary school kids cross the road.
Bike Lanes along School Routes
During my last term I successfully fought to get sidewalks extended along Paisley Rd to connect the west end with the rest of the city. Paisley Rd is one of the busiest school routes for GCVI High Hchool kids attending from Ward 4. While we are implementing bike lanes throughout the rest of the city what about our primary school route? The asphalt surface is probably the worst in the west end and the Silvercreek underpass is soon coming so this is a very timely topic.
Expansion of Side-walks and the Trail Network
There are two important aspects of the Trail Master Plan that need to be implemented to make trails a viable and effective option for transportation in the west end.
There continue to be heavily travelled sidewalks in the west end that mysteriously end creating inaccessible goat paths throughout the west end. We need complete and accessible pedestrian routes particularly for kids and seniors.
Re the new bus routes in the west end effective for West end commuters and shoppers? What about upgrades such as transit shelters and accessible pads – particularly around the commercial district.
Recreation for Youth and Seniors
Whatever happened to all the planned improvements for Deepath Park following the skate park removal (and for that matter what ever happened to plans to let our kids build a bicycle skills facility)
Commercial Development in the West End
While we are finally getting additional commercial development there still appears to be roadblocks and challenges. Not only are stores slow set-up shop but we continue to face planning hurdles resulting in delays and slower than anticipated build out of the West End Commercial District.