Council Operations

  • Have and adhere to an agenda for all Closed-Door “In Camera” Meetings.  
  • Reduce the total number of Closed Door “In Camera” meetings. 
  • Have all Closed Door meetings recorded, and full minutes, including recorded votes archived for future examination as required.  
  • Mandate that all Council votes are recorded.
  • Reinstitute public transparency of the Town’ss financial accounts. 
  • Enhance the recording and integration of online information provided with all council meetings. 
  • Institute a rolling strategic plan and implementation steps – reviewed monthly with the Chief Administrative Officer and quarterly with senior staff and make the plan and updates available. 
  • Reduce legal bills and use of outside legal staff and consultants – develop our inhouse capabilities 
  • Program of Community Outreach – be available to listen and establish avenues for residents to have their say outside of a Council meeting. Ideally held out in the community once a quarter.  

Town Administration and Financial Management

  • Ensure we deliver policy clarity and direction to Town Staff on all issues. 
  • Implement a Corrective Action and Continuous Improvement Process. Stop repeatedly making the same mistakes and learn form our experiences. This is a top to bottom process involving staff and council at all levels. 
  • I commit to a process of ensuring exceptional staff performance as the standard not the exception. This starts by Council critically analysing our own performance on a regular basis and always working to get better. 
  • Council must actively manage and evaluate our only direct report employee, the Chief Administrative Officer. Set an example for all staff by ensuring clear job descriptions, performance objectives and evaluation criteria remain current and performance is measured accordingly. Ensure the necessary tools are in place and all staff are empowered to get the job done working as a Team but not shying away from individual performance accountability. 
  • Conduct value audits on all dollars spent with consistent return on expense benchmarking
  • Strength existing financial analysis and develop a Key Performance Indicator Program KPI’s as a monitoring, benchmarking and continuous improvement tool across the entire organization
  • Implement and maintain a zero-based budgeting program for both revenues and expenses. 
  • Update the Town’s Procedural By-law to effectively hold all Council Members to account for the management of our fiscal affairs.
  • Strengthen our Best Practices Program with reasonable benchmarking in all operational areas. 
  • Introduce Sunset Program Approvals – Programs need to be reassessed and reauthorized on known future time lines. Only fund or continue to fund programs subject to ongoing evaluation. 
  • Implement an assessment monitoring program to insure fair and up-to-date taxation. With hundreds of millions of dollars in new buildings being completed how is it our assessment is contracting? Ensure fairness of treatment and restore community faith in the system. 
  • Often “opinions” have been sourced somewhere from the Town Administration as a justification for a developer or citizen taking action contrary to existing policy. These opinions have been the cause of excessive division and legal issues and cases are still coming forward. This needs to stop. Lets institute a policy whereby all “Opinions” issued are done in a prescribed manner and countersigned by the CAO, given a registration number and formally tracked by staff. Implement a policy whereby all opinions are circulated through Council either for information or for approval prior to issuance. 

Facing Development Realities and Providing a Continuum of Care & Service to All Age Groups

  • Due to the level of  current and projected growth the Official Plan should be continuously reviewed and updated in conjunction with all aspects of Town Policy and tied to the Strategic Planning and Implementation program.
  • We need to be clear on the nature of development we want and where we want it, and equally clear on what is not congruent with our wishes. 
  • We must provide clear answers and a pathway to any development proposal – not years of dangling in the wind and changing answers which lead to hearings and lawsuits. 
  • People should not be buying land and investing funds without a clear understanding as to whether their plans are in compliance with the Official Plan. 
  • Only agree to development agreements which clearly define all responsibilities and make sure all parties live by them. Review and where possible update existing agreements to operate on the same clear basis.  

Roads – Town / County / Provincial & Public Transit

  • I do not support 5 lanes on Highway 26. Such a plan is NUTS. Problem has been evident for decades and only ineffective band aid type solutions have been tried. The game of kick the can down the road must stop. 
  • We need a provincially led plan to improve the safety, use and local integration of 26 in the Collingwood to Meaford corridor. 
  • I will push for a Provincial Highway Plan and steps to effectively service the traffic needs today and into the foreseeable future from both Southern Ontario and the Barrie to Owen Sound corridor running through Grey and Simcoe counties. A large percentage of the heavy traffic on Highway 26 does not want to be there and we need alternative route(s) designed for these loads and to spread access points through the community. 
  • Put the projected $500+ million which would be required for property expropriation along Highway 26 to better use. 
  • Align County and Town road projects in order to avoid more drainage & flooding issues and to recognize the various road user needs (agricultural, heavy and seasonal transport, cycling and servicing issues). Resurrect, update and refine the shelved County Road Plan previously agreed to. 
  • Expand our public transit options and push for County cost sharing. Institute immediately and develop longer-term programs to meet the variety of needs identified for different groups, regions and growth projections. There may not be a one size fits all solution and small scale testing of different options will likely result in helpful data. In this we will have to have a very open mind and be open to transit options.  

Library Services 

  • Arms-length operation. 
  • I believe the role and need for Library Services has not diminished and the resources they require and the manner in which they are made available will continue to evolve. 
  • I believe vibrant library programs are key to supporting everyone achieving more productive and rewarding futures. 

Community Venues 

  • Encourage community engagement into the operations of existing Town Community Facilities. 
  • Develop a predictable success rewarding funding model for community venues and activities which facilitates community usage and encourages further development. Examples being Music in the Park, Beaver Valley Outreach, Marsh Street Centre.
  • Events for Life is special and requires a unique type of engagement reflective of the incredible level of community support it attracts. It fills a clear need in our and surrounding communities. 

Park of Remembrance

  • Complete a new park – combining our existing two cenotaphs and enhance the setting to acknowledge, thank and provide a space to reflect upon the historical and continuing contributions of those who have and continue to serve us. 

Water Quality & Pubic Access

  • Preserve, enhance and where feasible expand public access to Georgian Bay. 
  • Preserve, enhance and where feasible expand public access and use of waterways in the community – Beaver River. 
  • Work to improve ground water quality and management. 
  • Leverage our Harbour asset to increase usage.

By-Law Operations

  • If we are not prepared to enforce by-laws why have them? Lack of effective and timely enforcement today encourages unacceptable activities and fails to act as an effective deterrent. 
  • Public enforcement by Town officers should be coordinated with the OPP when necessary. I believe in publicly funded and administered law enforcement and not privately hired by-law enforcement. I am not questioning the use of licensed private security services as used in many locations but it is not these private services which are amassing evidence, levelling charges and processing convictions. 
  • By-laws need to be more proactive not reactive. Our officers need to have the technology to support  their observations, leading to more effective enforcement. Having the proper evidentiary material collected by sworn officers protects the public and our staff, speeds resolution and is a meaningful deterrent. 
  • Where ever possible leveraging existing staff resources to meet needs in a timelier manner. 
  • Align by-law enforcement and staff hours to match the typical by-law infraction timelines. 

Grey County Relationship

  • Existing County Relationship – learn the rules and play them well. It is within our own capability to increase voting representation towards 20%. Let’s get there now.  
  • Look at short and long-term options tos improve relationship. In the longer term this could include leaving the County – what would our needs be and how would we meet them. 
  • Plan our needs and position for a 3rd alternative – amalgamation into a Municipality of Southern Georgian Bay. This may be an increasingly attractive option for the Provincial Government as we have large reserves and a healthy and growing assessment base which makes for an attractive solution for the needs communities around us. We need to be prepared to get the best deal for our Town if this option is considered.  
  • Continue to Leverage County for a better allocation of resources back into Town. For many services we get no County assistance, while others do – Craigleith Heritage Depot (Museum funding); Public Transportation deal with Collingwood; East West Mobility plans to assist potential workers especially those on social assistance who can not find a job in the west. 
  • Seniors Services – We need to have County support for a complete range of continuation of care services in the Town, not an hour’s drive away. 
  • Affordable housing – We face many challenges and we have to stop talking and take action. In our two-tier system the County has a meaningful role to play. 

Gibraltar Pit Expansion

  • Not the right place - too close to Pretty River.
  • Further mining into the water table not required. 
  • More heavy truck traffic on the roads there, especially without a comprehensive road plan, is not needed. 
  • Social License – How has the industry in the area demonstrated it is a responsible land steward and community partner?