1) Yes or No: Should Meaford allow bricks-and-mortar marijuana shops to operate in its boundaries? Why?
Marijuana will be legal throughout the country come October 17th and individuals will be able to order marijuana directly to their door. That said, I believe that the current council should opt out of having a retail store. This will give the next council time to consult with the public so that the municipality can ensure there are bylaws put in place to regulate the location of a potential retail store.
2) Yes or No: Should the municipality invest more into infrastructure and roads maintenance, even if it creates more expense for ratepayers? Why?
Potholes, lack of road maintenance and snow removal are prevailing concerns that are echoed around the municipality. A closed bridge might not sound like a lot, but to a farmer this has huge implications, especially during harvest season. I believe we need to take a multi-pronged approach to addressing our infrastructure deficit. We need to make fiscally responsible decisions with our tax dollars and prioritize dealing with infrastructure issues. At the same time, I believe council needs to continue to petition and put pressure on upper levels of government to obtain funding for our infrastructure needs.
3) Yes or No: Should Meaford hire a Chief Administrative Officer or continue with the model in place since the departure of the past CAO? Why?
This is a complicated and contentious issue. At the present time, council has decided to reassess the need for a CAO and delegate the duties to a department head. I believe that reevaluating the need for a CAO needs to wait until the trial period is over. At that time, a review of the information collected would assist council in determining if the municipality would benefit from filling the CAO position.
4) What is one other issue facing Meaford you would like to speak to, and how will you address this if elected?
I support a new library but with a cost of 5.5 million dollars, and the grant portion of the funding not yet secured, I want to keep the amount of taxpayer dollars backing this project to a minimum. The planned size of the library is 10,000 square feet and I feel more work has to be done to ensure that this new building is appropriately-sized for the population that will use it. Despite my reservation, I believe the library is in need of replacement and we have an opportunity to make a new, vibrant, community hub.