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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Steve Bartley (incumbent)

Meaford | by Matt Hermiz  

Meaford Council Candidate

1) Yes or No: Should Meaford allow bricks-and-mortar marijuana shops to operate in its boundaries? Why?

While I am trying to remain optimistic  of the legalization of marijuana, I am thankful of the Provincial governments decision to only allow on line purchases for the time being. This will bide us time to work the kinks out. Eventually an application will come to council. Being a small municipality we will have other examples to study. I will have my fellow councilors to deliberate with as well as extensive feedback from the residents of our municipality. I am more concerned about drug driving and the safety of our roads.

2) Yes or No: Should the municipality invest more into infrastructure and roads maintenance, even if it creates more expense for ratepayers? Why?

I have made a point of budgeting for infrastructure during my first term. Past councils have ignored the download of the Provinces contribution. I will not pass these municipal needs to the next generation. I also want to avoid double digit tax increases. By continuing to petition upper tier governments and promoting a municipality to work, play and live, we can reduce the burden on current rate payers.

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?

I supported the current model for C.A.O. due to the departure of the C.A.O. and the upcoming election. It has been a seamless transition. My concern is these talented people getting burnt out. I am tired of hearing the term " tail wagging the dog." We have a very talented staff and I have relied on their educated, non partial input constantly. A single person is needed for all information to flow from council to staff. A collaborative, pragmatic forward thinking team is what we need to form on October 22.

4) What is one other issue facing Meaford you would like to speak to, and how will you address this if elected?

While some rate payers will complain about reserves or councils allocations in spending, we have to acknowledge essential and non essential spending. It has been a challenge to keep tax increases low, increase infrastructure reserves and enhance non essential services. We have to promote our municipality as the place you want to be. Supporting light industry, agribusiness and ecotourism will lighten the load on current residential tax payers. Cast your vote wisely. You are creating a team. I want to continue moving our municipality forward.

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