1) Yes or No: Should Meaford allow bricks-and-mortar marijuana shops to operate in its boundaries? Why?
No. At least not at the outset. Our municipality needs economic development, but I am reluctant to think our economy has to grow around pot shops. As yet, there is little information concerning the policing of marijuana use, and even less about the ramifications of increased use,and the potential health problems. Statistics show that legal retailers do not e!iminate drug dealers but actually entice them to an area so they can undercut the government set prices and offer the drug with no tax. I am also very concerned about the risks of marijuana impaired drivers.
2) Yes or No: Should the municipality invest more into infrastructure and roads maintenance, even if it creates more expense for ratepayers? Why?
Yes. But our 2019 budget must be limited to increases no higher than the national COLA. Our roads and bridges, especially in the rural area are deteriorating faster than we can repair them. Our current roads/bridges policies are inadequate and must be discussed by the incoming Council with suggestions for change. We must start fixing the worst roads and leaving the relatively good ones, not the other way around. The provincial government must supply grants, perhaps some existing reserves should be tapped, and Ottawa must start paying their accurate amount for the Armed Forces Training Centre.
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?
No. Our present system of Administration under four Department heads working as a cohesive team has been very successful. Of course, this will be a decision of the future Council overall,. but as of now, I see no CAO necessary. As long as the Senior Management team is comfortable with their administrative pattern, I favour letting them conduct the municipality's business as Council directs.
4) What is one other issue facing Meaford you would like to speak to, and how will you address this if elected?
I hear from many residents that there is an aggravating lack of communication between the Municipality's, staff and our residents. The Roads department is often mentioned as being guilty of very slow replying to telephone and email inquiries. Our residents pay a lot of tax dollars. The municipality is in the business of service delivery. Poor habits of communicating with our citizens is unacceptable. Council must inform ALL departments that information must be supplied in a timely fashion. Also, upcoming meetings and information surveys must be distributed better electronically. Our residents deserve to be treated with respect, not ignored.