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New Tecumseth Votes 2018 – Meet Your Ward 6 candidates

September 21, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

 

In our continuing series Meet the Candidates, The Times would like to introduce you to the four candidates vying for the Ward 6 (Beeton) seat.

With the current ward councillor, Richard Norcross, running for Deputy Mayor in the October 22 municipal election, the seat is up for gabs.

Here are the responses to the 14 questions we posed to the candidates, Paul Beaton, Doug Kowalinski, Stephanie MacLellan, Russell Woodward, printed verbatim.

 

Paul Beaton

Full Name: Paul Beaton

Town of Residence: New Tecumseth

Length of time in New Tecumseth: Six years

Primary reason you’re running: I have the leadership abilities to lead the community through tough decisions. With my entire adult working career in government, I have an understanding of what it takes to get things done. I am only influenced by doing the right things for the right reasons.

Campaign slogan: Beaton for Beeton

 

What are our most important challenges facing the community? Residents are concerned with idea of out of control development. Ensuring any development is calculated and well planned is required to ensure we protect the environment and that we don’t outgrow our current infrastructure.

 

What do you cherish most about this community? People!!! Of course I can talk about the small town charm and tree lined streets, but New Tecumseth is filled with a lot of wonderful people who care about their town and each other. This is why I choose to raise my family here.

 

What type of leader you will be? Fair, honest and responsible. Having leadership experience in policing and in the military, I understand what it’s like to lead people and process through adverse conditions. It takes real courage to do the right thing, even when it’s not popular.

 

What are your priorities for change in our municipality, in the short term. What about in the long term? After talking with many residents of Ward 6, the common topics keep coming to the surface: Responsible Development, a new recreation centre in Beeton and supporting small business. Change can take time if it’s done properly, but I believe in not just working for the moment, but planning for our future as well.

 

What are the biggest fiscal challenges in our municipality, and what do you envision as the best way(s) to address them? There are quite a few capital projects on the horizon and ensuring they are planned properly and within our fiscal means is important. I would love to see New Tecumseth with a fiscal surplus in the near future.

 

What innovative projects would enhance life in this area? Promoting small business in the town and turning New Tecumseth into a destination for visitors. The residents here are fortunate to live in a wonderful town, surrounded by great businesses. Working with the BIA, Chamber of Commerce and Business Development office is important to help promote New Tecumseth. Every resident is an ambassador for our town and I will do my part to promote small business.

 

What is your perspective on the best way to collaborate with other levels of government to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for our area? Regardless of political alliance, we need to work with our provincial and federal partners towards common goals. Taking advantage of grants and funding for infrastructure, social and environmental projects is critically important in keeping our costs low, while moving projects forward. It’s time to put alliances aside and do what is right for us.

 

How do you envision communicating with constituents? Nothing beats talking to people face to face. I enjoy meeting as many new people as I can because I believe that understanding a different point of view will make me a stronger leader.  I know that we all have busy lives and utilizing social media and email is a convenient way to stay in touch. I encourage everyone to follow me on Twitter @beaton4beeton or on Facebook at Paul Beaton for Ward 6. Of course there is always email pabeaton@hotmail.com.

 

What will you do to continue to be involved with the community should you not win? I have proudly served as a volunteer firefighter for the past five years and I take great pleasure in helping others. I fully intend to continue in this role. However, community involvement doesn’t always mean being on a committee or in an organized group. Participating in community charity events and being a good neighbour is something we can all do together.

 

Doug Kowalinski

Full Name: Douglas Edward Kowalinski

Town of Residence: Beeton

Length of time in New Tecumseth: 16 years

Primary Reason you are Running: To promote Beeton within New Tecumseth. We have some serious issues that need to be dealt with, too much time has elapsed and small issues have become large issues, we can wait no more.

Campaign Slogan: Honesty and Integrity. I WILL work for YOU!!!

 

What are our most important challenges facing the community?  I believe the most important challenges facing Beeton are:

  1. We must resolve the issue of storm water management. I understand that studies are needed but, even more so, shovels must be put into the ground. We must direct staff to move forward more expeditiously. Our residents deserve better from the Town, enough with the flooding.
  2. Roads and sidewalks. Roads within our Town are deteriorating with two in particular that need immediate attention. Dayfoot Street MUST be rehabilitated. We have heard enough that the money is there for it. It is not. We must prioritize this project for the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike. We need an end to the ditches, need sidewalks, on the west side and quite possibly a stop sign at Kate Aitken. I fear for children’s safety and those out walking anytime of the day or night on this stretch. I personally aided a pedestrian a few years ago who was struck on Dayfoot making his way to work in the early hours of the morning. This needs to be rectified.

I have also worked with the Town and the OPP to have the area on Lily Street by Monsignor Ronan Catholic School upgraded to have a sidewalk from Haines to the school installed. We also need to work with parents, the school and the Town to create proper and safe parking in this area. It is only a matter of time until someone is hit by a vehicle. We must also work to create effective and safe walking paths for students to both of our schools. We must ensure that school crossing guards are placed where there are areas of concern. This must occur to keep our children, as young as 4, safe.

 

What do you cherish most about this community? I cherish the sense of togetherness, in good times and in bad. When the call goes out for support at a hockey or a baseball game, people come out in droves. Our community has a special event, the Meet Your Neighbour picnic. It is grassroots and inclusive for all. It’s a great day. From the Honeyfest to the fall fair to the Santa Claus Parade, you can feel the love. I met a family who has just moved to our Town, just yesterday. After speaking with them their comment was this is what a small town is. I was filled with pride.

Our Town comes together when there are tough times. Neighbour helps neighbour, we are there for each other, be it a tragedy of physical or structural or environmental causes, we are here to help one another. Again, this is a great town!

 

What type of leader you will be? I will be responsive to YOU, the voter, the taxpayer, the resident. I will work collaboratively with my fellow council members but will not be afraid to speak up for YOU when items come up that face tough decisions. I am fully in favour of recorded votes, I want to ensure transparency and ethical politics.

 

What are your priorities for change in our municipality, in the short term. What about in the long term? In the short term, I believe we need to ensure that the water issues are dealt with in Tottenham and Beeton. We NEED clean drinking water in Tottenham. The time has come for us to ensure that adequate supply of water from the pipeline from Collingwood reaches the taps in Tottenham. We have seen the pictures for years. The residents of Tottenham should not be paying the same rates for water that is not the same as in the rest of the town. As mentioned previously, the flooding issues in Beeton are right up there with the issues in Tottenham. I have been called a one topic candidate. That is far from the truth. I firmly believe that safe drinking water and dry basements take precedence over most other things.

That being said, it is long past due for Beeton to get a new multiuse community centre, INCLUDING ICE. This being said, we also have to ensure that adequate programming is available in this facility. We need that commitment from the next term of Council.

I also believe that the roads projects mentioned above need to completed. We need to follow our roads study!  We also need to rethink our idea of a new administration centre. I think the idea of the Alliston Union Public School transformation to a new administration centre is off target. We need our municipal government offices to be centralized within the entire town. Without public transit, it is unfair, quite frankly, to have our municipal offices so far away from so many.

(In the long term) due to the financial situation of the Town, I believe that some of our shortterm priorities could very well run into long term, or longer term, periods of time. We have to decide what our financial priorities are. Do we deplete deserves, work with debentures, do we raise taxes or development charges, what do we do?  This is a huge question that will weigh heavily on the next term of council.

As recently announced, a long-term benefit for our Town is the County’s announcement of the expansion of the Simcoe Manor. This will bring millions of dollars into our community and will give the opportunity to many in the form of employment. It will also mean that our loved ones may very well be closer to us in their later years.

I will say that under no circumstance should we be relinquishing any of our control to the County of Simcoe. This is OUR Town, Tottenham, Beeton and Alliston and all that live in between. We can NOT allow a slippery slope of County control to wedge its way into our Council chambers or through YOUR front door.

 

What are the biggest fiscal challenges in our municipality, and what do you envision as the best way(s) to address them? As previously mentioned, I believe that prioritizing many big ticket items will be our largest fiscal challenge. If we have a study, for example, roads, we must stick to that study whenever possible. We must think and rethink our decisions. Did we need a dog park that cost $70,000? In my opinion, no. We must ensure that each community within the Town receives its fair share of attention. Development is occurring throughout our Town. We must work with our developers, not against them. Will they be making money? They certainly will. That being said, we know some degree of development is coming to or is already occurring. Let’s make sure that our information for them is correct and let’s ensure that all parties live up to their end of the agreement. We can not let fill operations that contain cyanide operate in our Town.

 

What is your perspective on the best way to collaborate with other levels of government to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for our area? This can be a successful task. We need to be proactive and reactive at the same time. We need to work with our partners at the different levels of government. We must ensure we have an open eye to upcoming programs and also have our paperwork ready, as well as shovels ready to put in the ground. We need to ensure that we promote the entire Town when dealing with our partners in government. Open dialogue is key.

 

How do you envision communicating with constituents? I believe in being out and about in our community. I will be accessible by phone, email, social media and especially in person. That comes from dining and shopping locally, by being at school functions and sporting events as well as community events like the fair and Honeyfest. There is no better communication than face to face.

 

What will you do to continue to be involved with the community should you not win? In the event that I am unsuccessful in this campaign, I will continue working in and with our schools. I will continue trying to make this town the best that it can be. I will continue volunteering throughout New Tecumseth. Whether it be reading with students or coaching and mentoring our youth, these things will continue to be my passion.

 

Stephanie MacLellan

Full Name: Stephanie MacLellan

Town of Residence: Beeton, New Tecumseth

Length of time in New Tecumseth: My entire life, 35 years

Primary reason you’re running: Beeton is where I grew up and where my kids are growing up. Beeton is where my heart is and has always been, Beeton is my home, my life. I am dedicated to Beeton.

Over three years ago, a group of dedicated, passionate and informed residents entered Simcoe Country Council chambers for a special hearing regarding a cherished forest that unknowingly to me, would forever change my life.

Beeton residents were never informed of the County’s plan to allow the destruction of this 35-acre woodlot. I made a commitment to myself and to the residents we would never again be caught by surprise and uninformed.

Through this experience I discovered within myself a sense of duty to be educated on municipal matters and to share that knowledge with the public. I did that by attending all but four New Tecumseth council meetings over the past three and a half years, as well public meetings, budget working sessions and official plan meetings. I read the reports, asked many questions to get those answers to share with our community to make sure we were always informed.

I have listened, I have learned and I have involved residents every step of the way. I believe the more we can communicate as a community the closer we will become to making the right decisions for Ward 6 Beeton and New Tecumseth as a whole.

I have been present and engaged. I am ready to lead Ward 6 and represent the best interests of all Beeton residents over the next four years. That’s why I am running for New Tecumseth Ward 6 Beeton Councillor.

Campaign slogan: My Voice Your Vision

 

What are our most important challenges facing the community? Drainage. Flooding in Beeton has been getting increasingly worse over the years. As a result, it’s led to higher insurance rates for home owners in Ward 6, and some can’t get coverage. It is premature to continue approving new development within the settlement boundaries until a proper comprehensive Drainage Master Servicing Plan has been done and we rectify any and all issues that are identified. Council must put the needs and safety of our residents and their properties, first and foremost, not with words but actions.

Growing up in Beeton, I spent a lot of time in our arena, whether it was part of the figure skating club or watching friends play hockey. It looks just about the same as it did 25 years ago. The facility is inadequate and unacceptable by today’s standards. We need our facility to accommodate female hockey players. It’s 2018 and this is not an option. We must be inclusive to all children that want to play ice sports. Beeton’s identity is closely intertwined with our arena and whatever the future brings, it must include an ice surface.

Dayfoot Street has been allowed to deteriorate. It is heavily travelled, including by students walking to and from school. It is a dangerous roadway. It is also one of our critical infrastructure corridors in Beeton that needs immediate action. We need to move immediately on its urbanization above and below ground, and the developers benefitting by it, need to contribute maximum dollars to pay for it. Residents have been at the mercy of developers long enough. Developers should feel honoured to build here. They need to treat the town and its residents with the utmost respect.

 

What do you cherish most about this community? The people. From a very young age I knew that Beeton was forever going to be my home. I never dreamt of living anywhere else. Walking down the street, looking each other in the eyes saying hello and smiling is something I will always cherish about this community. I feel as though my children are safe here. And the countless volunteers that make all of our wonderful community events possible that bring us together year after year to celebrate our town, our people and our local businesses. The people are what gives our town character, they are the backbone of our culture. I cherish the people.

 

What type of leader you will be? I will be strong for the people of Beeton. I will be dedicated to representing Beeton and all of New Tecumseth. I will be a leader that relies heavily on communication with the residents and hours of research. I will read agendas, planning documents, reports, official plans, policies and procedures as I have been doing for three and a half years. I will be present and engaged. I will be a leader that needs no learning curve as I already have an in depth understanding of the policies and procedures of the municipality. I know all the senior staff on a first name basis and the role of each of their departments. I will be a leader that will immediately get to work for the residents of Beeton. I will be a leader that listens and hears the concerns of residents and immediately acts on those concerns. I will always be available to the residents of Beeton and all of New Tecumseth.

 

What are your priorities for change in our municipality, in the short term. What about in the long term? Begin the Master Drainage Servicing Plan in Beeton ASAP. People’s houses are flooding, people’s properties are flooding. My first priority is to protect the existing residents of Beeton.

Have a realistic achievable plan for the Beeton Community Centre. That includes ice and the room to be inclusive to ALL hockey players. Beeton has waited long enough its time residents see action!  There is a grant becoming available this fall for improving Community Centres, I will dig right in and make sure we apply for that grant so we can secure the funding to move this project forward ASAP.

The Grants and Donation Policy needs a proper well thought out overhaul. Council needs to establish a committee that includes members of our community groups and stakeholders. It is time this municipality gives the respect and consideration to community groups they very well deserve. I would also like to see a sponsorship policy implemented similar to Toronto’s where if a person or company is seeking approval from the town they are not permitted to donate to events held by the town during the approval process. This will ensure a fair decision-making process.

The Town needs to quickly move in and use the West Country security deposit to complete the external works the residents of that community have waited long enough and already paid for through their purchase price. Clearly the developer feels they can get away with constant delays. Enough is enough!

It’s time to consider including in future security deposits from developers, penalties for delays in these works from being completed as required. The Town needs to be in control of our planning policies not developers.

The Council meeting calendar right now doesn’t make sense. Monday meetings are constantly interrupted by holidays which has caused a huge increase in special meetings.  Moving the Council meetings to any other day of the week would ensure that enough meetings are scheduled throughout the year to properly conduct the business of the Town.

Find a better more cost-effective solution for the Town Administration building. I do not agree that depleting reserves and adding $8 million in taxation dollars is the responsible choice. Council needs to investigate other less expensive solutions.

The proposed 15,000 home Cappuccitti/Mattamy development to be stuck right in the middle of Alliston and Beeton approximately the size of North Bay on prime farmland is absolutely an irresponsible proposal. It goes against many planning policies, the vision and direction of our town. I do not support this proposal that would effectively end New Tecumseth’s small-town living.

 

What are the biggest fiscal challenges in our municipality, and what do you envision as the best way(s) to address them? I’m concerned about the prospect that more than $8 million in taxes will be required to finance a new administration centre without studying all the options first. I’m concerned about the cost thousands of proposed new homes will add to our overburdened roads and bridges, and our hospital. Infrastructure is expensive to build and maintain. I believe any additional development in Beeton is premature until we have a comprehensive peer reviewed Drainage Master Servicing Plan. Beeton residents deserve to have the proper infrastructure in place so their homes and livelihoods are protected.

 

What innovative projects would enhance life in this area? I have recently been introduced to TrekFit by a passionate Beeton resident. It is an affordable low maintenance outdoor fitness circuit. Recently it has been introduced in the GTA and is becoming extremely popular. There is an app available to show you the locations of the TrekFit fitness parks, it will also allow you to create a customized training program to suit your fitness abilities and goals. There is also equipment available for people with accessibility issues and seniors. In a day and age where maintaining a healthy lifestyle is hard to achieve this simple innovative fitness circuit can be easy, fun and right in our backyards. Healthy people create healthy environments. Also, the Trans-Canada Trail development has taken long enough and it’s time to complete the connection as a simple way to help our residents achieve a healthy and active lifestyle.

Continuing to utilize the roofs of our municipally owned buildings for solar energy (like at the NTRC) or starting community roof top gardens. These have many social and economical benefits to the community. Toronto is one of the leading cities in the world for green roof innovation and I believe we can learn a lot from what Toronto has already done.

I also commit my full support and participation to work with the provincial government, our MPP Jim Wilson, and the Stevenson Memorial Hospital administration and Foundation to realize a new modern hospital building that will meet the needs of our growing community.  It’s well past overdue. We need a new hospital that will include all the modern health innovations and programs that will serve our residents close to home.

 

What is your perspective on the best way to collaborate with other levels of government to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for our area? I believe it is critical New Tecumseth takes a proactive approach making sure we are continually in communication with our provincial and federal counterparts because we need their support for a new hospital, new schools and the Simcoe Manor expansion. I believe that reading the Simcoe County agendas are necessary and that if I’m elected as Ward 6 Councillor our Mayor and Deputy Mayor, who will also be our Simcoe County Councillors, can count on me to research and support their efforts at Simcoe County Council. Staying informed and involved with all levels of government is a necessity to understanding the big picture and proactively move our municipality forward in a positive direction.

 

How do you envision communicating with constituents? It’s 2018 and there are many effective ways to communicate with residents. I will continue to utilize social media as I believe it is a great way to engage in meaningful conversations and brainstorm ideas and visions for Beeton and the whole municipality. I am always reachable by phone, text or email. I plan on having quarterly Ward 6 meetings in Beeton to engage with residents face to face, not only to discuss current issues they may be facing but to continue to discuss our vision as a municipality and ways to effectively move our municipality forward in a proactive direction. I believe communication and an open-door policy is the key to effective representation.

 

What will you do to continue to be involved with the community should you not win? I will continue to chair the Beeton Meet Your Neighbour Picnic which takes place the third Sunday in August every year. This year was the 35th annual in Beeton. It was established in 1983 by Jim Heath. And it’s been run by neighbours for neighbours ever since as a wonderful celebration of our rural roots. I will continue to organize Beeton’s pitch in week community clean up, many hands make for light work. And continuing to make Beeton beautiful has been a constant goal of mine. Of course, supporting other local events by volunteering my time to help make sure these events, most of which have been happening my entire life, continue to thrive for the enjoyment of all residents in New Tecumseth. And of course, you will find me every Monday night in the gallery at Council, listening, learning and communicating with residents about Council issues as I have been for three and a half years. I will continue to give input during public meetings and involved in budget working sessions because this is my passion and I will be dedicated and informed no matter what the outcome is in October.

 

Russell Woodward

Full Name: Russell Woodward

Town of Residence: Town of New Tecumseth (Beeton)

Length of Time in New Tecumseth: Lifetime

Primary Reason For Running: This is an opportunity to help shape the future of New Tecumseth. New Tecumseth is growing and we need to ensure the pace and type of growth is suitable for our community, maintaining and improving our local infrastructure, keeping recreational opportunities in the community, safeguarding fiscal responsibility and getting value for our tax dollars.

Campaign Slogan: “Working for You”

 

What are our most important challenges facing the community?

  • Extending the pipeline to Tottenham to improve the water quality
  • Solving the water/drainage issue in Beeton
  • Ensuring that infill development fits with its surroundings.
  • Completion of the Beeton Community Centre Project with ice pad
  • Road conditions
  • Traffic congestion
  • Value for tax dollars
  • Accessibility

 

What do you cherish most about the community? The people. The amount of time and effort volunteered by residents of New Tecumseth is staggering. Few things move in this community that a volunteer hasn’t touched along the way.

I am grateful that I had the good fortune to grow up and raise a family in this great community.

 

What type of leader will you be?

I like to take a bottom up approach to things. The men and women on the front lines who interact with the community each day, can provide valuable feed back on the way this community is delivering services and how it impacts its residents. I would maintain open communication with staff and management of the Town of New Tecumseth. I am active within our community and encourage people to approach me with their suggestions and concerns.

 

What are the short/long term priorities for change in the community?

Short term

  • Identify, prioritize and budget for our infrastructure needs
  • Ensure we keep some flexibility in our finances and stabilize reserves to weather the unexpected
  • Consult with local business to improve the downtowns in our communities

 

Long term

  • Leverage /network our existing industry (small and large) to promote New Tecumseth as a good place to do business
  • Continue to have sustainable employment and residential lands for development.
  • Continue to provide a reasons for people to live, work and play in New Tecumseth

 

What are the biggest fiscal challenges in our community and how can we address them?: Large capital projects will need to be debentured/financed and in some cases can be paid in full or in part with development charges.

 

What innovative projects would enhance the area?

  • Partner with college or university for a satellite campus
  • Ensure there is equal access to programs in our 3 urban centers

 

What are the best ways to collaborate with other levels of Government?

  • We need to keep the lines of communication open with all levels of government as we are competing for scarce dollars
  • Work together with neighbouring municipalities in cost sharing for common needs
  • Actively engage our MP and MPP to ensure the are cognizant of our issues
  • Identify grants/loans or incentive programs that suit the needs of the community

How do you envision communicating with your constituents? I like to meet face to face but am available by phone or email.

 

What will you do to continue to be involved in the community should you not win?  I will continue to volunteer, as I believe this promotes the fostering of ideas and actions that better our community.

         


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