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Ward 6 candidates address issues at public meeting

October 13, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

New Tecumseth Ward 6 candidates had the opportunity tell voters their vision for the town during a public meeting held at the Beeton Legion on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Candidates, Nicole Cox, Douglas Kowalinski, and Brandon Kyte, were asked three questions during the meeting and given the opportunity to explain their position on the issues.

All three candidates were given the opportunity to provide some personal background information and experience.

The first question asked by the moderator, was “if elected, what are your top three priorities?”

Mr. Kyte, said he would focus on infrastructure maintenance and development, as well as making sure the town’s needs are met without compromising the budget. He also mentioned maintaining Beeton’s small-town atmosphere.

Ms. Cox, said she wanted to make sure the town’s finances are in check, citing a proposed 13 per cent increase in taxes and increase in water rates, as well having a complete master drainage plan, and having a proper development program plan.

Mr. Kowalinski responded saying he is concerned about unchecked development, the need for infrastructure in the ward, and programs/services, including the proposed new community centre in Beeton.

The second question asked, “what is your vision for where and what kind of housing should be built to accommodate growth.”

Mr. Kyte, said he does not support the plan to nearly double the population of the town over the next three decades, adding he supports building low rise condos or apartment buildings along major routes in the town.

Ms. Cox said growth should reflect municipalities’ specific needs and noted there is a lack of different types of housing, including affordable housing.

Mr. Kowalinski noted there is a need for affordable housing and he’s in support of high-density housing while adding consideration for the required infrastructure is needed.

The third question was, “can you identify three positive things the previous town council has implemented and you intend to build upon, and three things you would like to change.”

Mr. Kyte, said improvements to Simcoe Manor, upgrades to infrastructure, are positives. He said the new administration building was a negative due to cost overruns and contingencies.

Ms. Cox, said a motion to support electronic voting, a traffic calming program, and a one-time contribution to the Beeton Arena fund as positives, while saying she would like to see the even-number council changed to avoid tie votes, reducing the number of provisions passed in favour of developers, and improved communication between council and the public.

Mr. Kowalinski said town committees have been a positive for the town, the water issue has been resolved for the most part, and doctor retention for the hospital has improved, while saying infrastructure needs improvement and improved communication is needed.

The meeting format did not allow for questions from the public.

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