Now that voting has begun in McNab/Braeside, I wanted to remind you of how important this election is for the future of our Township. It has been my pleasure to meet many residents at their door as there are many concerns that I have heard. Many of these issues I also heard when I was previously on Council and many remain unaddressed. Speeding throughout the Township persists as a common complaint.
The planned waste processing plant that is championed by the current Mayor is top of mind for many. Besides being a very bad idea with many downsides and no benefit to us, equally concerning is how this project developed so far along without anybody in Township really knowing what was really going on.
On May 24th of this year, the following motion was entered into Council minutes:
11.2 Sustane Technologies Update
RESOLUTION - 200-2022 Moved by Deputy Mayor Brian Armsden, seconded by Councillor Scott Brum THAT Council authorizes Mayor Peckett to continue his work in obtaining agreements in principle from other municipalities for the significant amount of garbage required for this project. CARRIED.
Simply put, if the current Council is re-elected, you can expect a green light for this incinerator. Tom Peckett doesn’t like the term but all such plants are regulated as incinerators. Waste is matter which doesn’t disappear and only changes form when heat and pressure are applied, regardless of what the actual technical process is.
What I am proposing as Mayor is to implement a form of government that is inclusive of the public. Councillors will make the final decisions, but they are only truly representative of what the residents want if the following takes place:
Residents need to be informed
I will have four Town Halls in the first year of office to update you on the current financial situation of the Township, development plans that are in the works and a timeline for scheduled upgrades to the Township and County roads. We will also update you on what the actual waste situation is since there has been a lot of confusion.
How can we extend the life of our landfill? I have already spoken to people who have volunteered to join a Waste Diversion Committee. This committee will research what other jurisdictions around the province and around the world are doing to tackle this worldwide problem. Then they would make recommendations to Council. That is how it is supposed to work.
Lori Hoddinott, who is running for Deputy Mayor, explains in her latest blog how decision making of this current Council has been largely behind the scenes.
Town Halls are an important means for residents to bring up any topic of concern to them in front of other residents and for Council to hear what the public wants in order to make decisions that are truly representative of the pubic. I will also promise regular newsletters to update all on important developments and interesting social and recreational events. You may be surprised at how many people in the Township do not have computers or who are not regular Facebook users.
For eight years we have not had a committee structure which is an important way to govern and is used by all other municipalities and organizations. Committees have the time to delve deeply into each issue and policy area. With input from interested and knowledgeable citizens and staff, Councillors are guided towards decisions that are more representative of what citizens see as priorities.
A perfect example of a committee that we have been lacking is a Budget Committee. The current Council only looks seriously at the budget once per year and this is why taxes have gone up much more than they have had to. I don’t believe that a cap on tax increases means a cut in services. There are many efficiencies that are being missed when you don’t look at the budget line by line on a monthly basis.
Connection with other levels of Government
As Mayor, I will work collaboratively with the County Council on areas of mutual concern and make sure that our needs are met where the County has jurisdiction.
Rural townships are often forgotten at the provincial and federal levels. I will draw on my extensive experience in provincial and federal matters to represent McNab/Braeside as a strong voice. We need improved communication infrastructure here so that there is true high-speed internet in all neighbourhoods in the Township. Food producers need to be shown proper respect and, in my opinion, they should be compensated for the environmental services that they provide. I am prepared to lobby hard on any topic that may arise in the next four years to the appropriate higher level of government involved.
Let’s keep McNab/Braeside a beautiful place to live. I ask for your vote and support to implement as Mayor an open, transparent, and inclusive local government.
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