SAUGEEN SHORES ELECTION 2018

election 2018

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Saugeen Shores Hub reached out to readers and came up with the following questions for your municipal candidates.

Taun Frosst is running for Vice-Deputy Mayor in Saugeen Shores. Here are his answers.

1) All municipalities have borrowing limits for debt. Given the many projects either underway or proposed what is the maximum percentage of borrowing capacity you are willing to commit to?

In my past time on council, I have always been fiscally responsible in ascertaining how the Town pays for projects. Percentages of maximum have never played into my decisions. I have and will always defer to minimums, rather than maximums, and constantly search for ways to save dollars that could be used to help fund projects.

2) What are your views or proposals for the future of the Port Elgin and North Shore Railway?

My views on the railroad are probably the same as almost all residents of Saugeen Shores. I very much want it to stay. The railroad has had a great many issues over the previous couple of council terms. The rail needs a great deal of repair, the engine has not been certified in a very long time, the cars are in disrepair, and what repairs have been done to things like brakes, are inadequate. If I’m elected to council, I would make a motion that we ask the Province for help to secure the operation with its infrastructure, as it is a tourist attraction and destination. Also, approach the Federal government for funding to certify/repair all the components as the Port Elgin-North Shore railway is a Federal jurisdiction.

3) What, if any, assurances can you give business owners and their staff that local businesses will not be targeted for closure should the Town choose to repurpose their property in the future?

I don’t see re-purposing businesses/properties as a problem in Saugeen Shores. If a particular business is to be re-purposed/closed, I would expect some sort of public comment period, plus a great deal of discussion with those affected, council, and appropriate staff department heads.

4) What calming measures can be implemented to reduce excessive vehicle speeds in busy Saugeen Shores neighbourhoods?

I like the radar unit that Saugeen Shores Police Service already uses. Further use of 4 way stops might be prudent in some situations, more enforcement is a possibility, but comes at a cost. The use of ghost cars is also a great deterrent. Big thing though is to get traffic through the town easier, i.e. by-pass or a timed express system.

5) What is your position on a YMCA coming to Saugeen Shores?

YMCA does a great deal for many areas throughout the province. If it were to add facilities to the town that are not adequately covered already by private businesses such as walking tracks, running tracks, cycling/safe cycling classes, basketball courts to name some, I would welcome them to the neighbourhood.

6) What specific actions would you take to meet the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Report, especially as they relate to Saugeen Ojibway Nation? (http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Findings/Exec_Summary_2015_05_31_web_o.pdf)

The council and town have always had and continue to have a great relationship with our northern neighbours. I don’t believe that I can add anything else to that.

7) With businesses closing their doors or reducing their hours because they can't find enough staff, what can be done to create affordable accommodations for service workers or lower income residents in Saugeen Shores?

Affordable housing is a problem everywhere. Those that rent properties work at getting the most from their investment, the same is true of any of us. We want to make as much as we can from wages to pensions. It is community that has to make the difference. Ask yourself, if you could offer up a room with board, or a converted garage at a very, very affordable price to someone in need, would you do it? If the answer is yes, then I would be proud to champion your cause and work on Saugeen Shores council, county council, and our friends at the province to change the zoning rules.

Frosst answered Questions 8 and 9 with the same answer:

8) What can be done to create affordable housing for younger, first time home buyers as well as retirees in Saugeen Shores?

9) What can be done to create affordable housing for retired seniors in Saugeen Shores?

I believe these tie in with Question 7. Add only to this, that first time home buyers face some stringent requirements for mortgages and really is not a municipal issue. It would also take some very good will for land owners and builders to produce housing for those without significant means. It may however be feasible to use very basic modular accommodations if land were available, say a “recently purchased gravel pit”.

10) With fewer low to middle income families coming to Saugeen Shores, what can be done to help local businesses stay afloat?

I have heard there is a movement to expand the migrant workers program into other areas of business. We will all have to see how that plays out. The only other way is to increase wages or provide transportation, neither would be palatable to the consumer as prices would be significantly higher than neighbouring communities.

11) As the town grows and new developments happen, how might you protect local farm land from development pressure?

We have in place an official plan, which I believe will be under review shortly. I have a long background in agriculture and assure you, I want things to go up first before spreading out.

12) With all the new development and the ever growing population in Saugeen Shores would you agree there is a need for an expansion to our water treatment facility and would you support action being taken toward this?

Water is our first concern with any service, any expansion would be supported by me. Expansions that are completed before they’re completely needed.

Other Deputy Mayor candidates (two elected):

See: Mike Myatt; Ask a Candidate

Saugeen Shores Hub gave each of the candidates equal opportunity to respond but has not heard back from Vice Deputy Mayor candidate Jim Stark.

If we do prior to voting opening October 12 we will update accordingly as time allows.

We also did not hear back from Deputy Mayor candidates Diane Huber and Don Matheson but again, will update as per above.