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

Dave Myette is running for Saugeen Ward Councillor 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?

Borrowing capacity is important for planned and emergent expenditures. I would never be comfortable exceeding 50% of our capacity for any planned project. The more important consideration is the ability for taxpayers to make the payments in order to service any debt. The more tax rolls we have the more we can afford without raising the tax rate. We are in an enviable position to be adding hundreds of additional taxpayers each year with new development.

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

I am supportive of the operation of the Port Elgin North Shore Railway as long as the current or future operator deals with the taxpayer owned facility in a respectful manner that generates returns commensurate with the value of the assets, and that fits in with the overall Waterfront Master Plan.

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?

This municipality is not in the habit of expropriation of land or buildings of privately owned property or businesses; on the contrary Council is and needs to continue to be highly supportive of current and future businesses owners.

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

The traffic study currently being conducted will make recommendations on traffic flow and calming, and I expect measures such as speed bumps (removable for winter) along with designated feeder roads, diversion measures, traffic circles, and stop lights or signs will be part of that.

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

I anxiously await the results of the YMCA feasibility study, and would only agree to moving forward with those recommendations if the impact on the taxpayer and conflicts with existing private fitness businesses are minimized or eliminated.

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 matters pertaining to the Truth and Reconciliation Report are squarely within the Federal Jurisdiction. That said I believe that Saugeen Ojibway Nation have some significant and legitimate grievances with respect to the manners in which they have been treated in the past. I also am a firm believer that solutions and reparations are better found in a forward leaning perspective rather than by looking in the rear view mirror.

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?

The Municipality has and should continue to offer incentives in the form of development fee rebates, and/or tax incentives for developers to build affordable housing. Additionally facilitation of joint ventures between Bruce County Housing and investors will result in more and different types of affordable housing development. The Municipality also should investigate amendments to zoning regulations that would allow private property owners to offer alternative forms of affordable rental accommodations.

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

Resale housing is market driven, and the Municipality has little influence on those conditions. For new housing on the other hand, we can offer incentives for certain types, and values, of developments by offering incentives to investors/developers as mentioned in Answer 7 above.

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

Development of new affordable housing is done by incentivizing investors, and by joint venture with County programs. Council can influence those decisions by creating zoning changes where appropriate and creating conditions that make those types of developments attractive to investors.

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

Ambiguity aside, Council is very supportive of the BIAs and the Chamber of Commerce actions to support existing businesses and promote new business ventures. Additionally I will encourage the County to continue to offers grants, mentoring and promotion for new businesses and young people starting out.

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

Where development happens is largely based on current zoning and the Official Plan (OP) of the County. The Citizens of Saugeen Shores and Council will have opportunity to influence on the Official Plan and zoning changes as it is currently being renewed.

Generally speaking development can only happen in areas that are designated for future development in the OP. Exceptions are made from time to time for discreet rural lots based on availability, environmental, and market conditions.

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?

Each year significant investment is made in the water and wastewater infrastructure, paid for 100% by water fees charged to users. Our current urban water and wastewater facilities are running at roughly 50% capacity, with future expansion already designed in. This is in thanks to the foresight of previous Councils when the facilities were built.

Other Saugeen Ward candidatess (two elected):

See: Pat Jilesen; Ask a Candidate

Saugeen Shores Hub gave each of the candidates equal opportunity to respond but has not heard back from Saugeen Ward candidates Matt Carr and Mary Foley. If we do prior to voting opening October 12 we will update accordingly as time allows.