election 2022


Don Matheson

Hello Saugeen Shores.   

Four years ago, I campaigned and asked you to support me and my vision for Saugeen Shores.  I believed we needed to control growth and development. We needed to improve our Recreational facilities and programs, and most importantly, we needed to address the issue of Housing in our community.  All of this while still managing our finances and bringing forth responsible budgets.  You agreed.  You elected me as your Deputy Mayor, and I thank you. Now four years later, I am again asking for your support by your vote.

I believe Council has two roles: to listen to the concerns of all members of the community, and to represent and do what is best for all of Saugeen Shores. As your Deputy Mayor for the last four years, I have accomplished both. I believe I am open and approachable. I listen to all concerns and then respond accordingly. Sometimes you may not like my decision or response. However, the decisions I make are based on Municipal Laws and Procedures and are the guidelines I must follow.

As a council, we have accomplished much over this time.  It has been a challenging four years for which none of us could have planned.  We have experienced unprecedented growth and fought our way through a global pandemic.  Who could have imagined any of this?  With this Council's guidance and our staff's hard work, Saugeen Shores has emerged stronger over the last four years than ever. 
What do I see as the priorities for the next four years? 

I believe our Municipal Government must continue its practice of being open and transparent.
• The rules and procedures we follow are complicated, and the public is often unaware or does not entirely understand them.   As your Deputy Mayor, I will continue to be available, and inform and explain when questions arise. 

Controlling Growth and Environmental Stewardship.
• As the fastest growing community in Mid-Western Ontario, our Municipal Government must continue to embrace Economic Development while respecting the Environment. In addition to working closely with our Planners and the County to we have our own Environmental Stewardship Ad Hoc committee. Of the five key areas broken down in their Plan, we can focus on two right away.
• Develop a tree retention policy. We need to replace trees when we build, and every lot should have a tree. 
• Waste Management.  It is time that Green Bins come to Saugeen Shores.

• As we grow, your Council must realize the needs of its citizens.  How do we do this?  We listen.  We have public consultations.  We then take all that information and apply it to meet our needs.  One area that was a high priority for me was recreation.  Your present Council listened to you, and as a result, we have seen the most significant investment in recreation in the history of the community.  We have modernized our playgrounds and built the Lamont Sports Park. We have one large project yet to complete: the new Pool and Recreation facility. Our community is very active, and I believe an active community is a healthy community. As our community grows, we must provide opportunities for everyone. Who knows, we may even have a Cricket Pitch someday.  

Affordable and Attainable Housing. 
• Although Housing does not fall under Municipal guidelines, your present Council has gone above and beyond to address the housing crisis. We are working with our developers to ensure that more affordable rental units are available.  We have over 800 rental units planned in the current developments.  We have also changed our by-laws to allow for the creation of more secondary dwelling units. With your help, I will continue to work with Council to ensure we do all we can to help people find affordable living places. 
• Council has discussed the possibility of more Habitat for Humanity builds to enable families to afford their first forever home. I fully support and look forward to working with Council on this endeavour.

As you read through the profiles and promises of the candidates running for election, we all say the same thing.  It is up to you, the voting public, to decide what is important to you and which candidate can best achieve those goals.  Who is the best candidate to represent you and your wishes, and who will best represent Saugeen Shores?

We have accomplished much in the last four years, but the work is far from over.  There is more that we need to do, and there is always more. As we continue to grow, you need a Deputy Mayor representing the entire community; one who is approachable, listens, and is not afraid to make difficult decisions.

Working together, we can make an already strong community even better.

The above was submitted to Saugeen Shores Hub by Don Matheson.