Friday, 15 February 2019

Sauble Beach Residential Property Owners Association

Some time ago, all candidates were sent emails informing them that we would provide space on our site for them to post their platform if they so desired.  We received feedback from some candidates, but certainly not all.  If a candidate sent us their platform, you will find it listed here.

 

Janice Jackson

 
TAXES - Our taxes are too high.  Four years ago, we were promised a 15% decrease.  Four years later, your taxes have increased by almost 20%.  That's a 35% tax increase compared to the election promise you were made.  I refuse to make unreasonable promises in order to get elected.  I have voted against each and every budget because of unnecessary spending and tax increases.  There's a big difference between a tax RATE and a tax LEVY.  The tax rate is simply numbers used to calculate the tax levy.  A tax rate doesn't increase or decrease your taxes.  The tax levy does.  When you hear someone talk about a tax rate decrease, it means nothing.  I didn't understand this immediately either.  Most people don't.  Please beware of the term 'tax rate'.  It means nothing.  What really concerns me are the added stresses of losing significant parking revenue in addition to the effects the Land Claim will likely have on our town.  If assessments go down in Sauble Beach, taxes in the rest of the municiplaity will have to go up.  It takes a certain amount of money to run the town.  These will likely be very trying times ahead.  With these issues facing us, we will most certainly need to restructure our spending at Town Hall.  We will need to find ways to navigate through the shortfalls and find ways to effectively run the town with less.  We cannot tollerate the stress of additional tax increases. I will strive to encourage new development, which will generate additional tax revenue.  We can get through this, however, I won't make unreasonable promises to get your vote.
 
LAND CLAIM - The Town residents were only given one side of the story.  The First Nation's side.  We were not presented with the Town's case.  Until we have been given every piece of information including the possible ramifications of both fighting the claim and negotiating a settlement, there's no way we can make an informed, intelligent decision. It simply isn't possible.  Please understand that if the beach is turned over to the First Nations, we will very likely suffer a loss of assessment in Sauble Beach.  If Sauble's assessments drop and we lose tax revenue, we will need to make it up somewhere else.  Even paid parking revenue won't come close to the amounts we will likely lose.  There's no other revenue stream but taxation.  Our taxes will have to go up everywhere else in the municipality. This is not an issue that effects only Sauble Beach.  It will have a direct impact on every taxpayer in TSBP.  Perhaps this is the issue needed to finally unite our town.  We have to make this decision together.  We need to step back and take a look at every inch of this case and make sure every resident is well informed.  We can not be expected to make the right decision without all of the information.  I will ensure you are given everything.  Every taxpayer will be thoroughly informed and have a say in this decision.  This is likely the most important issue to ever face our Municipality.  We must make the right choice.
 
DEVELOPMENT - I believe that “What we once were, we can be again!”  Developers have come and gone.  Unfortunately, South Bruce Peninsula has acquired the reputation of being "Closed for Business".  Why has this happened to our once thriving communities?  With the upcoming expansion of the Wiarton sewage treatment plant, there will come a wealth of opportunity.  As Mayor, I will encourage new business and create incentives for companies to relocate here.  We need to assist entrepeneurs and cut the red tape at Town Hall.  My goal is to work together to create jobs and encourage the many new housing proposals knocking at our door.  New development brings new jobs and new tax dollars. I assure you that I will put these goals on the front burner and I'll start with the Adult Lifestyle Community south of Wiarton.  South Bruce Peninsula can thrive once again and be "Open for Business"!
 
INTEGRITY - I have faced criticism for standing up for what the people have told me they want.  I will continue to be fearless in representing you because that's what I was elected to do.  I swore an oath to do what's best for you.  I believe I have done that.
 
In Provincial or Federal politics, you must stand by your party and support all decisions they make, good and bad.  In Municipal politics, there is no party.  Each councillor makes their own decision on how to best serve the people.
I won’t vote with Council if I feel they've made a bad recommendation or decision.  I work for you.  I answer to you.  I have no intention of ever toeing the party line and going along with Council if I feel they've made the wrong decision.
I have voted for what I believe is right for the community, which has not always been in agreement with Council.
As Mayor, I will constantly remind Council that they work for you.
 
I will encourage Council to come forward with creative ideas for a healthy and prosperous community.  I do not want a Council that simply votes on issues our staff brings forward.  As a Council, we are privileged to have the opportunity to make positive change.  We need to get out there and listen to the wants and needs of our community, then bring those ideas to the table and collectively make the right decisions.  Most importantly, Council has no room for personal agendas.
 
Please research your candidates before you vote!  With only five people at the table, it's vital to elect those who put YOU first.
 
Newmarket Councillor Maddi Di Muccio summed it up well by saying "The ingredients that make up a good politician are very simple: a strong work ethic, common sense, vision and a high moral fibre.  On the other hand, the recipe for scandal has just one ingredient: a weak sense of knowing what is right from wrong".   I couldn't agree more.
 
RESPECT for TAXPAYERS - As soon as you enter Town Hall, you see warning signs.  What you can and can't do.  How many people they'll accept in Council Chambers.  There are warnings prohibiting recording devices and cameras.  Did you know you are forbidden to applaud a good decision in Council?  Did you know Council recently approved security cameras and they're already installed and watching you!  People are afraid to raise an issue or complain for fear of reprisal.  People worry that if you ask a question, express an opinion or challenge a decision, you'll be black-listed or worse, you'll be sued.  This council spent over one-half million of your dollars suing constituents for voicing an opinion in addition to defending Obstruct Justice and Conflict of Interest charges against the Mayor and members of Council & Committees.  This environment has created an unmistakable sense that the People's Place no longer belongs to the people.  The taxpayer is not respected.  This must change!  We can't allow anyone to live in fear.  Town Hall belongs to you and is paid for by you.  Taxpayers feel as if they're treated like the enemy when they should be treated like the boss!  It's your hard-earned dollars funding our Municipality.  As Mayor, change will come quickly and a welcome mat will greet you at every door.  Expressing your opinions and ideas will be encouraged.
 
BASIC SERVICES - We seem to be lacking in what many communities would consider basic services and I want to change that.  I would like to concentrate on improving our roads and providing additional recreational programs while charging reasonable rates for the services we provide.  We should also expect exceptional, friendly customer care at Town Hall with open and easy access to Council meetings whether you're home or away (via video streaming).  This is a priority for me.
 
REVITALIZATION - The town has a facade improvement grant program where they match the amount a business owner spends improving the look of their storefront up to a max of $7,000.00.  I believe this is a great way to improve the visual appeal of our community.  My goal would be to focus revitalization of one geographic area each year.  The current strategy of supporting projects across the municipality results in small improvements, thus no one area will see a worthwhile makeover quickly.  By concentrating on one area each year, we will see immediate improvements and increase the visual appeal of our community for residents and tourists alike.
 
We need to consider the creation of one Downtown Improvement Association (DIA) to work in conjunction with the various revitalization groups.  Together, we can quickly rejuvenate each of our communities and make them attractive and welcoming.  Let’s be proud of our downtown areas.  Let's give people a great reason to stop and shop.
 
SAUBLE BEACH - As you know, I have been fighting for the clean-up of our beach for four years.  I feel it looks horrible and is further declining each and every year.  With the Piping Plover habitats come restrictions from the Ministry of Natural Resources.  They ask for the world and hope they get it.  Other tourist areas that also share their beach with the Plovers have pushed back and told the MNR not to forget theirs is a beach owned by the people, for the people and their #1 tourist destination.  We must take the same tack.  We need to remind our MNR friends that this is our jewel.  I don't think anyone is unwilling to share the beach with the Plovers.  I'm not!  I fully support the protection of their habitat, but their habitat can not be the entire beach!  That is completely unreasonable.  There must be middle ground and I will find it.  I want our beach back.  To be told we can't remove any debris is nonsense.  I can't watch Sauble Beach decline for another four years.  We can easily share our beach with the Plovers, but we do not have to lose our beach to them.  The beach needs a Mayor who will stand up and get the job done!  I'm ready to go!
 
WIARTON INFRASTRUCTURE - We must push Grant Applications. We have miles of pipes that urgently need replacement.  As a "User Pay" service, we can't strap our users with the full price to replace the system.  We need to continue to apply for funding grants.  Our Manager of Financial Services has been quite successful so far, but we have so much more to do.  This will be on the top of my priority list.
 
WIARTON AIRPORT - Unless there is funding to cover all costs, I will not support spending one or two million taxpayer dollars to repave the runway in order to keep it at a "Certified" level.  It has been functioning as a "registered" airdrome for a very long time.  As it stands now, it costs the taxpayers approx $200,000.00 each year to keep it open.  I feel we need the airport to facilitate the Medevac program.  But to pour millions into something that's a constant money loser is irresponsible.  I've heard the old adage "build it and they will come".  We already have an International Airport and no one came!  To spend that kind of money, putting you deep into debt with absolutely no guarantee of new business, is not something I will support.
 
UNITY - Amalgamation has been tough on us; there seems to be an "us vs. them" attitude which is very divisive.  It seems to be "Wiarton vs Sauble", "Seasonal vs. Permanent" and all the while, other areas of our town simply feel left out.  Where did this sense of imbalance come from?  I believe that the duty of the Mayor is to bring people together and build collaboration among and within our communities.  We must support growth and prosperity while fostering the uniqueness of each diverse area.  We are all one Municipality.  We are all taxpayers.  We are all important.  I am committed to creating unity. 
 

Betty Hall

 
I will bring my previous experience on Council, my dedication to fiscal responsibility and public accountability, my business acumen and my policy review and development experience to improve our community and support growth in the Town of South Bruce Peninsula as your Deputy Mayor.
 
In 2006, I was elected as a Ward 2 Councillor.  I was your voice and defender of the services you deserve as a taxpayer of this community. Since 2012, I have been involved with the Grey Bruce Health Services, currently serving as the chair of the Community Advisory Committee. Our family business, Peninsula Overhead Doors has built a reputation for quality and customer service.
 
A mother of two and grandmother of six, I am an individual who values family and community. My husband and I built our home in Howdenvale in 2000.  The natural setting, the peace and serenity and, above all, the people we have met have made the Town of South Bruce Peninsula our home.
 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.bettyhall.ca
https://www.facebook.com/BettyHallforDeputyMayor
https://twitter.com/bettyhalltsbp
 
 
Why should you vote for Betty?
• I have experience and am ready for the challenge to win for you
• Honest, dedicated and a strong work ethic that I apply in my everyday life as a successful entrepreneur and community volunteer
• Advocate for you, the Taxpayer, listening to and respecting your opinions
• My keen eye for detail will assure the accountability of the budget and operations of the Municipality
• Researches issues and gets all the questions answered before making decisions
• Developing and evaluating policies and programs that make sense
• Discussions to attain solutions and bring peace to unsettled situations
 
Taxes have gone up 19.7% under current administration with no increase in services.  Taxpayer dollars must benefit taxpayers.  Let’s be smarter with our money.  Let’s find and cut the waste!
 
I strongly support ONLINE VIDEO STREAMING and archiving of the Council meetings so you have the choice to see what is happening and how I and others are representing you.  This is accountability!
 
Basic shared services are where your dollars should be spent.  Simple things like maintaining our roads, garbage pickup, infrastructure upgrades, affordable water and sewer rates and efficient emergency services.  These areas need to be our primary focus during the budget process.  It’s time to stop studying the problems and start solving them!
 
On Monday, October 27, vote Betty Hall for Deputy Mayor
 

Ana Vukovic

 
I have been a resident of South Bruce Peninsula for more than 34 years, with two previous terms served on council.  I successfully campaigned for improved basic services that included better water quality, garbage collections, recycling, snow removal and road maintenance.  I was also instrumental in opposing the installation of industrial wind turbines in South Bruce Peninsula.
 
I believe in the following:
 
• Financial responsibility
• Conservation
• Integrity
• Open, transparent and accountable local government
• Council decisions made to promote the best interests of both permanent and seasonal residents
• Listening to all constituents 
• Representing your views in local decision making
 
I will work hard for:
 
• Tax dollars being spent carefully and wisely
• Timely decisions from council based on thorough and rational research
• Development, redevelopment and revitalization
• Planning that creates and sustains vibrant communities
• Improvements in local infrastructure
• Ethical decisions to benefit local residents
• A strengthened sense of purpose, community and culture.
 

Marilyn Bowman

 
Marilyn Bowman is asking for your support in her bid for re-election to the position of Councillor for the Town of South Bruce Peninsula. If re-elected she will continue to work diligently to address the concerns of the citizens of our amazing municipality.
 
Background  
 
• Career as Project Manager with solid background in budget management, facilitation and strategic long term planning.  
• Board member of HOPE Grey Bruce Mental Health and Addictions
• Governance trained  
• President Sauble Sandpipers 
• 2007-2008 Volunteer of the Year for the Town of South Bruce Peninsula
• Councillor 2010 to 2014 – Ward 4 (Sauble Beach)
• Over 40 years as a property owner at Sauble Beach, with last 12 years as a permanent resident
 
Key Issues
 
Sauble Sewer Ad-Hoc Committee – Worked with a group of citizens to determine if Sauble Beach would benefit from an installation of sewers in the Sauble Beach area. After detailed analysis and testing it was determined that there did not appear to be a scientific reason for this type of installation. One of the recommendations of the committee was to introduce a septic re-inspection program for the Town of South Bruce Peninsula. Another recommendation of the committee was to improve upon the current storm water management plan for the Sauble Beach area. 
 
Septic Re-inspection Program - The results after the first year of the program supports the continuation of the program.  Twenty-five percent of all properties tested had some form of defect in their system. The educational component of this program has heightened the awareness of the residents in the importance of maintaining a healthy septic system.
 
Storm Water Management - Although Council has not made this a priority, serious consideration should be given to this situation in 2015 for all areas of the Town.
 
Buses and traffic at Sauble Beach – Staff and Council were successful in implementing recommendations that have improved the situation. Monitoring, enforcement and updates to plan should be reviewed by staff regularly.
 
 Paid Parking – This issue has caused dissention and confusion on the part of the ratepayers. The elimination of paid parking will see a significant decrease in administrative staff time and an increase in the enforcement of the Dynamic Beach By-law. 
Year over year there has been an increase in expenses and a decrease in revenues associated with paid parking. The proposed decrease in the parking fees and the introduction of free parking passes for residents would have resulted in a negative impact to the ratepayers. (It would have cost more to administer the program than what was received.) 
 
Full Bag Tag System – The landfill site is at a level where expansion may be required within 6 to 10 years. The cost to expand the landfill site is expected to be over 10 Million dollars. Currently the Financial Services Department has identified that there is inadequate monies in reserve to cover this cost.
The Town charges for the second (2nd) bag of garbage. The recommendation by staff is to charge for each bag of garbage.  Council did not go forward with staff’s recommendation. The introduction of a full bag system was intended to delay the need for expansion for a couple of years. Ratepayers must become aware of the requirement to divert recyclables from the landfill site. I would support going to a full bag tag system if the level of recyclables per household does not improve.
 
Wiarton Keppel Airport – The 2014 Operating Budget shows a projection of revenues to be $180,000 with an operating expense of $470,000. The Airport is in joint ownership between the Town of South Bruce Peninsula and the Municipality of Georgian Bluffs. The projection of 2014 contributions by the ratepayers of each municipality is $145,000 (for a total of $290,000).
There have been many debates at Council on how to finance this amount of expenditure. Council is waiting for a business plan detailing how the airport can become self funded. 
The 2014 Capital Budget presented to Council shows that there will be a required investment of over $6,000,000 to sustain the Airport at the current operating standard. This will have to be financed through debt financing as there are insufficient monies in reserves. Assistance will be requested from federal and provincial governments to offset the costs; however there is no guarantee of receiving any grants. The Town and Georgian Bluffs will, at a minimum, need to come up with around two (2) Million dollars even if grants were received.
Options including sale of the airport, land use changes, changing the status of operations and closing the airport all need to be considered. 
 
Water and Sewer Rates –Minimal amounts of monies have been put into reserves over the last ten years resulting in a situation that does not allow for replacement of the infrastructure that is required. A detailed analysis of the system cost was undertaken in 2013 resulting in a significant increase to the users of the system. With the presentation of the Asset Management Plan completed in 2013 there was a further requirement for capital and replacement requirements. The Wiarton Sewage lagoon has reached capacity and must be expanded if there is to be growth in Wiarton.
The Oliphant Water Treatment Plant (part of the Sauble Amabel Water System) has never operated efficiently nor does it meet the requirement of the Ministry. Over $150,000 was spent trucking water from Wiarton to service the users of this system. I find this appalling and take some of the responsibility that a solution had not been found sooner. Currently an upgrade, partially financed through government funding, is underway and nearing completion. 
The operating costs to maintain water and sewage systems are extremely expensive. Currently the company that is doing these functions is extremely competent. That said, when the contract comes up for renegotiation alternate options including in-house staff doing the monitoring or choosing a different supplier must be considered.
The most effective way of reducing the cost to the user is by increasing the number of users on the system thereby sharing the operational costs over a larger component. 
 
 
Policing Costs – This ever increasing cost to the Town is something that Council has struggled with over the past number of years. Fortunately monies were put into reserves to offset the projected increase that had been identified by the OPP negotiating team. The increase of costs was offset by taking monies from reserves for 2014. This will only delay the true cost to the ratepayers. I see no answer to these escalating costs other than to lobby the government for financial assistance.  
 
 
Roads and Maintenance – A Roads Needs Study was recently presented to Council. There are many more roads needing improvements than there are monies in reserve. Staff has undertaken and will continue to undertake analysis of the Roads Needs study to determine where best to utilize the existing reserves. Staff will also be applying for infrastructure funding to offset the costs.
Maintenance of the existing road network is never enough to satisfy all residents. The Public Works Department is continually monitoring roads and there are monies in the budget to maintain the current level of service.
 
Wiarton and Sauble Revitalization Committees – Drawing tourists and residents to the downtown cores is essential for a vibrant community. Focusing on Wiarton Willie trademark is a great advertising and marketing tool.
 
Growth Strategy – A review of the Strategic Plan on a yearly basis will ensure the Town is moving in a direction focused on the requirements of the ratepayers. Economic Development opportunities must be supported highlighting the strengths of our municipality. Creating a working relationship with potential developers is critical. Too often we are seen as a Town that is closed for business due to our restrictive infrastructure situation. Expansion of the Wiarton sewer services is necessary for us to move forward.
 
Healthy and Vibrant Communities – Affordable housing for seniors and residents is an area that is lacking in our Town. We need to continue to work with Social Services and Health Teams to ensure the needs of the Community are met and the changing demographics are recognized. We need to develop stronger partnerships with organizations, committees and businesses. We must promote Heritage preservation and encourage cultural arts programs. If we do not recognize that youth are out future we will loose them to cities or towns where they have greater opportunities for advancement and employment. We should be supporting educational opportunities and active lifestyles. 
 
Wise Use and Management of Resources –Sauble Beach is a wonderful yet delicate resource and as such needs to be carefully tended by the Town. Numerous local groups have done a terrific job in educating the Council in the importance of preservation and protection of the beach, waterways and lands. We must continually listen to their expertise and learn from their experiences. Additional by-law enforcement is needed to ensure that the beach is treated with respect. The Sauble River needs to be tested on a regular basis in order to identify any changes to the river’s ecosystem. Additional public washrooms are needed.
We live in area that is diverse in ecological importance. Eradication of invasive species and protection of endangered species must remain a priority. Working with groups like the Bruce Biosphere Committee and embracing the Conservation and Stewardship Plan will greatly benefit our municipality.
 
Development Charges – Council is awaiting a staff report suggesting how they could proceed with the implementation of development charges. The cost to the Town for studies, environmental assessments, public meetings and consultation is very costly. These costs should be borne through development charges rather than directly to the current ratepayers.
 
Fiscal Management - Before any project is approved the timeline must be established, expected accrued interest charges identified and a risk assessment completed. Objectives and measurements must be clear and agreed to prior to awarding any tender. Failure to meet objectives and measurements must have monetary penalties. Staff must keep to timelines as directed by Council.
Capital projects need to be well planned out with funding in place before proceeding. Using the Asset Management Plan to identify and plan for future needs must continue. Future planning should include determining what the long-term reserve balance requirements are and how to achieve such balances in the long-term.
The Town will be eligible for government infrastructure funding only if we adhere to the Asset Management Plan. We must give any projects that are not identified as necessary to sustaining our current level of service extreme deliberation before proceeding.
 
If you have any questions on these or other issues please do not hesitate to contact myself at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 519-422-1640.
 
Thank you for your time.
 
Marilyn Bowman
Candidate for position of Councillor Town of South Bruce Peninsula
 

Craig Gammie

 
Dear Neighbours and Friends: 
 
My name is Craig Gammie. 
 
I have been listening to the residents, and I have learned a lot.
 
I have learned that all you have to do is start people talking and you quickly find out why they love this great place called South Bruce Peninsula.  
 
Residents love Lake Huron on the west with its beautiful sand beaches and its great sunsets.  They love Georgian Bay, the Niagara escarpment, Colpoy’s Bay, Hope Bay, and so much more on the west.   They love the wide open spaces, the community centres, the community activities, the friendly neighbours, the quiet rural ambience, and the great family feeling. 
 
(And some just love it for what it isn’t … Toronto, Hamilton, Waterloo) 
 
It truly is a wonderful place to live, work, and play.
 
But in talking to people I have also learned that many residents feel dark clouds have  rolled in over the last four years, and that more dark clouds are on the horizon, and that their paradise may be threatened.   
 
Residents are aware that taxes have risen sharply, that water and sewer rates have for many gone through the roof,  that our financial reserves have been squandered, that roads and bridges have fallen into disrepair, that by-law enforcement has all but ceased, that services in general have declined, and that some of our taxes have been improperly spent.
 
A few have become so discouraged by the tax and utilities burden forced upon them by the current council that they have packed up and left town.   Some, whose properties have lost value due to high water rates and high taxes, cannot afford to sell, and yet they cannot afford to stay, and so they feel trapped.
 
Fortunately, the situation can be improved.   But we need to change course.  We need a new council that considers the residents.  We need a council that puts the needs of the residents above their own self–interests.  We need a council that can stop the wasteful and improper spending.  We need a council that encourages residents to participate.  We need a council that conducts its business, which is our business, in the open.   We need a change at town hall.
 
I am running in the October 27, 2014 municipal election for the position of councillor, Town of South Bruce Peninsula.
 
I am looking for your support.  So that we can change course.  So that we can get taxes and municipal utility rates down (without loss of services).  So that residents get value for their tax dollars. So that residents can once again feel comfortable staying in their own homes.  So that residents can participate in the decisions that affect them without fear of reprisal.
 
I can bring to the council table many years of relevant education and experience, especially in engineering, finance, government, and government affairs.
 
Many council policy decisions would benefit from an engineer’s input, yet the town has not had an engineer on staff since about 2008, except for a few months in 2012.   I was a professional engineer for 35 years and I can contribute an engineer’s perspective to the council table.
 
Lots of policy decisions are financial, and almost all decisions have a financial aspect.  I have a Masters degree in business, with a finance concentration, I have lots of experience as a corporate financial analyst, and I have managed budgets of over $50 million dollars.  I can bring my finance background to the table.
 
As a staff member working for the federal government and as a senior government affairs professional in a large private sector corporation I became very familiar with the government policy decision process, even writing parts of statutes, regulations, and by-laws.
 
I have attended all council meetings since the 2010 election except for a brief period when I was improperly excluded.  I have reviewed every agenda package.   I have provided council with a resident’s perspective on their policy proposals. 
 
I am very familiar with the Town’s procedural rules, and also the rules of order used for council meetings. 
 
I believe there are many opportunities to reduce taxes without any loss in services.  Here are some:
 
1. Reinstate Sauble paid parking for tourists ($250,000 tax reduction or 3% off your municipal tax bill), while residents park free.
 
2. End unfair subsidies to commercial operations (2% reduction).
 
3. End council members paying private matter legal fees from the treasury (2% reduction).
 
4. Explore alternative police services arrangements (tax reduction unquantified).  
 
5. Cut the unproductive waste out of the economic development budget (1% reduction). (This will also improve the economy.)  
 
6. End the airport deficits (2% reduction).
 
Here are my feelings on some issues that residents have raised:
 
First Nation Claim of our beach
 
The First Nation claim is very weak.  Our defence is very strong.  We should not be throwing in the towel.  We need to slow the process down and get all the information to residents.
 
By-law enforcement    
 
We have some good by-laws.  But enforcement is almost non-existent.  That needs to change.  I will change it so that by-law enforcement is separated from staff and council.  The by-laws themselves, and not staff or council, should determine how by-laws are enforced.
 
Infrastructure  
 
Many roads, the Wiarton sewage system,  and some water systems are in disrepair.   We need to fix these.
 
Economic development
 
Current council’s approach to economic development is to tax money away from residents and donate it to commercial enterprises, in cash or in kind.  This does not work.   It actually slows economic development because it takes so much money away from residents, leaving residents with less to spend and invest, making the economy not better, but worse.
 
It is also grossly unfair to take money from those who earned it and who have a right to invest it or spend it, and to then donate that money to those who did not earn it and have no right to spend or invest it.
 
I feel that the best way to get the local economy moving is to harness the skills and energy of the residents, (rather than by using their scarce tax dollars).  I feel the best way to do this is to set up an economic development committee independent of the local government.   I am offering to get such a committee going. 
 
Sauble Sewers
 
Over and over Sauble sewers have been shown to be unnecessary, extremely costly, and unwarranted.  Yet some candidates, in spite of all the evidence that septic systems are working well, keep insisting that septic systems are contaminating drinking water and the lake where we swim, and they are using that misrepresentation to try to justify a communal sewage system at Sauble.   The only difference is that now they want all residents to pay, not just Sauble residents.  If they get their way it will cost each residence more than $10,000.  The residents of TSBP should not be saddled with that unnecessary burden.  The Sauble sewers issue needs to be put to rest, once and for all.
 
Legal Costs
 
I will fight to make sure that no council member or staff member can use taxpayer dollars to bully any resident into silence with a lawsuit, or by any means.  And I will fight to make sure that no one can ever again freely defame residents while using taxpayer dollars to pay any legal costs incurred as a result of their defamation, or to pay for any settlements awarded against them.  And I will fight to make sure that no council or board member can ever use taxpayer dollars to hold themselves harmless while openly violating the conflict of interest rules.
 
The Airport
 
The airport needs at least $100,000 of taxpayer subsidies every year, and provides little or no municipal service.   This is neither sustainable nor acceptable.  Something must change.   If the airport cannot be operated at a benefit to the taxpayers, then we need to get out of the airport business.  
 
Sauble pay parking for tourists
 
The late 2012 decision to have free parking for tourists at Sauble is costing all residents in the Town $250,000 in extra taxes.  The decision needs to be reconsidered.  Residents should have free parking.
 
Transparency/ closed meetings
 
In 2010 the Ontario Ombudsman investigated the 2006 – 2010 council of TSBP and found many contraventions regarding open meeting laws.  Then in 2012 the Ontario Ombudsman investigated the current council of TSBP and found six violations of the Municipal Act regarding closed meetings, the second highest number of violations for any municipality (Meaford was first).  But the Ombudsman cannot do anything about it.  The Ombudsman can only recommend that council stop doing it.  The current council, in my analysis, just kept on breaking the law.  That has to change too.  I would like to have few if any closed meetings.
 
For comments on other issues please visit my website at www.craiggammie.com
 
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call (519 422 3599) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
 
Thank you for your support, 
Craig Gammie
 

Terry Bell

 
Friends, I have been your Bluewater District School Board Trustee for the past four years. This year, my fellow trustees elected me to the office of  Vice-Chair of the Board.  It has been a challenge.  My eyes have certainly been opened to the stark realities of the world of education.  Sometimes I like what I see, sometimes I don’t.  I feel satisfied when I can be part of positive change and frustrated when I think our students are getting the raw end of the deal, and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it.  Right now, the Board is under a lot of pressure from the Ministry of Education to utilize our existing empty space and address the critical problem of steadily declining enrollment.  This is a serious issue that is not going to go away and will no doubt impact two schools in my area, St. Edumunds Elementary School and Bruce Peninsula Secondary School.  In my humble opinion, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.  I’ve encouraged both communities to  start developing a strategy to address this reality.  Again, in my humble opinion, the Ministry of Education looks at education primarily through an accountant’s lens.  The bottom line is priority # 1.  I get the financial responsibility part, however I think they have to be ready to help smaller communities who find themselves in this situation.  I’ve always tried to be up front with you even if the news has not been good and this is one of those times.  I believe my job is to be the voice of the people I serve.  I‘ve always made myself available to listen to any questions or concerns you may have had.  Home phone, cell phone, email, letter, carrier pigeon, in person, whatever works.  For those of you who know us, you know my wife, Valerie, and I have given back to our community through our volunteer activities.  Both our kids attended Bluewater schools and were proud to do so.  We’ve lived in this beautiful part of the province for over thirty years and have been blessed to know so many caring people.  Finally, I hope you will consider supporting me in the upcoming election.  I won’t let you down.
 
Terry Bell, Trustee, Bluewater District School Board
Town of South Bruce Peninsula, Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula
 

Jane Thomson

 
My name is Jane Thomson and I am seeking the position of Public School Trustee for the Bluewater District School Board to represent the South Bruce and Northern Bruce Peninsula. 
 
The Trustee's role is to represent the interests of their constituents focusing on student well being and achievement and make decisions that benefit the entire Board. The Trustee is responsible to communicate information from the board back to their communities.
 
If elected I promise to do all I can to ensure the Bluewater District School Board focuses on what is best for our students, parents and communities and on providing quality public education for all students.
 
Every Decision:
  • Will be guided by the best interests of all students
  • Will be made thoughtfully considering all available information and points of view
 
I will:
  • Act with integrity, honesty and professionalism
  • Actively collaborate with, and be available to, parents, students, schools and community members, to understand the issues that matter most to them
  • Work to build respectful relationships within the communities I serve, the Board staff and Trustees
  • Ensure available resources are used in the best interests of students
  • Advocate for quality education in South Bruce and Northern Bruce Peninsula
 
I am:
  • A mother of two daughters, one of whom is still in the school system
  • A member of the School Community Council who has worked to improve education for the past 15 years
  • A Social Worker, with a Masters Degree and much work experience with children and youth
  • A resident of Lion's Head for the past 21 years, moving to this area from Hamilton
  • Very concerned about the possible closure of two of the three schools on the Northern Bruce
 
 
I would appreciate your vote as I work to ensure quality education for all students
 
Thank you
Jane Thomson - Candidate for Trustee, Bluewater District School Board