Saturday, September 2, 2006
On balance, I'd say a poor job. They were too "pro growth" approving too much residential urban sprawl and big box commercial node developments. In addition, city council was dysfunctional in that ideology replaced listening as a way to form sound decisions. They also did not suport heritage or downtown issues by allowing the Mitchell farm house to be destroyed, not supporting the Post Office as a library location and being slow to support museum relocation to the Loretto Convent downtown. I'd say their efforts in attracting businesses was reasonable although even that I'd rate at a C plus grade.
2) Why did you decide to run?
I decided to run because I thought BOTH Karen and Kate had not done enough to combat urban sprawl and encourage a new urbanism form of development. I also feel that as much as I hate traditional politics and political parties that: a. Party politics and ideology was contaminating city politics and I could do something about it. b. Politics was my true calling.
3) The Guelph Civic League has highlighted four issues for the consideration of voting students. Please comment on the following:
a) What is your position on the proposed pipeline from Lake Erie to Guelph?
I don't want one but whether we eventually will be forced to build one will be determined largely by 3 factors:
1. How successful we are at locating additional local water supplies.
2. How successful we are at implementing conservation measures.
3. How many people the city must accommodate.
b) How will you address issues of development in the city and what is your plan for the continued growth of Guelph?
As I mentioned earlier, we must INSIST on higher density, mixed growth to lesson our impact on the environment, support mass transit, encourage walkable livable communities and help keep taxes down.
c) If you are elected to council do you intend to lend your support to the continuation of the student bus pass?
d) The GCL is concerned about the size and number of bike lanes on Guelph roads, will you push for greater bike access?
4) Is there another issue(s) that you think voters should be aware of when considering their choices at the ballet box?
Yea I think one issue that hasn't been mentioned much but which I explain on my website www.mark4mayor.ca is the need to move from 12 part time councilors to 6 full time and
some additional mechanisms to be put in place so that Mayors have more power to realize their vision for the city. Since they are the only ones elected on a city wide mandate they should be given more opportunity to fulfill it. You can find more comprehensive discussion of why I feel we need full time councilors on my website, please take a look.
5) What's your final message to U of G students?
If you feel strongly about any issue that affects the city or impacts on you, then I urge you to vote. Please be aware that both Karen and Kate are spending big bucks, probably over $50,000 each. Who is supporting them? Why, and what do they expect in return? Remember developers in th past have given support to BOTH Karen and Kate, why? - so that they can gain PREFERED ACCESS to the Mayor. They are very bottom line oriented and view it as a business decision on which they expect a return on their investment. If you have access to and individual, you gain a greater opportunity to INFLUENCE THEIR DECISION MAKING. I on the other hand, although financially capable of matching them dollar for dollar, have taken money from no-one. If I lose, I may be the last truly independent candidate who will venture to run against organized campaigns and their agendas. Look at where each candidate stands on the issues and then add this to your deliberations before you cast your vote. Finally I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your interest