First and foremost, Fiscal Responsibility means taking responsibility for the hard earned taxes paid by each homeowner. It is incumbent on council and every member of council to be very careful in how those dollars are invested. The budgetary process will identify the key priorities for spending. I will commit to be respectful of those dollars, looking for opportunities for efficiencies while identifying the key priorities as communicated by the taxpayers. Road maintenance and repair (including sidewalks) will continue to challenge this town’s council. Due to the geography of our fine town, we have many more kilometers of roads to maintain with less taxpayer dollars than other regional municipalities. We must find ways to meet this demand while funding our growth initiatives. It will come down to setting a budget, signing up for it and staying on course.
I’ve learned over the 30 plus years in corporate business that strong communication, both internal and external keeps all stakeholders engaged. Starting from the ‘customer’ (citizen) up through the councilors and council, to the town staff, being in-step takes focused communication. If there is a peeve that I have today it’s that I don’t know enough about what is going on week to week and month to month in Lincoln. I’ve found that unless it’s easily accessed and communicated people will ‘tune out’. Establishing a dependable method of 2 way communication across all parties creates the opportunity for feedback assisting in setting priorities. I commit to creating a regular update (newsletter) that can be accessed via my website or email bringing forward the ‘goings on’ of the town and council. There will also be an opportunity for you to communicate via social media.
Implementation of the ‘Centre of Agricultural Excellence’ strategy
I see an opportunity to further support the investments that have been made in the agricultural businesses in Lincoln. Many independent business people have stepped up over the years to create what we have today. Their investment has produced a vibrant wine, greenhouse, and farming industry. Add to that, the investment made by various levels of government and educational institutions in agricultural research. The strategy formulated by the current council is timely. I see significant potential in continuing to grow in all key areas. A key priority of council is to facilitate continuous growth through investments in infrastructure and marketing.
I’m convinced that improvements to our central business districts will assist to attract more tourism resulting in greater investment. Downtown Vineland has remained relatively the same in it’s look and feel for the 26 years I’ve lived here. I’m thinking that there is so much more we can do to make it a more vibrant place for the citizens of Lincoln and our out of town visitors. Downtown improvements can then lead to more investment leading to more visitors. Naturally, it can’t happen overnight. A long term plan will help spread the investment over several years. The same can apply to Jordan. There is so much more we as a council can do to support the investment already made in Jordan.
There is an increasing need for safer and more efficient transportation in Lincoln. Busier main streets combined with a more active community without proper planning creates the opportunity for unwanted results. Encouraging pedestrian traffic by way of walking and biking sidewalks or paths should be part of our plan. Making it more attractive and safe on our streets to walk, run or cycle is good on so many fronts. Improving our overall physical health, getting out in the fresh air and meeting our neighbors are a few of the benefits. The corner of RR 81, Main St & 19th St in Jordan needs to be resolved. Travelling through that corner on a daily basis I know how difficult it is to navigate….and unsafe. I will commit to work this issue to a mutual resolution for pedestrians, motorized vehicles and local businesses. It will take a coordinated effort with Niagara Region to complete. Finally the issue of truck traffic through our town. We have been talking about it for years. It’s time we brought focus to the issue and got it done. Again, a coordinated plan with the Town of Grimsby and Niagara Region needs to happen. It won’t be easy. Moving the trucks off our downtown main streets and rural roads is imperative.
This property is potentially one of the prize pieces of real estate on the entire lakefront. I know that the Town of Lincoln has worked to create a multi-purpose planned use for the site. One that would provide a benefit to residents and commercial interests while maximizing the waterfront. The decision ultimately rests with the owner of the property as to when and what will be done with it. Getting this right would bring many benefits not the least of which would be potential tax dollars. If elected I will commit to work towards a meaningful solution for all stakeholders.