Browse the answers below from the 2018 municipal election candidates from Grimsby. All submissions printed verbatim.
Planning for our infrastructure needs.
Working with the province, surrounding municipalities and Hamilton Health sciences we need to get West Lincoln Memorial Hospital built. Our community has waited far too long for this!
Property tax increases to be kept to rate of inflation while still maintaining service levels.
Public security (police and fire) to keep up to community needs.
Working with the province and region to provide GO Train and public transit at reasonable rates.
Development pressures need to be addressed so the province understands we want to maintain the small town characteristics that attracted most of us here.
Much like the previous question, development, in particular the direction the community wishes the Town to take needs to be addressed.
Getting the Town back on a logical track and ensuring it follows a shared vision of the community is essential.
The need for direction is not just about building homes, it is about attracting new commerce to offset the residential tax base, protecting our waterfront and building responsible infrastructure to accommodate growth.
Spending millions of taxpayer dollars on an unnecessary road through the woodlot while other roads fall into disrepair is not sensible or sustainable development.
Over intensification of residential development. We have exceeded Ontario’s Smart Growth requirements.
Development is inevitable, however, the ONLY option left for Grimsby is smart, controlled development. This requires that we ensure strong by-laws and zoning and development stipulations are in place.
Let’s take a breath, regroup and create a vision for all of Grimsby.
We live in one of THE most beautiful towns! People are flocking from Toronto to retire here. We are however, limited.
Limited by a big beautiful lake and a stunning escarpment. Any further development needs to be carefully and slowly thought out.
The most important issue going forward is to elect a new Responsible Council with a combined commitment to build a dynamic long-term vision for Grimsby which includes: full disclosure and accountability on all activities, respect and inclusion of citizens, appropriate residential growth, protection of our greenbelt and heritage sites, selective business expansion, an efficient cost-effective local transit system, a progressive downtown area and effective traffic and transportation corridors.
These are matters which should have been dealt with by the current council who’ve been in power for more than 16 years.
The Egyptians built the pyramids in a shorter time period.
What to do when the growth stops and how to keep tax increases then to a reasonable level. We must be aggressive to attract new businesses to offset our tax base, The Go Train and an affordable internal Transit system to get all individuals both young and elderly around our Town will definitely be front and centre in 2019.
Responsible Growth is the most important matter facing the residents of Grimsby. I have only met one resident while campaigning that likes the “Grimsby on the Lake” intensification but like many other issues, the current representatives for the Town of Grimsby have not given due consideration to what the residents truly want.
This isn’t just a problem in Grimsby but in many areas across the GTA and Niagara Region.
Growth will happen but it needs to be “responsible”, such as the recent discussions and decisions made around the revised development plans for the condo development in downtown Grimsby.
Important matters facing Grimsby’s future:
• direction of taxation
• improving infrastructure - as we cannot undo previous decisions that directly affect future costs, we can however collaboratively work with all members of council, citizens and organizations to find solutions
• renewing our efforts to reclaim our position in building a new Hospital on the current site Grimsby and surrounding communities have already raised $14 million
• strong leadership in working with Grimsby Downtown Improvement Area in conjunction with the Grimsby Chamber of Commerce to encourage business in the downtown core and to promote our Town for future business growth
I think one of the most important matters facing Grimsby’s future is accessible and affordable housing for our aging population.
We’ve had so much development in such a short amount of time to keep up with the increasing demand, but with how the property values have skyrocketed, it’s left the older generation unable to downsize and stay in town.
The most important matter facing Grimsby’s future is the long awaited building of our new hospital, which benefits all residents of Grimsby and West Niagara.
As council’s hospital board representative, I feel we are heading in the right direction for a new hospital with the support of Hamilton Health Sciences.
Grimsby, like many other growing towns and cities, faces challenges in charting out its future and striking the right balance.
However due to rapid growth, large tax increases, the questionable management of the biodigester and stalled projects like public transit there is a perception of lack of accountability and transparency resulting in dysfunction at city hall.
It is critical to start bringing in an active system of accountability and transparency such as plain language reports on critical decisions facing city council, 4 year projections of town revenue sufficiency/deficiency, cost drivers and the possibility of referendums to solicit resident opinions.
All matters of transit. Whether it is parking issues, traffic speeds, the GO Station, inter-municipal transit, local transit or safe bike lanes, Grimsby will need to address how her residents are going to get around town especially when the GO train arrives.
Uncontrolled high density development.
People are drawn to Grimsby because its a beautiful small town in an amazing natural setting. I will be a strong advocate to protect what makes Grimsby desirable both in town and on the mountain.
Growth is important however, and we need to have a vision for responsible development that respects established neighbourhoods, attracts more business to Grimsby, and acknowledges the capacity of our infrastructure.
We need a coherent plan for affordable transit, a new hospital with auxiliary health services and preservation of our waterfront for community enjoyment.
The most important matter facing Grimsby is Long Term Planning and Transportation. In 10 years what will it all look like and how busy will it be.
And how will we deal with it. A long term transparent Vision would be great for all residents to see where we all will be in a decade.
I will say transit. Welcoming the Go bus and now the Go train coming up, we need connection from the west end to the rest of our town. The Region has to seriously look into a new Niagara – GTA corridor.
This would link Niagara to Hamilton and Toronto and take much traffic off our main roads. We have to make sure we can connect to our hospital and yes we will get our rebuild.
We just have to keep pressing our present government. With community supporters, how can we not?
The speed and the transparency for the rapid growth of Grimsby, to maintain our ‘old town feel’.
Responsible Development is the #1 issue that residents have raised to me. I feel that growth is needed for Grimsby to offset tax increases; however, I will only support responsible growth.
Growth that encourages new businesses to the area which leads to employment opportunities and new tax streams. I have heard from the residents within Ward 3 that 6-20 storey condominium projects are not in keeping with the history or "flavour" of Grimsby and council should challenge developers to retain the small town feel of the Ward even as Grimsby grows.
Much of the construction in the west end has occurred with Casablanca GO Station in mind and I have been involved in every step of the process.
It is imperative that we continue to work with the Region and Metrolinx to guarantee the Grimsby GO Station and the surrounding neighbourhood is properly planned.
We’ve already completed the waterfront master plan and built a significant portion of the trail in Ward 4. I’d like to see this completed for the entire Grimsby waterfront so that many generations to come will be able to enjoy our beautiful waterfront parkland, beaches, and trails.
Change is happening fast. It’s not sufficient to brush important decisions through without due diligence and authentic, meaningful community engagement.
The community’s vision for Grimsby must not be lost in the pressures of intensification and development. We can move the Town forward without compromising our shared and guiding principles.
I will continue to challenge over-intensification justified as “good planning” that isn’t compatible and just doesn’t fit within our neighbourhoods.
Planning responsibly for the hospital corridor and high school property, protecting our heritage and natural resources while balancing sustainable economic growth, will be key challenges ahead.
There is a cost associated with growth and with the resulting increased or new services.
Our challenge is to ensure that these costs are well managed. The financial demands of maintaining existing infrastructure in addition to meeting any new requests will be significant.
This will have an impact on property taxes and could be a potential drain on reserves.
I have a strong financial mindset and can contribute to the financial stability of our town as we move forward. New sources of revenues and continued tight control of expenses are a must.
Grimsby’s future depends on good planning in all aspects of our municipality. I mean real grass roots, listen to the community planning. From parks and public spaces and responsible residential growth, to business and commercial growth. Grimsby needs to have a plan. Part of Grimsby’s Charm is the small town character of our community. I believe we need moderate growth; medium density, not high density, so we can balance with the existing neighbourhoods.
I feel that we should complete what we have started, and see how it impacts our town before moving forward with any more developments.
One of the issues that we are faced with is to control our expenses. The Town MUST look for efficiencies.
We must also have the region reduce our contribution from the municipalities.
Why are we paying $230,000 for transit and receiving nothing in return. Accountability!
The region takes 54% of our tax dollars. We need to fight for better services. Garbage pick-up? Roads?
Tony Quirk did not submit a photo or answers to the questions offered.