Browse the answers below from the 2018 municipal election candidates from Lincoln, Ontario.
The most important issue facing our community is the lack of responsible planning, the engagement of the people of our town, the lack of consideration for how much we are spending and the impact it has on our Ratepayers and the future of our children.
As the fourth fastest growing municipality in Niagara, how we manage growth will continue to be a key issue. Growth is good for our local economy, bringing jobs and new opportunities for residents. We are preparing for growth by investing in our transportation systems and sports and recreation assets, improving customer service, and providing residents with more and better opportunities to participate in Town business as our community grows and evolves. As Mayor, I’m committed to ensuring that growth takes place in a smart and sustainable way that minimizes impact on the environment, our agricultural lands, and on Town resources.
GROWTH/PLANNING. The next 5-10 years will have the biggest impact on Lincoln that we will ever see. Developers are flooding the municipalities with proposals for development as the corridor along the QEW continues to fill up. How we choose to proceed will impact both current and future residents. We need to ensure that we choose developments that enhance our community not take away from it. Growth is good, but let’s do it right. Think long term and focus on what is best for everyone. We have something special in Lincoln; I want to enhance that feeling not dilute it.
There has been a lot of interest in investing in Lincoln and this is positive news because there are properties that have been sitting empty for too long. We do, however, have to ensure that we are prepared for the impending growth. We can’t rest for a second. We have to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate our capacity to provide not only the necessary infrastructure, but also the programs and services for people of all ages and income levels across Lincoln.
The next decade will be the most destructive and defining in Lincoln's history. most in Lincoln are sighing a breathe of relief with the sale of property on greenlane beside sobies and its new owner that is reducing it's height to six story. but reality is present council approved 8 story and every developer can expect the same and today on the west side of ontario st .its almost all for sale now my guess it's almost 4 acres of land its a possibly a thousand people . with GO train coming in just over a decade the density goes up.
Our urban boundaries for residential units are at or near their limits. If we can no longer move out the alternative is to move up. We need to have continued dialog with residents to form a vision of what new multi level apartment buildings will look like and where they will be located.
Urbanization. It is a primary focus of mine to ensure Lincoln is kept beautiful. For as long as I can remember in Lincoln, the residents have prided themselves on small town living. Once example; council has approved housing developments on, and extremely close to green space. These developments seem to have one thing in common; fit as many houses and people in as small a space as possible. None of which can be considered ‘affordable housing’. Council needs to ensure that development in Lincoln is of the correct variety.
The most important matter facing Lincolns future is creating long term sustainable economic growth, while at the same time ensuring the small town, friendly community stays intact. It is a very fine line to find a balance between these. Council needs to work to ensure Lincoln is seen as a desirable place to start and run a business, without making residents feel like they no longer live in a small town.
Like with any community its making sure we balance all of the community needs.
We need to continue to invest in infrastructure, and basic services to ensure we remain a great place to live , but also ensure in today's economy so we remain competitive and attract new business and support job growth.
This council has increased the investment in roads, parks and recreation while also putting a focus on economic outreach and business attraction.
Lastly , we must balance all the required investment in services with long term financial sustainability; keeping taxes at an appropriate level.
Lincoln is growing at a rapid pace. Keeping up with infrastructure requirements will be a challenge. Beamsville currently has a shortage of medical professionals and no walk-in clinic, and many residents are forced to find family doctors, dentists, optometrists and other specialists outside of the town’s boundaries. Many towns attract doctors by financially incentivizing them to establish practices or walk-in clinics. Council should be pro-active and establish better health care options for its citizens to ensure a healthy future.
The Transportation Master Plan has been developed as a blueprint to guide decision making and improve transportation operations across Town. Implementation of the plan will make movement easier, safer and more seamless. It will also look at trails and how our transit and road corridors move people, goods and services.
It is foundational and will feed into all the other developments and projects underway – how we move people safely will become more critical.
The concept of complete streets and active transportation are lenses to be used to guide decisions and make our town a community for all to enjoy.
The most important issue facing Lincoln’s future is smart growth. Preserving the environment for future generations (i.e. not building on the green-belt) does not have to be at odds with property development to accommodate our present population growth. We also have to consider the infrastructure needs of our growing community. Many residents commute for work, exasperating highway congestion that could easily be mitigated with proper public transit. Unfettered growth is not synonymous with progress; the way we grow matters.
There’s many different issues facing Lincoln’s future: a top concern is the need for more affordable housing. Many 20-30 + year old’s struggle to find affordable housing in our area, and often put off family planning and homeownership for years because of this. This adversely affects our community. When considering development applications, we need to consider density and affordability. To an extent, the future of our community lies in the development of our youth and their progression within our community.
Lincoln is in good shape. Not to say we don’t have challenges. In my mind I see the funding gap for social infrastructure as a significant matter facing the next term of council. Improved parks, community centers, and arena’s are real expectations coming from our residents. Those moving into town will no doubt have similar or higher expectations. All are looking for places to be active. To get out and enjoy. The funding of these projects will need to be planned out using a variety of possible sources. We must have a long term and sustainable plan.
I'd say the current and future infrastructure systems we have in the Town of Lincoln are of concern. A town’s success depends on the delivery of municipal services to both home and business. We have many kilometers of roads that will always need repair, bridges that deteriorate, sewers that back up into basements, water mains that leak, and internet that is supposed to be high speed, but always seems slow. There are several exciting developments planned for the future, should we not be able to take care of these current concerns, that excitement could become a serious problem for all.
I think the most important matter in our town’s future is to do our best to predict what our population is going to look like. Will we become more of a retirement community? Will there be an influx of young families when the Go Train makes for an easier commute into the GTA? We need to have a plan for the infrastructure we’ll need in the future, and to make that plan adaptable as demographics change.
Commercial and Residential development in Lincoln is currently growing rapidly and during the last term of council laid the groundwork with good planning principals, in secondary plans and plans of subdivision. During the next few years council and staff working as a team must continue to guide the process through build out, ensuring a finished product that we can all be proud of. Continuity with Council's focus and plans will lead to creating a vibrant community. Growth must be informed, balanced and align with what Lincoln already is, a great place to live, work and invest in.
A needto be Fascial responsibly and to make certain we maintain our infrastructure such as roads buildings and parks for the betterment for the residents . This is to accomplish and maintained the beautiful setting of Lincoln. And to do this with out bankrupting the residents .
I feel that the most important matters facing Lincoln's future are the economy and development. I also feel that youth need to be engaged more as citizens of this area.
The scourge of urban sprawl. As we have already defined ourselves as being a unique "Centre of Agricultural Excellence", there exists the temptation to expand the boundaries of our downtown and build highrise dwellings.
I'm here to help raise awareness to the fact that we have inherited a great tradition of fruit growing and wine production, which is unique in Canada. We can build on that legacy by encouraging compatible development that further enhances these ideals, while protecting our existing heritage and green spaces. Residents can proudly point to these attributes as they refer to Lincoln as their home.
Pressure from the Golden Horseshoe; in the form of developers, entrepreneurs, and people choosing to move to Lincoln will continue to be present at Council. The challenge will be to manage growth under the restrictions of the Greenbelt while maintaining our unique small town identity.
Attracting businesses and that will provide good jobs for our residents is crucial for sustainable growth. Retaining our youth with job security and the ability to afford to buy a home. Keeping the need for services and taxes affordable for our community. Supporting our agriculture and agri-tourism and manufacturing industries. Building complete communities with a vision for the future while addressing the demand for affordable housing. We need clear policies and strategies to address this growing issue. Advocating for our seniors with improved services, the need for long term care facilities and the completion of West Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
Lincoln Council has moved forward with ambitious community goals and plans for economic development.
However, road and traffic safety continue to be a significant challenge.
It is these issues that our Town, the Region and the other West Niagara municipalities need to fully and seriously address.
We require safe mountain accesses, increased MTO inspections, and a continuation of appropriate speed limits and their enforcement on Lincoln’s Regional roads.
Ensuring safe communities for all of us is something we must be working towards.
While there are many issues that need our attention, one of the most important is how we as a municipality, adjust to a rapidly increasing population in a Green Belt Community with fixed urban boundaries. We will need to consider issues such as:
Transportation, the movement of people and products through and around town and the region
Needs that come with new residents and the delivery of Social Services to address an increasingly varied populace.
The Region of Niagara has an important role to play in helping find solutions.