Browse the answers below from the 2018 municipal election candidates from Lincoln, Ontario.
I believe the most pressing issues arising out of the past term are the following; Tax Rates, Excessive Spending, Lack of taxpayer input and the incredible rise in payroll within Town Hall. The CEO’s office alone has increased from $235,000 a year to $1,100,000 in 4 years.
The need for continuous improvement. During the past four years, the Town modernized many of its systems, using technology to make it easier for residents to access services and to make the Town more efficient. We established an economic development office to help investors navigate government so they can establish businesses faster. We made strategic investments in our roads and downtown improvement projects.
We launched a trial public transit service – uLink – to help us determine if a permanent service is needed. And we are developing a parks and recreation master plan to address the long-term needs of the community.
DEVELOPMENT. We have entered a new phase of growth in Lincoln and it is imperative that we focus on what is right for the community. Growth and development is coming; and that is a good thing.
I am not a big fan of intensification; I would much rather build a neighbourhood than a high rise. We need to reassess our development plans and look at traffic patterns and stress points.
Right now, we have 11k residents funneling up and down Ontario Street and people are getting frustrated. We can do better. We owe it to the people to seek solutions.
Unfortunately we still have problems with traffic flow and parking. These are issues we hear about regularly: speeding on some of our residential streets, parking in areas of increased density with smaller lot frontages, and too much truck traffic through downtown Beamsville. We still have work to do on all three issues and we need to keep them top of mind particularly as new developments come on board.
one issue effecting our downtown core in fact life .for all in Lincoln is . Truck traffic .at peak hours 85 trucks an hour use town as a hiway. its holding back growth and put our safety at risk .this is a solvable issue ..its time we can't waiting for a new mountain route in Grimsby we waiting 50 years since it was first planned and another decade before it is ever built ..to everyone who lives in town go to the corner of mountain and king in front of brand name shoes now look downtown. Look at the tire prints.
In my opinion the development at Prudhommes was the most important issue that was faced by Council and the town of Lincoln. This development will have a positive impact on the town with increased tourism, employment opportunities and spin off benefits to existing local business. With any major project there will be negative aspects as well with increased traffic, wear and tear on our infrastructure…roads, water and wastewater services.
The Top issue to arise from the last term of council would be when it was announced that the new DSBN super school, the amalgamation of public high schools in Smithville, Grimsby, and Beamsville, would be built in our community. Slated to open in 2020, we need to ensure this project keeps Lincoln residents are the forefront of decision making policies. Already, its suspect location close to a grow operation for cannabis indicates we need to ensure our youth are protected and informed.
What issue do you think is the most important to arise from the last term of council?
I believe that the most important issue to arise during last term of council is the repair and replacement of existing infrastructure, and with limited sources of funding, finding a method to determine which projects take priority.
There are two major projects that were and are transformational that I would highlight.
The approval of the Prudhommes Secondary Plan and beginning that development after so much anticipation , and, the Go Hub Study and Transit Focus.
From a policy perspective I would add that we finally begun to look at our Community and plan for Smart Growth.
Growth is coming and how we navigate all the new developments while ensuring we provide the necessary and associated recreational amenities and active transportation investments is smart growth.
We must work with Community to find compromise to maintain our unique charm.
The flooding of Konkle Creek that resulted in the flooding of the Golden Horseshoe Park, as well as backyards on Alyssa drive in the centre of Beamsville, is deeply concerning.
Council has been slow to address this, and finally started paying attention to the matter shortly before the upcoming municipal elections. This, in turn, has delayed the development of the much needed 116 unit assisted living facility for elderly residents by more than 2 years.
Another example is Prokich Park, that has now been delayed for 8 years and counting. Council needs to be more efficient in their decision-making process.
Approval of the Prudhomme’s/GO Transit Secondary Plans.
Prudhomme’s was a two-year process involving the Town, Region, Developer and the public. While it may have taken a bit longer, I believe we got it right. This development will be a place to live and a destination. The community will have access to over 3km of waterfront. This transformational project will change our community.
The GO Plan will enable the Town to proactively identify and plan for the future. Done through extensive input, it will complement the Town’s ULinc Bus service, the new GO Bus and ultimately keep residents moving and connected.
Before running, I reviewed all 2018 Council Minutes to acclimate myself with the ongoing problems. So it’s difficult to narrow the scope to just one.
That said, my primary concern is the excessive number of conflicts disclosed by councillors (5 conflicts in 6 months) and moreover those that were not disclosed. After reading about the emergency meeting to protect the Town’s finances from Regional scrutiny, the constant need to review the Town’s sexual harassment policies that were just codified last year, and all these conflicts of interest, I now understand why they were seeking to appoint an Integrity Officer.
The development of Prudhommes is an important issue from Council’s last term. Prudhommes has the potential to boost to Lincoln’s economy, providing thousands of new jobs, as well as significant population growth.
We need to ensure we work with residents and local businesses to hear their concerns. We need to ensure appropriate density measures, as affordable housing in Lincoln remains a rapidly growing concern.
We also need to ensure that Vineland and Jordan’s current downtown core is not adversely affected by the lakefront development. Both areas have endless potential and we need to progress with their revitalization.
Several residential developments were approved adding new homes over the next 10 years. With limited urban zoning to build on, along with provincially set density targets, our challenge will be in managing the coming growth while supporting existing residents and neighbourhoods.
We’ve completed the Prudhommes & GO Station Secondary Plans. The Transportation Master Plan (Sept 2018) will be key to moving vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
The Parks Master plan (early 2019) will provide a plan for all parks, recreation and cultural amenities. Our Economic Development Strategy (Sept 2018) will support local employment and growth. There is more to be done.
In my opinion, it's the redevelopment of the Prudhomme’s property. It keeps the best interests of all involved at the forefront, which is hopefully maintained throughout the remaining phases of the project. It’s a massive undertaking, relative to Lincoln, with a considerable financial investment required by the town and the developers.
I like the plan and hope that those involved follow through with it, as it’s been presented with any changes to it requiring thoughtful consideration.
Considerable time and money has been spent to date on this plan and hopefully, it will become a reality and not a dream.
I think the GO Train expansion into Niagara is the most important issue that will greatly affect what the future of Lincoln looks like. While it is largely a regional issue, traffic and zoning issues surrounding the proposed Beamsville transit station need to be looked at carefully, to ensure that we maximize the benefits of GO Train service to our town, and head off potential issues surrounding the new station.
Council called for organizational and cultural change internally at town hall in the areas of Customer Service, Communications, Economic Development, Roads, Transportation, Traffic and Culture.
Great strides occurred – we saw more public engagement through Ward Meetings. Communications and customer service with social media and website upgrades, online program registration capabilities and increased outreach. Public transportation via the ULinc Pilot project and Economic development with an Economic Development Officer. We also invested more in roads by increasing our dedicated investment. The Prudhommes Secondary plan was transformational, as was our commitment to the Jordan Main St. Redevelopment and GO Transit.
To keep building on our responsibility to attract business to our Community. We must grow our infrastructure in business along with the increase in population. It would be very well to have work for people that wish to move and live here.
I feel that infrastructure and development are not being given enough careful thought. It seems that housing development is outpacing other development which is causing negative impacts on current residents and am concerned about potential negative impacts in the future.
I'd like to work as Councillor to take the time to consider all aspects of development and ensure that any potential impacts are considered and balanced.
Urban Planning, or the lack thereof. There are plans that have been studied and put forth, but not yet acted upon. More attention is needed to create attractive streetscaping and adequate parking, which are the first and last impressions of any town.
By encouraging AgriTourism, we can assist farmers and business owners who rely on a steady stream of tourists who visit and purchase their products and services. We have a unique location, geography, built heritage and viewscapes, yet there is much work to be done to sychronize assets and attributes into one cohesive unit, as a sum of its parts.
Moving forward, I think there are many issues facing Council in the coming months. The Prudhommes Development, a North/South truck corridor, and the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital are all projects that have been in the development stage for a considerable amount of time and need to be completed in a manner that benefits our community.
Changing the way we do business was our priority by improving communication with our residents through engagement opportunities. Working towards enhanced customer service. Concentrating on infrastructure, economic development and cultural planning. We committed to improvements to roads and a speed reduction campaign. The launch of the ULINC transit pilot. Supporting existing businesses and encouraging new investors.
Beautification in our parks, facilities and downtowns.
Developing a policy and incentive program for protection of our Heritage. Implementation of a Code Of Conduct for Council. Creating a Community Vision for Lincoln.
A Place to Grow, A place to prosper, A place to Belong.
As a Lincoln Councillor, my focus has been primarily on our Town.
However, it is obvious there are serious credibility problems with the leadership of Niagara Region at this time.
This must change and the pettiness must stop.
The future of Niagara and our municipality are both dependent on open and transparent government. Our municipality is on a strong economic development path, and it requires a strong and focused Niagara Region to help make Lincoln into the true gem that we all know that it both is and should be in the future.
Without exception, all candidates looking to represent their home towns will be promising to “make Regional Council work better”.
I add my voice to that. Over the many years I have served our community, I have demonstrated a strong ability to set and accomplish goals, by working together with others. It time to work together to strengthen Niagara.