Browse the answers below from the 2018 municipal election candidates in the Town of West Lincoln.
West Lincoln is at a crossroads with respect to development. Formulating our own growth plan and community identity will be of primary importance.
Will we let the province, region or a developer direct our growth? Or will we build our own balanced municipality on our own terms, getting feedback from our most valuable stakeholders – the residents that already live here in our great township!
Growth is the most important issue facing West Lincoln. Historically this community has been a rural agricultural Township made up of a number of hamlets. The small-town feel, and culture has drawn new residents. West Lincoln has pressures to grow. The choice is, do we do it our way by developing a comprehensive plan that ensures that Growth will pay for Growth or will we continue to let others push growth on our community resulting in increased taxes to existing residents. I say Growth must pay for itself.
The most important matter facing West Lincoln's future is growth and the security of its citizens.
Since the beginning of the housing boom, leaders overlook areas such as security. We have seen an increase in robberies, breakins and property destruction.
Regionally, the opioid epidemic continues to rise as well, thus resulting in the rise in suicides due to opioid use. Nevertheless, the lack of government concern about an increase in emergency presence and for public safety is alarming. Money spent to protect the citizens of West Lincoln is money well spent.
Doug Joyner did not provide a photo or answers to any of the questions offered.
Taxation is the most important issue facing West Lincoln. More growth is required to facilitate a balanced budget. We can't keep spending without having sufficient resources to pay for our needs and wants, in a reasonable time frame. We need more economic development across the Township to be able to fund MURS, capital road improvements, staff, and equipment for staff, to properly maintain township owned facilities. We must cut costs, cut red tape and make it easier for people to grow and develop.
Council voted to change the Ward boundaries.
Specifically the rural area of Ward 3 was removed and given to Ward 1. We now have a clear division of Urban vs Rural.
I was hoping to never see this in my lifetime. Council also voted to more than double the size of this Township in the next 20 years. Clearly this is Urban driven.
Those of us who live in the country need a strong voice to remind Council that the people who live in the rural areas of this Township still pay the majority of the taxes and should be respected.
West Lincoln’s future will see great things; I feel that being a strong voice to advocate for my community that I live in, will benefit all. This is an important place to live, showing many that West Lincoln is a community to invest in. We should strive to create jobs in our community to make us preserve, and continue to protect our Agriculture.
Establishing a more convenient and accessible public transportation system. This will create a more inviting, tourist friendly community and provide ease to existing members of our community. Accessible transportation will ensure those who live in very rural areas are not isolated from the main shopping centres, churches and schools of our community.
An ongoing issue for West Lincoln is the fiscal balancing that needs to occur with a municipality that is physically large with a relatively small tax base. This creates the opportunity for hard decisions to be made about priorities for spending. The quality of roads, recreational services, and the safety of our community are paramount in the decisions that need to be made on how money is spent.
Currently there is a lot of emphasis being put on the town of Smithville. I understand that every township needs a hub and in West Lincoln that hub is Smithville. However, the development of Smithville cannot come at the expense of the smaller surrounding communities in our township. For the surrounding areas of Smithville to grow they need development opportunities, and those opportunities begin with infrastructure. Communities like Wellandport and Saint Anns have more to offer West Lincoln, and with the right individuals sitting on council they will get the attention they deserve.
Paying for the new arena and providing the funds for the essential services that we all use and need without taxes going up will be a tough challenge! For us as a community to attract good business partners, we need to run West Lincoln so they want to invest and live in what we have here! Our agriculture sector is one that I understand, love to see thrive and believe we need to protect as best we can. The food they grow is important for our families!
Eric Leith did not submit a photo or answers to any of the questions offered.
The most important matter facing West Lincolns future is the lack of jobs. As a Council we need to be looking to liaise with new industry sectors for job creation. People go where the Jobs are. If jobs are not offered in West Lincoln, people will not come, and when people do not come our businesses will suffer. Bringing new jobs to West Lincoln helps grow our industrial and commercial tax bases, enabling more services to be offered. This will increase our quality of life while reducing our cost of living.
To me, growth, is the major issue facing West Lincoln’s
Simply put, where we grow, how we grow and what we want to eventually look like, are all key issues, that a careful planning process needs to address. Residents tell me, they realize growth
is coming, but not all see it as a good thing! Wanting to protect the small town feel that we all love, while embracing the many talents and enthusiasm that new people willingly bring to our community is a worthwhile challenge. In my experience thorough, long-range planning rather than impulsive reaction provides a reasonable pathway.
The top concern I am hearing is the Murs can we afford it also can we afford the maintenance and operational costs .
I will deal with it by working with the Mayor and council to be fiscally responsible and end reckless spending.
Also work with council to cut red tape to attract more business to West Lincoln intern creating more jobs.
I wish this was as easy as picking one important issue. The reality is that our community has more than one important issue. Between continual investment into growth and roadway developments, to public safety and protecting our agricultural community, it’s important to address them all as they come. To pick one over another and say it’s the most important doesn’t sit well with me. All issues matter, and all issues need to be addressed head-on.
We need to ensure that West Lincoln is a strong community in the long-term.
That means we need to keep taxes low, attract new businesses, and support agriculture.
We need to reinvest in roads, and improve access to services for local families.
I will be your advocate for increased access to long-term care for seniors, and better access to schools for young families
Our community pays our fair share of taxes. As your Regional Councillor I will work hard to make sure we get our fair share of investments in health, housing, police services, and in our rural area.
It would be to work at creating a balance of residential, commercial,
industrial growth with the direct needs of the community to be recognized moving forward into the future. This will require a strong relationship with the Niagara Region in providing us with support for present and future requirements needs of our community.