NewsNow E-Edition January 26, 2023

Why should I vote for you?

Browse the answers below from the 2022 municipal election candidates in the Town of West Lincoln.

Mayor

Dave Bylsma

Dave Bylsma

1. Why should I vote for you?

I'm seeking a second term as mayor to serve the residents of West Lincoln with both my experience and principles. There certainly is no manual that tells someone how to be a good elected official, (there ought to be perhaps), but rather, it is the hard earned experience that generates prudence and yields results. There has also been no veiling of the fact that I follow deeply held principles but I also honor debate and discussion. Know for certain I never vote “just like everyone else”, for the sake of conformity. I seek to do right.

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

I think West Lincoln council has had vigorous debate and obvious differences, but at the same time we have completed a very detailed and extensive strategic plan and have done so with the collaborative effort of all members of council and abundant input from our community. The urban boundary expansion and infrastructure maintenance plans are examples of how to move a community forward for the benefit of all residents. I have no intention of stifling any debate nor discouraging any opinions, and when the vote is taken, we have our plan to move forward.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

West Lincoln continues to have the lowest tax rate in the Niagara Region. This has been the reality for the eight years that I've been on council. This fiscal restraint positions us well to attract business and promote growth. Protecting agriculture and stimulating farming productivity will ensure that the key economic driver of our community remains powerful and prosperous. There also has to be a serious discussion about housing needs and affordability. Responsible plans include a broad range of home types and this fosters the healthy balance between residents, businesses and farming that makes for a bright future.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

All people recognize that growth is important, but within parameters. Watching some communities explode outward and losing a “small town” charm are concerns that I share with many of our residents. Our urban expansion plan addresses the needs for the next 30 years, so let's take that time to pace the growth. Rising taxes and expenses in every other area of life can be mitigated by responsible spending and fiscal management of our own municipal assets. Keeping our status as the lowest tax rate in the region is a priority.

Cheryl Ganann

Cheryl Ganann

1. Why should I vote for you?

Some candidates may have political aspirationsI I have community- improvement aspirations! During my years as an educator in our local community, throughout my long and varied community connections to local organizations, community groups and Boards and additionally during my 6 years on Council, I have worked toward showcasing West Lincoln as being the healthy, generous, welcoming and progressive community that I know it to be. I am the candidate for Mayor, best positioned to lead a West Lincoln Council that is responsive to the needs of our entire community!

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

Education is key to understanding local government. As outlined in Provincial legislation, a municipality has five main purposes: to provide good government, to foster environmental well-being, to provide services, facilities and appropriate infrastructure, to develop and maintain safe, viable communities and to collaborate with neighbouring municipalities regarding  intermunicipal services. 
Good government refers to the development of: thoughtful policies, fiscally responsible, transparent budgets, community goals and priorities, council and staff-endorsed strategic plans  and neighbouring-community consultation.  
Moving ahead,  I plan to engage with residents, including re-engagement of our youth, to discuss concerns, explain processes and procedures and to listen to ideas! 

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln’s future?

The Urban Boundary expansion plan for Smithville and some hamlet areas was recently completed -  a 30- year plan for controlled growth! After Provincial acceptance, West Lincoln will not  look like surrounding areas that grew without such protection.  Great news! 
Still problematic will be the protection of our environment as future development plans come forward. Developers will want to maximize building space, but we must protect our natural heritage systems including trails and parks. Considering predicted climate change, increased, not decreased, green spaces and tree canopy will be imperative to the health and well-being of current and future generations of residents!

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

“Vehicles at ridiculous speeds”, ”Drivers don’t obey traffic signs” , “ I can’t get out of my  driveway safely” “Can’t cross with children/pets”, “Not safe for cyclists, pedestrians, seniors to cross”! Road Safety - neither a new nor unique problem, is seriously affecting rural and urban residents. Councillor Reilly and I privately paid for “slow down” signs, which reportedly helped somewhat. A Township-wide project is required. The Region has initiated school “Community Safety” zones, but not all schools - more are needed. Continuing to advocate for greater police presence is imperative! Working with staff regarding speed- limit reduction in built-up areas is necessary!

Greg Stephens

Greg Stephens

Why should I vote for you?

Based on my experiences talking with many locals, the general consensus was it is time for some change in West Lincoln. Conversations which motivated me to step up and put myself into the ring.
Learning they would like to see someone who not only hears them but actually listens and addresses their concerns, to help bring our community together and make it stronger. To differentiate and address the problems between the smaller and large communities that make up West Lincoln. My knowledge with municipal dealings & infrastructure, organizing events, and charity work shows that I can help make this happen.

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

First I would focus on the main reasons why our council is splintered and work towards finding common ground together. As I stated in my press release, I owe no favors, am not beholding to any one person or group and will not allow any discrimination towards any person or group for any reason. I will address all issues I can that will not allow a small group’s ideals to make others feel not included, as I am aware that this is a key issue people have been expressing when you talk with them.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

I think future growth of the township is the most important factor to address here first. Considering the cost of infrastructure and the fact that the tax base comes from many of the smaller outlying areas, one key issue is that they are not being serviced equally for their contributions. We need as a group to get together, share our ideas and assemble a solid plan moving forward to fix this. Looking at the Broadband Expansion plan for example, it shows potentially that not all areas are being paid attention to proportionately.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?
 
The major and consistent concern I am hearing at the moment is that the person currently at the top has his own ideas for the future which don’t include the majority of the people in the township. This will not change unless the people of West Lincoln get out and vote on Election Day. As stated in my press release 38.40% voter turnout is not a good sign, especially if people seek real change. We need the people that feel their voice is not being heard to elect a council that will listen to them. 

Ward 1

Paul Griffin

Paul Griffin

1. Why should I vote for you?

Before deciding to vote for me, just decide to vote! In 2018, just over a third of registered electors voted. I encourage you to get involved, get informed and vote. Why vote for me? With over 15 years experience on the board of a local charity I developed skills in conflict resolution, administration, finances, and attention to detail. I was born and raised in this community to a family of small business owners, worked for, and managed that family business. I know that Ward 1 residents work hard and we want to make sure our money is spent wisely.

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

I have been disheartened by the way that council and staff, has treated members of their own team and community, simply because they hold differing views. A difference of opinion is what spurs us on toward better resolutions for all community members, rather than just pushing our own agenda. Civil disagreements allow us to step outside of ourselves and see solutions that we struggle to see on our own. As a member of council I would do my best to ensure that the voice of everyone is heard and respected whether I agree with them or not.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

I think the most important matter facing West Lincoln’s future at this point is a properly functioning elected council. As council has allowed unelected staff to dictate policy with no oversight, they have therefore ceased in their commitments to serve the community with its duly-elected leaders. With council meetings being held remotely, residents are not being able to effectively join in these meetings, and voices are going unheard. While many community members are trying to move on from the pandemic, council must also come back together as a team to effectively serve West Lincoln.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

Taxes. The majority of people are tired of paying high taxes compounded by service fees and other costs. The general consensus in rural West Lincoln is that we pay a lot in taxes and don’t get much for it. I think community members want more clarity on how their taxes are being spent and more answers as to why they are being spent that way and more accountability for their money. I would like to be able to help provide additional clarity and understanding to residents, and ensure that their concerns are heard regarding this issue.

Mike Rehner

Mike Rehner

1. Why should I vote for you?

I’m a results-oriented individual who likes to get things done and am very dedicated to the agricultural community of West Lincoln. Too often rural wards miss out on improvements as all the tax money seems to go to more populated areas. (MURS- $31Million ) I have a proven track record as during my terms in office a lot of the taxes collected have been returned to Ward 1 in the tar and chip roads, repairs and replacements of bridges, ditches and now a new Fire Station. I really want to be able to continue this work as I feel it benefits all of us who live in the country.

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

I believe it is important for every elected official to be able to state their case logically. Let’s get the facts out there are they usually speak for themselves. Allowing everyone to state their case diffuses tensions and we are then able to come to a consensus. Having said that it is important to know that it is still majority rules. Whether we like it or not, the majority rules as in all democratic countries.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

The balance of Urban vs Rural in our township. The Township is expanding pretty fast, and I would hate to see us lose our identity as a rural community. As a university of Guelph degree graduate in agriculture I am very protective of our agricultural land and worry about how aggressively the developers are destroying the land in our Township. It is important to note that without agriculture humans would cease to exist.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

The number one concerns is taxes. Followed closely by infrastructure. (Roads, bridges, ditches)
I have been dealing with this situation ever since I was first elected back in 2003 and a lot has been accomplished to date. I will continue to push for capital items for Ward 1 at our annual review as I always do, while at the same time respecting the fact that tax increases must be minimized.

Jason Trombetta

Jason Trombetta

1. Why should I vote for you?

Being born and raised in this community and also having the pleasure to serve the public for 2 terms has allowed me to keep a steady pulse of the wants and needs of a diverse community that we call home. It will be an honor and a privilege to continue to serve the community to keep our rural lifestyle and traditions intact while pushing further ahead by achieving the things we all want accomplished in our Ward 1 which is Roads, Infrastructure, Snow removal, affordable taxes and supporting our Fire Department which are all my priorities.

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

I believe in all voices should be heard, especially from people that want only the best for their community. As an elected representative it my duty to bring issues forward to address all the people in my riding. I take all the concerns of all my constituents, by meeting with them at there property and discussing the issue on a one to one basis and also getting the answer that they need. I believe that is always the best way. I will continue to respond and hear all my constituents and resolve it in a timely fashion.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

The most important matter facing West Lincoln, will always be keeping West Lincoln identity. We are a small community we need to grow responsible in the right areas and protect our agriculture community especially where we live. I believe conditions of our exiting roads need to be maintained and converted and continually upgraded from gravel. I want to continue the road program we started and want to see it through. As long as I’m in office that will be my priority, I accomplished Concession 5 and want to continue with other streets in my Ward.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

The top concerns from my residents are the maintenance of our roads, ditches, bridges and taxes. Upgrading of Fire station 2 was a priority as well and I’m glad to see construction has started to take place. Also I would like to see some money invested into Abingdon hall as its in need of some upgrades I take pride in our community halls, and want to preserve them as much as the residents do.

Henry Vis

Henry Vis

1. Why should I vote for you?

I feel that I have what it takes to help run things in a well-structured and financially prudent manner. As one of the founders of a large business I have proven that I can work together with others as a team and come to a consensus on sometimes sensitive issues. I have a good knowledge of both the commercial and residential housing market. I also have an excellent handle on all the underground construction such as water, sewer, hydro, gas, and communication infrastructure.

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

This is a question that is not easy to answer without sitting down with all sides and coming to a consensus. I am well aware of the media’s side, which can be biased at times. Without the media having a full interview with the parties involved and having that interview published, it quickly becomes a one-sided story. I think it is more important that after Oct 24 all the elected council members look forward to building a stronger community.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

As published by the Ontario government, our province is projected to grow by 8 million people in the next 20 years. West Lincoln will have to do its share. We need controlled growth with infrastructure such as water, sewer, and roads to be in line with that growth. Affordable housing should also be included in all newly constructed areas. It is essential that all new-build projections include enough green space for families to enjoy. Our industrial park also needs to grow to keep many of our locals employed right here in West Lincoln.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

When talking to the residents, speed on our more heavily travelled roads is by far the top concern. Coming up as a distant second would be a desire to see our township ease up on covid vaccine restrictions. The farming community is hoping that there is an avenue for West Lincoln to influence the Feds to re-evaluate the 30% fertilizer cut. Using the same land and fuel to grow less yield is counterproductive. Others wonder why country residents pay the same taxes as those in town yet don’t have sidewalks, streetlights, water, and sewer access.

Ward 2

Shelley Ann Bradaric

Shelley Ann Bradaric

1. Why should I vote for you? 
 
I want to continue what I have started.  Building relationships, creating connections and understanding the inner workings of the municipal level of government has me prepared to have 4 more years of proactive forwarding moving leadership for West Lincoln.  I am prepared, ask questions and look for opportunities to better the lives of all residents.  I think for myself and do not allow politics to interfere with common sense judgement. 
 
2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future? 
 
I focus on relationship building and look for opportunities for common ground.  West Lincoln is filled with great people that at the end of the day, want what is best not only for them, but their neighbours.  Political grandstanding does not have a place in Municipal government as it takes away the focus on the important work that occurs at this level.   
It is my intent to use my experience to bring back the order to the council and do the work we have been elected to do. 
 
3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future? 
 
Community engagement.  More simply this is where the answers come from no matter the issues.  Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to provide input that enhances decision making processes on issues that may impact on their well-being or interests. It can be used as a key method for our local government to navigate community priorities. Increasing our opportunities for community engagement will allow WL to face any issue for the betterment of the residents. 
 
4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it? 
 
Public Safety.  The world is a changed place and the answers to public safety are complex.  What is needed is a shift from a relatively narrow focus on crime prevention to the broader issue of community safety. We need a plan for community safety by tackling the social and economic conditions that foster crime. We have the opportunity and crucial role as local municipal leaders in this process through organizing and motivating coalitions of local partners to create healthy and safe communities. Let’s address the core roots of this issue to look for proactive solutions. 

Joann Chechalk

Joann Chechalk

Why should I vote for you?

I want your vote this election because I have the experience needed to do the best job for my ward and the entire community. I come prepared with 8 years of experience as a Ward 2 Councillor and 8 years on committee of Adjustments. I have a proven track record and during my time on council we dealt with many complicated matters and there will be many more coming to West Lincoln as we deal with the newly approved growth. Those will have to be managed so as not to lose the values of our community that bring people here.

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

The next council needs to focus on the work we have before us and make decisions for the benefit of the community. We need to put aside our individuality and deal with matters before us with a mind to how the outcome will impact the municipality. Our focus must be on matters within our jurisdiction and not on issues that belong to other orders of government. We are elected to do a job and there are rules and obligations we must agree to when we decide to run. Those must be our focus.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

Growing our community and not losing what we have been. It is a careful juggling act. Keeping basic opportunities for school and work in our community. Including homes for young families, empty nesters, and retirees. Having recreational opportunities for all ages. Making sure that basic services are maintained and that our growth happens in a way that provides services to the new community as they arrive not taking away from the existing community. Supporting groups that want to provide service to the community. Lessen the dependency on everything being done by the municipality.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

I have heard that we need to stop being the headlines in other communities’ papers and become a community that is respected and highly regarded. We need to reopen our meetings and celebrations and find ways to discuss our wants and dislikes. Meetings and social opportunities need to feel inclusive and safe for everyone. And everyone needs to respect the other side’s opinion and make events and gatherings safe for all.
We need to set aside our differences and when changes to events don’t go our way….accept and make them a success for the whole not the individual.

Harold Jonker

Harold Jonker

1. Why should I vote for you?

I am asking the residents of Ward 2 to put their confidence in me again this term. My experience in the last term as a business owner and a family man has given me the skills to continue to work hard for the residents of Ward 2.I have served with honesty and worked to keep taxes to a reasonable level while continuing to ensure that service levels and infrastructure are maintained and improved. I have always made myself available to help any residents with concerns and I look forward to continuing to do so for the next 4 years. 

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

 If I am reelected I will continue to respect everyone no matter who they are or what they believe or what their background is. I will continue to speak and stand for the truth and treat everyone with respect and love as I would like to be treated. We must listen to and address the concerns of all our residents. Differences of opinion will, always be part of our community, but that doesn’t mean West Lincoln cannot continue to grow and work to a bright future for the coming generations! Diversity, differences of opinion, open dialogue and truth bring strength to a community.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

The most important matter facing West Lincoln today is how we grow our urban areas while protecting our farmland and natural heritage. We need wise growth for a robust economy but it must be supported by proper infrastructure. Our agriculture sector is a big part of our community and we need to continue to support it. We also have to work with our industrial and commercial sectors to make sure that they have the opportunity to grow their businesses with ease and good service. My experience in the farming and business sector will be a great asset for our township. 

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

I believe that the top concern of residents of West Lincoln is the cost of living. As we see inflation and interest rates rising will we be able to feed our families? Especially now, I am committed to keeping our taxes low for families. We also need to keep the amounts low for businesses so they can provide us with the goods and service we need, at a rate we can afford. Farmers need the opportunity to grow food for us and the world without high tax amounts and with minimal government interference and regulations.

Eric Ravensbergen

Eric Ravensbergen

1. Why should I vote for you?

I am a lifetime resident of West Lincoln and care about the future of our township. While I have not run for office before, I have always kept myself informed and involved in municipal, provincial, and federal politics. I believe my fresh perspective will be an asset to the township. 

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

I would refrain from engaging in personal attacks for political gain.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

Measured and sustainable growth.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

‎Couple concerns are: How several sites in town are going to be developed, e.g. level of density, condition of some of the rural roads and living affordability.

Ward 3

Terry Bell

Terry Bell

1. Why should I vote for you?

HONESTY INTEGRITY TRANSPARENCY DETERMINATION
I am proud to say during my term on Council 2014-2018 I worked hard for the residents of Ward 3 to ensure that our community would be a great place to work, play, and raise a family, to invest in and to retire in.
Sadly the ball has been dropped on many fronts. Your vote for me would mean that issues like Affordable Taxes, Increased Police Presence & Public Safety, Affordable Housing and Increased Recreational Programs for our community would all be addressed. Make no mistake, I will do everything within my power to ensure the best outcome for our community.

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

It is my belief that the divisions in the present council was due to the Head of council and the poor leadership or lack of that was given to council.
I would listen to and appreciate the differences of others, treat everyone with respect. Should issues arise the council would be reminded as an elected official of the oath they took to represent all of the community without bias or prejudice.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

West Lincoln’s future depends on electing a Mayor that has the confidence of the newly elected council and the residents of West Lincoln.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

The residents of West Lincoln are looking for leadership that will tackle affordable Taxes and Housing, increased police presence and public safety and recreational programs for our youth and adults.
I will work with the Mayor and newly elected council to do everything within my power to ensure the best outcome for our community.

William Reilly

William Reilly

1. Why should I vote for you?



I’m hardworking, dedicated, knowledgeable, and committed. I’m honest, transparent, and accountable. If re-elected, I’ll continue to keep working toward an increased police presence throughout our community, and the implementation of a traffic-calming policy to help combat the public safety issues plaguing our neighbourhoods. I’ll also continue to challenge municipal spending/budgets, and advocate for more protection around heritage and green spaces.

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

Looking to the future, we need to find a way to reunite our community, and put an end to the hate and division caused by the pandemic that is currently still plaguing our community. We need strong leadership, real leadership, that will put personal issues and opinions aside, and put our community first. Our community is very resilient, and we have overcome many obstacles and challenges over the last few years. It’s time for our township Council to rise to the occasion and work together as a cohesive team to steer our community through the next four years.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

It's very difficult to limit this to just one matter. We need to continue to address improvements around public safety, maintain fiscal responsibility, hold firm on planning strategically for smart growth including addressing infrastructure issues and affordable housing, all while ensuring we’re protecting heritage and green spaces.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

To be completely honest, I’ve heard a lot of concerns around the current head of our council. Next to that, there’s been a lot of concern and worry about public safety, inflation, high taxes, lack of affordable housing options, and that our community is losing its charm due to an increase in growth. I will continue to challenge budgets, push back on developers who do not want to follow our official plan or bylaws, and I’ll continue to promote our community at AMO and ROMA delegations by advocating for more Provincial assistance to help lessen the local tax levy burden.

Clarence Vanderhout

Clarence Vanderhout

1. Why should I vote for you?

I plan to be a voice for ward 3 for the many reasons:
Financial accountability in new projects: Making sure we don’t spend what we don’t have, keeping fiscal responsibility. Keeping our tax rates at an affordable rate.
Having a voice in the development and planning for West Lincoln: Making decisions that are in line with the neighborhoods and protecting the greenspace. Listening to the concerns in Ward 3 as plans develop.
Working with traffic enforcement and neighborhood safety. Having a good working relationship with law enforcement to keep our community safe.
In ward 3 I will give our residents my undivided attention, working hard for the greater good of our community.
 
2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

Fresh start!
My goal is to bring fresh leadership, a new voice for the residents of Ward 3 our town Council. I will represent every resident, deal with every issue, in a timely, responsible, respectful and transparent manner
As a councillor in West Lincoln I will strife to repair damages that have been done thru this last year. These have been unprecedented times with many challenges. The first thing we need to do is work closely together to build relationships and be able to do the work our constituents voted us to do. Back to in house meetings where we can see our residents face to face.
 
What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

We have been growing exponentially in the last 10 years. Our concern for infrastructure meeting the criteria and inviting a good balance of businesses to grow along with us. And protecting our agriculture sector.
I will bring accountable leadership to West Lincoln as we meet these challenges. Provide guiding principals for an ever increasing population, while preserving green space and the small town feel, critical to Ward 3 and our town
Ward 3 residents specifically have concerns about the old St Martin and the College school parcel.
 Matters have been voiced but they feel their voice has not been heard. I will be their voice!
 
What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

I have had the opportunity to speak to many residence already and what seems to be very important is transparency on the development projects and planning. They want their voices heard in that matter. I will take their concerns and work hard for them. West Lincoln has grown tremendously in the last 10 years. It can be daunting for long time residence.
So as we grow cautiously, we make right decisions that will be good for West Lincoln and all its residence. 

Mark Wanders

Mark Wanders

Why should I vote for you?

I am a 20-year resident wanting to serve our community. With over 30 years of business experience, I work with consistency and integrity, and understand the necessity of careful stewarding of resources.

2. The most recent term of council had some rocky moments. What would you do differently in the coming term to calm divisions and move West Lincoln Twp. ahead to a bright future?

The last 2.5 years have been rocky for all of Canada, not just our local politics. So first off, I am getting involved. Second, I will ascertain if there are inconsistencies in policy or procedure, and then work to refine or remove them.

3. What is the most important matter facing West Lincoln's future?

To retain a small town / agricultural community identity balanced with informed decision making when faced with growth.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

Numerous conversations with residents reveal they want greater stability in local government, increased accessibility for small business ventures, and increased collaboration between the municipality and the region. There are varying degrees of inaction, inconsistencies, or complexities experienced, especially when concerns have been raised.
With over 3 decades of business experience, I have a history to consistently discern causes of misunderstanding or miscommunication, clarify them, seek common ground towards meaningful consensus, and create practical steps forward.

Regional Councillor

Peggy Cook

Peggy Cook

1. Why should I vote for you?

Voting is a personal thing and one that I would hope everyone considers voting as a privilege and an obligation to your community. Every vote counts.
Why me?
I bring to the table a genuine desire to serve my community. I love West Lincoln/Niagara West and I enjoy spending time in the greater Niagara Region. I am here to listen to what the people of this community are looking for and do my best to find ways to work towards keeping West Lincoln well represented on the Regional Council.

2. A significant amount of our tax bill goes toward policing -- do you believe Niagara West is adequately covered by Niagara Regional Police Services?

There is room for improvement when it comes to the policing of Niagara West. As we continue to see growth in this area it will be important for this to be re-evaluated regularly to do the best that can be done to accommodate the needs of this need in community.
Working with the budget that exists as well as the needs and desire to have Niagara West be a safe place we all call home is one that needs to be kept a priority.

3. Are you in favour of expanding urban boundaries in Niagara to accommodate development?

It is not a matter of if one is in favor or not. The need for housing is real. The availability of housing is limited creating a need more housing.
West Lincoln/Niagara West has been earmarked for significant growth over the next number of years. Inevitably we will need to extend them slowly as the need for homes, rental units, and affordable house of all continues to increase. Continuing evaluation of the needs will be integral to the need to expand the boundaries and should only be done as necessary.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

I encourage you to reach out to any one of us who are running in the election. It is based on the feedback from the community that we represent that will allow us to do the job well.
Housing availability on all fronts is an issue. The cost, the availability of rentals, or homes and the need for affordable housing as well as a transportation system that is needed. Working with municipal, and regional to include this in the planning. Please feel free to reach out to let me know your concerns and suggestions.

Albert Witteveen

Albert Witteveen

1. Why should I vote for you?

Voting for me gives you a committed serving person who understands our local community needs and the vision for the future for all the residents in the Niagara Region.

2. A significant amount of our tax bill goes toward policing -- do you believe Niagara West is adequately covered by Niagara Regional Police Services?

Quality Policing is important to all the residents of West Niagara, I believe that resources are allocated where the needs address the community. Safety in West Niagara is of great importance and this does come at a cost to taxpayers. It is always a challenge to provide a high level of service for a fair cost. So yes I believe we get value for service in West Niagara.

3. Are you in favour of expanding urban boundaries in Niagara to accommodate development?

Yes I am in favour of expanding boundaries to accommodate growth within Niagara. The Provincial government directed growth targets for the next 30 years for Niagara. This was accomplished through the work of the Niagara Regional Official plan review. Balanced growth was needed to achieve affordable housing and also protection of natural features, eg ( Niagara Escarpment, Greenbelt and Natural Heritage features) Niagara Region exceeded provincial intensification to respect the land required for growth.

4. What are you hearing is the top concern of residents and how would you deal with it?

What I’m hearing as the top issue in our community is aggressive driving and speeding. How I have been dealing with this is to make sure that I’m communicating with the Director of Transportation at the Niagara Region to make sure signage, road markings, and design is proper for safety first. Secondly I have a working relationship with our Staff Sargent at District 8 to bring the enforcement concerns to assist us when needs arise.

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