A new Barrie City Council – December 6th

October 28, 2010

A new council will be sworn in on December 6th.  Mayor-Elect Jeff Lehman has pledged to open up City Hall.  His ideas include introducing an open mic segment at the beginning of Council meetings, establishing citizen councils in the areas of diversity, seniors, and youth, and expanding on the planning model he has demonstrated with the Historic Neighbourhoods Strategy.

Do you have additional suggestions about how to open up City Hall?  If you were first up to the microphone, what would you say to Council?

 

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Congratulations to everyone who participated in Barrie’s municipal election–we’re all winners!

October 26, 2010

http://www.barrie.ca/CDocs/2010unofficial.pdf

It’s now roughly 2:00 a.m.  It’s been an exciting day in Barrie–City officials report that voter turnout has been high based on the line-ups at polls.  I look forward to crunching the numbers tomorrow!  Attached are the unofficial election results from the City of Barrie’s website, and below are the winners according to the Rogers Cable 10 election coverage team.

Congratulations to Barrie’s new mayor, Jeff Lehman, and to the following councillors who have been declared the winner in their ward:

Ward 1:  Bonnie Ainsworth

Ward 2:  Lynn Strachan

Ward 3:  Doug Shipley

Ward 4:  Barry Ward

Ward 5:  Peter Silveira (this was still unconfirmed by Rogers as I write)

Ward 6:  Michael Prowse

Ward 7:  John Brassard

Ward 8:  Jennifer Robinson

Ward 9:  Brian Jackson

Ward 10:  Alex Nuttall

Congratulations to everyone who ran in the municipal election.  A number of great ideas came forward, a number of relationships were founded or enriched, and we’ve seen a new level of citizen engagement as a result of the hard work of the many people who ran for mayor, councillor and school trustee positions.   Thank you to everybody for being involved in the Canadian democratic system!


Remind a friend to vote!

October 25, 2010

It’s voting day!  If you didn’t make it out to the advance polls, enjoy exercising your democratic right today 🙂  In Calgary’s recent municipal election, voter turnout was up close to 20 points–50% of Calgarians voted–a huge increase that has been attributed in large part to the power social media has had in “activating” the vote.  Let’s see if we can do something similar in Barrie!

If you’re still not sure about who to vote for, review the blog postings with candidate responses to the BCC Questionnaire, search the local papers (www.thebarrieexaminer.com and http://www.simcoe.com).  Locations to vote can be found on the City of Barrie’s website (www.barrie.ca).  They’ve also posted information on using the voter terminals.  I voted on Saturday–the terminals are very easy to use.

If you need help getting to a poll, most candidates have volunteers in place today to help you–contact for campaign offices can be found on the City’s website–copy the following link into your browser’s address bar:

http://www.barrie.ca/WCMAdmin/Images/wwwbarrieca/bylaws_pdf/certified%20candidates2010.pdf

Enjoy!


Mayoral responses to Questionnaire–Specifically (cont’d)

October 20, 2010
 

What steps will you take to protect heritage in Barrie?

 

Dave Aspden:

 

Proper processes have to be in place. I also believe however a property owner hasrights. Look at the Steele China Building on Collier Street.

That was a council mistake. Mr. Steele was a well know Barrie businessman. After he passed

away, the family made the choice that repairs were out of the question to save the building.

They went through the proper steps, obtained all permits, and demolition started. All Council

members except for myself, then passed an order to stop demolition, put the risk of large

costs on the Steele estate while heavy equipment sat idle. This was a tremendous emotional

drain on the family, and it was not necessary. It had slipped through the cracks. It was not the

fault of the Steele family—the error was elsewhere.

Finally, Council had to agree with the Mayor and let the Family continue with demolition.

 

Rob Hamilton:

 

We must ensure that our heritage districts are vibrant by delivering the appropriatemunicipal services, and that property standards are met.

 

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

Barrie needs a comprehensive heritage strategy, something we have been expectingat Council for some time. My historic neighbourhoods initiative was designed to recognize

that the older areas of our city have heritage value and a series of steps have come from that

strategy that now need to be implemented, including giving these areas a unique identity, and

additional heritage building conservation measures. I also think that frankly, we need a

Barrie Museum – a place to celebrate our history and preserve both artifacts and

representations of how Barrie has come to be.

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

I would have the city set the example by preserving publicly owned heritagebuildings. Explore tax incentives for citizens who agree to designate their homes as heritage

sites.

 

 

What can be done to improve traffic concerns throughout the City?Dave Aspden:

 

 

South end Barrie: Park Place is contributing $12.6 million dollars for roadimprovements. If they had not been held up by the previous council and the OMB the traffic

would have been fixed by now.

As for downtown, the Mayor & council of 2000-2003 said and assured residents Lakeshore

would not go up Toronto St. The Mayor & council of 2003-2006 changed this, and I did not

support this. I argued it would be a traffic nightmare, changing a flow of three streets to two.

With other situations it would become one, or at times no traffic flow at all. I was right. I

inherited a mess. Hopefully my concept of Penalty Clauses in Tenders will help in the future.

 

Rob Hamilton

 

: Increased emphasis must be placed on maintenance, access to public facilities(especially schools), and traffic light programming.

 

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

All 5 highway interchanges in Barrie need to be rebuilt as they are over capacity.Most of all, we need new connections across Highway 400 in the south end of the city.

Because all the traffic in the south end has to cross the highway at the interchanges, there is

major congestion on Essa and Mapleview. We also need to promote active transportation

opportunities, such as building a full network of bike lanes, to give people alternatives to

driving everywhere. I think services and local shops need to be in neighbourhoods, and not

clustered in mega-centres, which require everyone to drive to them. It was for this reason

that I supported building recreation facilities such as sportsfields in neighbourhoods, not

clustering them in a single large mega-centre.

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

Control the rate of growth and create more public transit, bike paths and affordablealternatives to using the car.

 

 

 

Describe your point of view on taxation. Please address tax increases, ratio ofcommercial to residential tax-base, value provided to residents, use of debentures

and deficit scenarios.

Dave Aspden:

 

 

Best value for tax dollar. Essential services must be maintained. Over the last fouryears, the residential tax base has decreased, and the Industrial & Commercial has

increased. That is very good in this four year period of would-be financial problems. The City

is now at $170,000 dollar debenture debt load. Council has to look at vital services versus the

nice to haves.

0% for one or four years is totally irresponsible, and unrealistic. This is nothing more than a

promise to get elected.

More info to be posted on my web site explaining why.

 

Rob Hamilton:

 

We must hold the line on taxes. My five point plan includes a freeze in the first yearof the new Council term followed by only inflationary increases in the succeeding three years.

The ratio of residential to industrial/commercial assessment must be rebalanced by attracting

more industrial/commercial investment that will shift the tax burden away from residential

taxpayers. Residents are telling me that they are not satisfied with the services they receive

for the property taxes they are paying. Many are not aware of the City’s debt. My objective is

to establish the service priorities that taxpayers want and find efficiencies at City Hall.

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

Tax increases should be at or around the rate of inflation. Non-residential(commercial/industrial) to residential assessment ratio needs to be brought up from 24:76

today to 35:65 or higher if possible. Over the past four years, I’ve worked as Chair of

Finance Committee to overhaul the way the city spends money. The new budget process

has a requirement for departments to justify, in a separate report, any new hiring and any

new program. This has created better accountability to show residents whether (or not) they

are getting value for money.

The city has incurred debt over the past decade to fund major projects such as the surface

water treatment plant and the pollution control center (sewage treatment plant). However,

with interest rates at a record low, it has been a cost-effective time to incur this debt. The city

cannot by law run a deficit, but it can incur debt. While the decision to use debt should never

be taken lightly, the need for a clean water plant and to reduce pollution into the Lake are

important issues and the use of debt in these cases is appropriate.

Going forward, we are going to have to be very careful in the amount of debt that can be

incurred as carrying the interest charges could become a heavy burden on the operating

budget. While there is a lot of capital work to do, we can’t mortgage our future to pay for

today.

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

Expanding our commercial/industrial tax base is vital to relieving the burden on theresidential home owner. I will not vote to raise taxes if the city is running multi-million dollar

surpluses.

 

 

With respect to city planning, do you consider the current level of publicconsultation to be sufficient? If not, what can be done to improve the process?

Dave Aspden:

 

 

A problem starts when a home is sold, and the salesperson tells the buyer anythingthey want to hear to close the deal. Something has to be done in this area of notification or

understanding on purchase so buyers understand clearly what may or may not be built near

them. This is a large cause of the problem.

 

Rob Hamilton:

 

Yes, but it can always be improved.

 

Carl Hauck:

 

In regards to your last questions, my past experiences and by following past council,many of these issues have been held behind closed doors. We the people have not been

privileged to full disclosure. Previous candidates are more likely to answer the specifics of

these questions. One thing I have learned from my past business experience is always to be

willing to step outside the box and listen, as we can learn from others. This does not mean

hiring so called qualified consultants. By talking to the people that are involved day to day,

you can learn a lot by listening and ask the right questions. We need to work as a team with

these people.

A couple of examples from my past business experiences are, I taught horticultural therapy to

the seniors and the program was to get the seniors involved in eye/hand coordination using

their minds to create ie: gardens, floral pieces. I being very young at the time thought they

wanted to learn a new career. Quickly did I learn they were not in the market for a new

career, but they wanted to share their wealth of knowledge of their past life experiences, they

need to be heard.

Secondly I also feel strongly about groups working together i.e.; my landscape business with

landscape architects. We together can create that picture that is worth a thousand words.

In my past experience, I was quite often given a drawing to follow by a landscape architect,

and with having many conflicting views, architects sometimes need to step outside the box

and actually plow snow to realize their vision or dream is not a reality. Many completed

construction sites pass code on completion and look great, but once signed off on, areas

begin to look dilapidated and unkempt. The reality is, had we been willing to listen to each

other and share business ideas, we could avoid a waste and have a far better completed job.

We need to work together to make dreams of Barrie Means Business.

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

No. Particularly concerning to me is the belief that posting a meeting notice in anewspaper constitutes all the public notice you need! The Historic Neighbourhoods Strategy,

which saw citizens, not staff or consultants, driving the planning process at the

neighbourhood level, is my model for how we need to do this in the future.

As another example, I had two very contentious site plans in my ward over the past 4 years,

one being the redevelopment of the Fairgrounds site on Essa Road, the other being an

industrial development behind Ottaway Avenue. The site plan process does not require

public consultation, but in both cases I asked the developer to hold meetings with residents to

address issues before these came to Council. The meetings were very well attended and we

were able to get many (not all, but most) of the community’s concerns addressed in this way.

In fact, I believe the approval process ultimately was less dysfunctional and time consuming

because the community was consulted in an up front fashion. Doing things this way is part of

my broader priority to open up City Hall.

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

The planning act is very clear in what is needed. I would work with developers to gobeyond what they have to do under the law and respect the opinions of the public in trying to

accommodate as many views as possible

 

 


Mayoral responses to Questionnaire–Specifically

October 20, 2010

 Specifically

 

Mayoral candidates: what are the top three issues that you’ll focus on as Mayor?

Dave Aspden: 1.”Fixing what we know now. The little things that are important.”

a. We want people to come downtown, but people have to feel they are safe. I have

suggested the installation of security cameras in the past, but now due to the election

more support them.

b. Enforcement of standards related to liquor-induced behavior.

c. Seniors shopping downtown have little or no place to rest when downtown. Make sure

we have park benches with individual seating (to discourage undesirables from laying

around) to make sure that Seniors with walkers and canes have a place to rest when they

are exhausted.

d. Immediately revamp Taxi fares. Barrie has the highest fare rate. With no holiday transit

service, people can’t get around town. Free transit should be available for seniors in off

peak hours 9:30am- to 2:30 pm.

e. To attract boaters to Barrie, the Marina must have diesel fuel. No Marina near Barrie

has diesel fuel. You have to accommodate tourists to draw them. Boats can not travel to

Barrie with low fuel.

2. “Acting on the bigger issues “.

a. Fire Hall # 5 for the South Area of Barrie

b. Tenders for road construction must be changed, to include a penalty clause which

contractors must complete the job within a specific time period.

c. Best value for the tax dollar.

3. “Encourage Investment”

Rob Hamilton:

 

The three issues are: holding the line on taxes, creating good jobs, and improvingtraffic flow.

 

 

Carl Hauck:

 

Respect for the people – All people of Barrie are respected for their individualities nomatter race, religion, sexual orientation or political views.

I am hoping that the gay issue does not become a part of this election as well as political

colors, red, blue and green as we focus on the prize, which are the people.

Barrie – ‘Barrie Means Business’. Let us stand behind those words. Let us treat it as a

business. We as council must control the business not the developers.

Youth – ‘The youth are our future’. In order for the youth to respect the city, the city must

respect the youth. Remember they learn by example.

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

Managing growth, controlling spending, and opening up city hall to bettercommunication.

 

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

Accountability, public safety, taxes/seniors

 

 

How do you propose to create more higher-paying jobs in Barrie?Dave Aspden:

 

 

Over the last four years I have been committed to attracting industry to Barrie. Onemust remember that the world financial market also had some significant changes. This

postponed a lot of relocations, additions and investment.

I have show cased Barrie to the Largest Manufactures in the Defense/Security and

Technology field in the world. With attendance in Ottawa and Halifax Barrie is now known as

a place of interest for consideration. Since my trip to China, there have been over twenty

delegations in Barrie investigating what Barrie has to offer. One group just missed the

purchase and development of what we now know as the Blue Sail Development on Bradford

St. Barrie was closer to a Hotel & Convention centre than many realize. Those details will be

posted on my web site.

I supported Park Place since the beginning. Many people are forgetting this is a 200 acre

project. Only 80 acres of commercial, and the rest is for Industrial and Business Park.

Hundreds of construction jobs, and an estimated 4,400 jobs when finally complete. At today’s

rate, an additional 4 million dollars in Tax revenue.

For businesses now in Barrie don’t tell them it can’t be done. Work with them and show them

how to make it happen.

 

Rob Hamilton:

 

Higher paying jobs will come to Barrie by attracting investors who can rely onmunicipal services, can access a skilled labour pool, and whose employees can enjoy a

pleasant life style. During my term as Mayor, I accomplished that. The BMO data centre is

an example.

 

Carl Hauck:

 

jobs – small businesses being heard and respectedthe people of this city being heard

the youth being a part of this city. Get them involved.

We have to face the fact we have lost our corporate edge. Being raised in this city, I have

seen one by one large corporate jobs leave the city along with the demolishing of their

existence. In talking with the people, it doesn’t take long to come up with a list of 10 or more

that will never return. It is harder to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing

customer.

Higher paying jobs, not to be negative, but you must make the existence of the city stronger

in order for outside businesses to invest in the business of Barrie. We must look after and

support and have direct open dialogue with small businesses. The more successful they are

the more successful we are and the more they are willing to pay. I see small businesses

being the backbone and the glue of Barrie. Through our strength as a business (Barrie)

everyone wants to be a part of a winning team. Only until this is done will you have the

outside looking in.

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

EXPANSION: HELPING BARRIE BUSINESSES GROW. Three out of four new jobsin any city are created by businesses that are already located there. As mayor I will focus on

identifying new markets for key industry sectors in Barrie – helping to grow Barrie

businesses. This means helping manufacturers to sell their products to broader markets

through shared marketing efforts, and using the Mayor’s office to help open doors to new

opportunities. Great Mayors have as part of their job selling their community and its products

and services and I would make this a central part of what I do.

EDUCATION: FOR JOBS IN THE NEW ECONOMY. Cities that prosper in the new

economy all have one thing in common – a powerful partnership between post-secondary

education and the business community. As mayor I will play a leading role in helping

Georgian College and its university partners to expand in Barrie, including a downtown

campus for Laurentian University and other partners. This can help train our workforce for

the new economy, improving our ability to attract higher paying jobs, and can also encourage

business formation as many students choose to reside where they go to school – we only

need to look at the more than 700 technology companies in Kitchener-Waterloo to

understand the huge impact that universities can have on our economy.

ENTREPRENEURS: GROWING BARRIE SMALL BUSINESSES. Entrepreneurs are the

lifeblood of the economy. City Hall needs to focus on how to support small businesses in their

critical early years, and work with the business community to nurture entrepreneurial

enterprises. By leading the eliminating the basic business license fee, I started work on this

approach as a ward Councillor. I would continue to try to break down barriers for business

growth and formation and am strongly supportive of a business incubator building in Barrie,

as one example.

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

I would like to work towards having Barrie become a centre of excellence in themedical technology field

 

 

 

Describe the approach you’d take to planning for the annexed ‘employment lands’.How much of that annexed land do you think will be available for employment

purposes vs residential development?

Dave Aspden:

 

 

After a complete inventory is taken and made available for review, the plan mustinclude the following

The lands on the 400 corridor have to remain for future industrial lands. (I say industrial

lands, as employment lands are defined as commercial & industrial, and there is a

difference).

Planning has to start with transportation routes for easy shipping and receiving patterns. The

plan must allow for large parcels and be controlled that it does not become a patch

development, wasting large opportunities.

I would anticipate there would be some area for residential, but it is too early for comment,

without the other facts.

We have to do it right, with a vision for the future so we don’t make mistakes.

 

Rob Hamilton

 

: The development of annexed land must take into consideration environmentalfactors such as the watershed. Once that is completed, we will know how much of that land

can be designated for employment.

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

In December of last year, I brought a motion to Barrie City Council to establishprinciples for growth in the new annexed lands. These are the principles:

a) That the City of Barrie continue to apply the principle that growth pays for growth to the

greatest extent possible within the law;

b) That municipal services like parks, fire services, roads, water, and wastewater be built at

the same time or in advance of the issuance of occupancy;

c) That all new neighbourhoods and business areas in the City of Barrie be designed to

support resource conservation and environmental stewardship to the greatest extent

feasible and include the best practices in the use of district energy, water

conservation/recycling and sustainable community planning;

d) That the City of Barrie continue to plan new neighbourhoods with basic services and

shops, including “corner stores” and/or local commercial areas;

e) That new neighbourhoods draw on the strengths of historic neighbourhoods: grid street

patterns, public spaces, pedestrian-friendly street design (buildings close to street,

tree-lined streets, on-street parking, hidden parking lots, garages in rear lane, narrow

and slow speed streets);

f) That the City of Barrie continue to develop satellite service locations for municipal services

in the south end of Barrie to ensure easier access for residents;

g) That the City of Barrie continue to provide a diversity of housing types in new

neighbourhoods;

h) That the City of Barrie continue to place a high priority on supporting active transportation

(walking and cycling) and on accessibility to public transit in all new growth areas;

i) That all planning efforts for new growth areas occur through extensive consultation with the

public, community stakeholders and with the business and development

communities; and

j) That the growth in working age residents in the City of Barrie not be allowed to outpace the

growth of jobs to ensure the City of Barrie stays a strong economic centre, repatriates

employment opportunities for residents and minimizes outcommuting.

In practice, this means doing things differently than they have been done in the past. It

means job growth needs to occur at the same time as residential growth, so we become less

of a bedroom community. Reducing commuting will help in minimizing both the time

residents have to spend on the road and all the negative traffic and environmental benefits

that come along with it. I see new business areas being opened up in the near future,

allowing Barrie to better compete to attract and expand businesses. I also see subdivisions

that have leading edge technologies to protect the Lake, such as advanced stormwater

filtering and diversion techniques, and greywater recycling. Most of all, we need to move at a

more modest pace with suburban development to allow city services to be put in at the same

time as development occurs.

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

I would like as much of the new lands to be preserved as green space andemployment lands as possible. We should create greener, higher density,

pedestrian/bike friendly neighbourhoods.

 

 


Mayoral responses to Questionnaire–Approach (cont’d)

October 20, 2010
 For incumbents, describe how you have communicated with your constituency over the

Mike Ramsay:

 

Beyond communication, describe how you will engage your constituency

Dave Aspden:

 

Rob Hamilton:

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

Would you consider establishing and supporting a Citizen Council? Describe howyou would see this working.

Dave Aspden:

 

Again, I encourage each Ward Councillor to set up a ward committee to discussissues in their ward to promote good communication. There should be communication on

behalf of these committees back to the Mayor’s office.

 

Rob Hamilton:

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

Yes.

As above, whether they are called Citizen Councils or neighbourhood associations, Iwould be a champion for expanding organized citizen participation at City Hall.

 

A similar concept, which I described earlier, is part of my five point plan.

Listening to people – and hearing what they say.

It’s all about attitude and results.

If residents are to be meaningfully consulted with,they must see the results of their efforts. Unless Council shows through amendments or

other changes to their chosen direction that citizen input is meaningful, people will rightly

continue to be cynical about City Hall and it’s responsiveness.

One thing I’ve done in this regard is to support the formation of neighbourhood associations.

Great cities have strong neighbourhood associations in all areas and the three groups I’ve

helped to form have already become very valuable points of contact that are affecting City

policy. The Downtown Barrie Neighbourhood Association, for example, has been

instrumental in supporting measures to improve safety in the core.

I will be a full-time mayor. My office will be open to residents, neighbourhoodassociations and delegations.

 

At one time there were more committees at City Hall. This was a real burden for staffas meetings were in the evenings, and meetings became overwhelming for the Councillors.

(alderman in those days). Many took on duplication of areas, and some committees wanted

to get into areas outside of their mandate. After a few years the committees were

streamlined. I support the public involvement, and suggest the Councillors have open houses

regularly as well. I am a supporter of full time councillors, and always have been. I encourage

each Ward Councillor to set up a ward committee to discuss issues in their ward to promote

good communication.

 

I have responded to phone calls and emails as quickly as possible, as well as followupto ensure action has been taken on behalf of citizens.

 

I am the only Councillor who had regular weekly open office hours to allow people tomeet with me on issues of concern. I have held meetings throughout the ward on various

issues, and held barbeques in parks in the summer and fall to meet with my constituents. I

have also used traditional methods including producing a newsletter, maintained a webpage,

and regular email and snail mail correspondence – emails reached over 100 a day in the first

year I was Councillor!

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

For incumbents, describe how you have communicated with your constituency over the
past 4 years. For all candidates, how do you propose to communicate with your

constituency for the next four years?

Jeff Lehman:
 

 

I am the only Councillor who had regular weekly open office hours to allow people tomeet with me on issues of concern. I have held meetings throughout the ward on various
issues, and held barbeques in parks in the summer and fall to meet with my constituents. I

have also used traditional methods including producing a newsletter, maintained a webpage,

and regular email and snail mail correspondence – emails reached over 100 a day in the first

year I was Councillor!

 

Mike Ramsay:
 

 

I have responded to phone calls and emails as quickly as possible, as well as followupto ensure action has been taken on behalf of citizens.
 

 

 

 

 

Beyond communication, describe how you will engage your constituency

Dave Aspden:
 

 

At one time there were more committees at City Hall. This was a real burden for staffas meetings were in the evenings, and meetings became overwhelming for the Councillors.
(alderman in those days). Many took on duplication of areas, and some committees wanted

to get into areas outside of their mandate. After a few years the committees were

streamlined. I support the public involvement, and suggest the Councillors have open houses

regularly as well. I am a supporter of full time councillors, and always have been. I encourage

each Ward Councillor to set up a ward committee to discuss issues in their ward to promote

good communication.

 

Rob Hamilton:
 

 

I will be a full-time mayor. My office will be open to residents, neighbourhoodassociations and delegations.
 

 

 

Jeff Lehman:
 

It’s all about attitude and results.

If residents are to be meaningfully consulted with,they must see the results of their efforts. Unless Council shows through amendments or
other changes to their chosen direction that citizen input is meaningful, people will rightly

continue to be cynical about City Hall and it’s responsiveness.

One thing I’ve done in this regard is to support the formation of neighbourhood associations.

Great cities have strong neighbourhood associations in all areas and the three groups I’ve

helped to form have already become very valuable points of contact that are affecting City

policy. The Downtown Barrie Neighbourhood Association, for example, has been

instrumental in supporting measures to improve safety in the core.

 

Mike Ramsay:
 

 

Listening to people – and hearing what they say.
 

 

 

 

Would you consider establishing and supporting a Citizen Council? Describe howyou would see this working.

Dave Aspden:
 

 

 

Again, I encourage each Ward Councillor to set up a ward committee to discussissues in their ward to promote good communication. There should be communication on
behalf of these committees back to the Mayor’s office.

 

 

Rob Hamilton:
 

 

A similar concept, which I described earlier, is part of my five point plan.
 

 

Jeff Lehman:
 

 

As above, whether they are called Citizen Councils or neighbourhood associations, Iwould be a champion for expanding organized citizen participation at City Hall.
 

 

 

Mike Ramsay:
 

 

Yes.
 

 

 

 

past 4 years. For all candidates, how do you propose to communicate with your

constituency for the next four years?

Jeff Lehman:

 


Mayoral responses to Questionnaire–Approach

October 20, 2010

 

Approach

Describe two opportunities you see to improve the way Council operates.Dave Aspden:

1. Council has to convince those that want to come to Barrie, and be prepared towork with developers. Not just say no, but figure out how can we make it work. It must

always be a positive message that those that want to invest are welcome here and we must

find ways to overcome obstacles.

2. Public has observed Councillors all too often using their blackberrys and computers during

council. The public feels that they are not paying attention, or already have their mind made

up. Some councillors have always gone along with the popular side on an issue, instead

actually stating their position. Councillors need to take a stand, voting for what is best for

Barrie, not just to get re-elected.

Rob Hamilton

 

Carl Hauck:

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

Describe how you would increase the current level of citizen participation indecision-making at City Hall.

Dave Aspden:

I opened up City Hall as the First Mayor to have Monthly Open Houses. Either at CityHall or on the road I said I would do that 4 years ago and I did. On some days, we were

located in the south end of Barrie, or citizens could find staff and myself at the north end of

Barrie. This was a great opportunity to get out to the public. Other Mayors across Ontario

actually called my office to find out how this worked. I have also had the opportunity as a

guest of Politically Speaking to be live on Rogers.

I would continue the Open Houses, both in City Hall and around Barrie. I would also meet

with Rogers, to get set dates well in advance so a schedule can be set. At times opportunities

have come up with little notice which has been a booking problem.

Rob Hamilton:

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

I would work to ensure that as many people are appointed to various boards andcommittees as possible. Too few people are applying to serve on the many advisory

committees that do exist and the Mayor must work to encourage more citizen

participation on the committees that have influence on the decisions being made.

I’ve proposed several things. First, I support opening up city council meetings to allowBarrie residents to address their council on any topic. I would seek to change the procedural

by-law to allow for an ‘open microphone’ segment at council meetings, because I believe

council would benefit from having regular public participation on the issues of the day.

Currently, the city by-laws restrict participation to individuals who are opposed to an item on

that evening’s council agenda.

I would also form three task forces to ensure the unique concerns of specific groups in Barrie

are heard.

1. A Youth Council to advise the mayor and council on issues affecting young

people in Barrie.

2. A Senior’s Advisory Committee, to ensure that the unique needs of seniors in the

community are met.

3. A Diversity Task Force, to ensure that as Barrie’s population changes and

becomes more diverse, the city can ensure that the needs of various multicultural

communities are met, and that newcomers to Canada in Barrie feel welcome in

the city.

I also think we need to actually get staff and council out of City Hall and into communities. I’d

like to see meetings in neighbourhoods, at gathering places like schools, coffee shops, and

churches, with staff available on local issues such as parks, roads, planning, and recreation.

Finally, I would expand the use of online methods including the website and social media, this

worked very well with the HNS. City Hall needs to reach out to get people involved and not

just rely on traditional methods.

My first priority is to establish a citizens’ panel to review City Hall operations andmake recommendations for priority programs and services that I will take to Council for

adoption.

As Mayor, I will chair meetings fairly. I will listen far more than I speak. I willencourage free and open public discussion of issues and encourage intelligent, reasoned

debate.

First and foremost, the Mayor must work collaboratively with the other members ofCouncil. The Mayor is the head of a team and must constantly communicate with all other

Councillors on issues in their ward, and issues that affect the City as a whole. This is about

the attitude that the Mayor brings to the job.

Secondly, I feel Council should consider a standing committee structure for items which could

be discussed in more detail and decided in public meetings. Examples would be local traffic

concerns such as all-way stops and parking restrictions, and procedural matters related to

minor public works. By having these standing committees, there would be time for more

public discussion and greater attention paid to these issues, while allowing General

Committee to focus on the key issues affecting the city as a whole, and on policy decisions.

Many cities around the country do this and it allows their councils to operate more effectively.

No idea is a bad idea. It may need to be fined tuned and have the input of all of those itinvolves.

A councilor represents the people of that ward and the mayor represents all those people

collectively.

It is important for the mayor to see what the visions are of the people and help see them

through.

I would definitely support a citizen council. My past business experience has taught me to

learn through others no matter how old we get. We must not stop learning or listening. We

need to learn from our past council. I did attend many open houses. It is great to have open

houses, but it is another thing to be heard. This city is made up of people and the people

need to be heard.

I feel the direct approach is more crucial. We have the ability to send out tax bills, why do we

not have the ability to keep it simple and back to the basics? Direct mail. I know personally

juggling my day to day life, business, personal and finance it is not easy to attend or get

involved, but by keeping it simple and sending a letter gives the people time to read and

respond by whatever methods they wish. It would be nice to get a letter instead of a bill for a

change. In simplifying – Lets get back to the basics.

: I support the appointment of the Integrity Commission to advise Council members ofpotential conflicts of interest and identify those members who may or have violated the Code

of Conduct passed by the current Council. In my five point plan I will appoint an Auditor

General who will report directly to Council. The Auditor General’s job will be to conduct

regular value-for-money audits to identify for Council where efficiencies and cost savings can

be introduced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Election 2010

Responses from Mayoral Candidates to Questionnaire

About you

 

Why are you the best choice for mayor?Dave Aspden:

 

 

Born in Barrie, I have the most experience in the City. From my days at RVH as anAmbulance/Driver Attendant, throughout my police career and 9 years as a Councillor it

provided me with the real insight of the operation of the City. Having worked with three

previous Mayors, I experienced different ways the councillors and staff were treated, or their

ideas accepted. I wanted to bring a different approach to Council, and I wanted to ensure the

people of the wards were represented by their councillors, whether I may agreed or not. In

my opinion over the years, areas of the City were not getting a fair voice, and not always the

fault of the councillor, but not the desire of others to bother with the issues.

Over the last 4 years, the councillors were able to bring the issues to the floor, without

any interference by the Mayors Office. This really gave the people of Barrie representation in

a way they had not had.

We all know, some councillors did not support the Mayor from the beginning of my term, but

that did not distract the Mayor in doing everything he could in very poor economic times to

make Barrie a better place.

All the commitments I made were kept.

 

Rob Hamilton

 

: I have a five point plan based on what our residents are telling me. It is responsibleand achievable. As a former Mayor, I understand the challenges of getting things done.

During my term, we saw significant growth both economically and developmentally. My

experience will allow me to get started on day one without having to learn the job.

 

Carl Hauck:

 

Thank you for not asking me why you think I would be the best ‘Politician’ for the job.This is what has taken me so long to enter the mayoral campaign. I have been asked many

questions – Why mayor? Why not councilor? Why now?

Many people have said, why not run for councilor, why not represent a ward and gain

experience?

To me this is running for political reasons, “ladder climbing”. I want to be the voice of all the

people in all wards, not just one group or ward. The people live in all wards and surrounding

communities.

In running for the mayoral campaign…. ’Go Big or Go Home.’ I am looking at the big picture,

which are the people of Barrie. Barrie may be made up of wards, but as a collective group

we represent Barrie.

Taking on the title as mayor is like any reputable relationship – it takes two to make it work.

Therefore, I will have to be willing to listen and work with each ward person as they will be the

voice of the people in that ward. It takes two to have a successful relationship that can work

outside their immediate family to build a stronger community.

 

Jeff Lehman

 

: As an economist, I’ve worked with cities across the country for the past 12 years tocontrol growth and help them plan and invest in urban infrastructure. I will bring this

experience to the position of Mayor, which means new bringing new approaches to the key

issues affecting our city. As Ward 2 Councillor for the past 4 years, I’ve introduced new

approaches to citizen involvement in City issues, by organizing neighbourhood associations

and through my Historic Neighbourhoods Strategy. I’m committed to opening up city hall,

which is the major change that needs to occur in our community over the coming decades.

It’s time for Barrie to take a big step forward and I think I’m the right guy to lead that.

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

I will be your best choice for Mayor because I will restore accountability in theMayor’s Office. I place public interest over self interest.

 

 

 

Describe your involvement in the community. Please elaborate on volunteerismand activism rather than on required appointments (ie Council-required

involvement).

Dave Aspden:

 

 

Before my police career began, I was a member of the Emergency MeasuresOrganization, which was then the organization that operated the Auxiliary Police Unit for

Simcoe County & Barrie.

In the early 1970’s I was a volunteer with the St. John Ambulance in Barrie, attending events

in the community to assist, and render first aid.

As a police officer, in my off time is the late 70’s, I founded the Police Charity Hockey Games

and raised funds for the Community. This became a very large event in Barrie, and often had

Brian Orser performing between periods, or the OPP Pipe Band. If you remember Charlie

Farqueson from TV he was the announcer at the hockey games From 1979-1981 I served on

the Legion Executive in Barrie. Then from 1981-1991, I served on the Navy League of

Canada, Barrie which sponsors the Navy League and Sea Cadets. I was also on the Board

of Directors of Ontario Division of the Navy League and served on the Executive Committee.

In the 1980’s I was invited to return to St. John Ambulance and served on the Board of

Directors. During this time period, St. John Ambulance applied for their Fellowship Charter. I

was selected as the First Chair of the St. John Ambulance Fellowship in Barrie and wrote the

bylaws of the fellowship. A plaque commemorating this hangs in the office. Invited to sit on

the advisory board of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Barrie), I

served for 6 years. This I felt was important to Barrie, and a position was established for a

City rep to continue to take part. Maintaining my ordinary membership with the Royal

Canadian Legion for 33 years, in 2000 I served as the 2nd Vice President of the Branch 147

Barrie. I am also a member of the Honourable Guard of the Grey & Simcoe Foresters

supporting Barrie’s Army Reserve Unit. Over the last few years, during Celebrate Barrie on

Barrie’s Waterfront, I founded Dave’s family golf tournament. This is free for everyone in the

entire family to have fun and try their luck at the Mini Putt at Centennial Beach. With

sponsorship raised for local Charities, Dave’s family golf tournament has now presented

$100,000 to the community ($45,000 to the Salvation Army Bayside Mission, $20,000 to the

Animal Shelter, $19,000 to the Sea, Army, & Air Cadet youth programs, as well as the

Georgian Bay Volunteer Search and Rescue organization, Barrie Concert Band, Barrie Pipes

and drums, Black African Historic Church a National Historic Site in Oro-Medonte, Lions

Club, and other organizations which do not get large amounts of public support. I am also a

Regional Director of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council which develops relationships with

Industry and Corporations to the community and the reserve units of Canadian Forces. In

2009 I was invested into “The Order of St. John Knights of Malta”.

 

Rob Hamilton:

 

Since coming to Barrie in 1974, I have been a committed community leader involvedin the YMCA, Royal Victoria Hospital, Gilda Club just to mention a few.

 

 

Carl Hauck:

 

For those who don’t know me, I am an openly gay male. I have operated an alternativestyle club since 2003, servicing many aspects of the market. We are commonly referred to

as a ‘gay club’. It is not about being gay it is about acceptance and being heard in the

community.

Since the expropriation in 2005 and before 2003, I have spent many hours at the city hall

fighting for our rights. My past/present issues with the city have no bearing on me running

but have taught me that I have a voice and I should be heard. It is difficult sometimes to

believe in our legal system, as I am sure many have felt the up hill battle. I believe the

system will work.

This is one of the factors that have lead me to run, as you must be a part of the system in

order to make it better.

For these reasons, it has brought to my attention many issues, as I am located in the

Allandale area and have been following the developments of the area. I have attended and

taken part in their open forum meetings in regards to the lands surrounding the Allandale

area and I feel the peoples messages need to be heard and can be better represented. I

have been saying this for years, as I had located my business in Allandale in 1990 as a

flower shop at the corner of Essa Road and Tiffin Street. Allandale has been a forgotten part

of the city. At one time Allandale was its own city/town. It is rich in history and people. We

could learn so much from the senior residents about the strong influence Allandale had on

the city of Barrie.

I am hoping that the gay issue does not become a part of this election as well as political

colors, red, blue and green as we focus on the prize, which are the people.

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

I’ve volunteered with several different charities over the years in Barrie, including theDavid Busby Centre Partnership and community cultural groups. In 2004, I started a

volunteer task force to help grow university programs in Barrie, called Growing By Degrees.

This group includes representatives of the business community, educational institutions, and

citizen volunteers, and has been working for six years to help expand opportunities for

university education.

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

I have served on city council for four terms – 13 years. I was born and raised inBarrie.

I have served on the boards of many committees such as RVH and have been involved in

fund raising for many groups such as the cancer society.

 

 

Where do you live (ward)? How long have you lived there? Where do you vote?Dave Aspden:

 

 

I live in ward 2 and have for a total of 35 years. I vote at City Hall.

 

Rob Hamilton

 

: My family and I have lived in Ward 10 since 1976, and I will vote there.

 

Carl Hauck:

 

I live in Ward 5. Raised here since 1970 – then moved next door to family home to beclose to my father. I vote at Lampman Lane

 

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

I have lived at 16 Valley Drive in Barrie for the past eight years. I grew up in Barrie, inAllandale Heights, then in the east end of the City while I went to high school at Barrie

Central Collegiate.

 

Vision

 

Mayoral candidates: Please describe your vision for Barrie.Dave Aspden:

 

 

During my term, I said I would make the announcements when the i’s were dotted,and the t’s were crossed. I did not wish to make flashy news comments that we see all too

often. I do know that over the last 4 years, during the worst economic times we have had in

years, the City fared well, and will continue to. I have been assisting Park Place at every step

I could, and we do see hundreds of Construction jobs. It is estimated 4,400 full time jobs will

be available, and it is not all retail. Only 80 acres of the 200 are for retail. The remainder is

for Office business park. The hotel/convention centre for downtown Barrie could have been

just about finished now. Details are being posted on my web site. Barrie will prosper with my

Investment-oriented Team of stakeholders. Those are successful corporate and business

people that have a true love for Barrie that want to actually get involved, rather than take an

adversarial approach because the Mayor elected was not their friend. I have been working

with major corporations for the benefit of Barrie and the Lake Simcoe Airport, to attract not

only business to the area and the developing Airport business park, but have laid a

relationship that Barrie is now known for what it offers, and the opportunities.

Continued development of a plan to host out of country visitors to show case our City. Barrie

is going to be a 4 season Tourist Location, and will be on the big stage for business and

technology.

 

Rob Hamilton

 

: My vision for Barrie is a city that is affordable to live, work and play for families.

 

Carl Hauck:

 

We hear about it, see it every day on the back of trucks, on letterhead ‘Barrie MeansBusiness’. No business likes to lose money, but no private sector business can raise their

quotes, invoices because we have decided to extend ourselves beyond our means. Barrie is

no different. Taxes have to be justifiable in order for Barrie to succeed as a successful

business. As they say, there are two things in life that are unavoidable – taxes and death.

If we have to accept them as a part of life, let’s make sure we the people enjoy life in

spending our tax dollars to build a stronger community.

In summary, as one individual I cannot do this alone. Like any successful business or

relationship it takes two, along with the support of your surrounding families and I value

everyday that I have this in my life and would like to share it with the people of Barrie.

 

Jeff Lehman:

 

Barrie needs to become an economic center instead of a bedroom community. Itneeds to be a center for both college and university education. It can be a city with a great

downtown, where more people live and there are more daytime uses such as shops and

services for residents. Most of all, it needs to become a city with a strong political culture of

involvement and consultation, where the people of the city are organized, involved, and

respected by the city government.

 

Mike Ramsay:

 

Barrie must have a Mayor and city council who listens to and respects the wishes ofthe public. Incidents such as the attempt to place the YMCA on the Allandale Station lands

should never happen again.