Dear Friends and Neighbours in Kanata North,
Please review my Top 10 Priorities for our community to serve you in the upcoming, October 22nd, municipal election. This list is by no means exhaustive, nor in any particular order. I am always open to new ideas. As the past president of Briarbrook-Morgan’s Grant, and the Kanata Lakes Community Association, I have learned that the service of people is my passion. I humbly ask for your support to continue my mission of service to this community. Contact me any time.
1. Respect and Restoration of Bill Teron’s Garden City vision
With the recent passing of the great Bill Teron, we are reminded of his vision in Beaverbrook. We must carry on Bill’s vision as we grow our community. We need a return to balance that keeps our woodlands connected, with pathways and greenery valued over cramming more housing into a parcel of land. It is my responsibility to carry on his vision in new development, while protecting the gem of Beaverbrook from spot re-zoning that allows developers to intrude on an already built community. I will fight to protect our natural environment and honour the memory and mission of Bill Teron. I am also the only candidate not accepting money from developers, construction companies, or big business. I stand for the people only.
We need an improved allocation of resources to the police force to help them do their job. Ottawa has the third-most understaffed police force in the country among major municipalities (Fraser institute, 2014). Our police would prefer to be a proactive presence – but with staffing levels such as they are, the Ottawa Police Service are often on their heels as a reactive force. Crime is an issue across the city and here at home in Kanata North. I will support increased staffing and resources so that we can see more police presence in Kanata North.
3. Transit and LRT to Kanata
Kanata must be included in the Light Rail Plan. Waiting until 2031-2048 is unacceptable. I will engage our Provincial and Federal representatives to see this service timeline accelerated. I will also investigate other options to use the existing $3-billion rail infrastructure that sits unused in our community, except for the occasional freight train. All ideas are welcome when it comes to serving commuters in Kanata North. Rail has been the backbone of this country since the time of John A. Macdonald – finding a way to move people quickly and efficiently is a top priority.
On transit service, I will ride every route in Kanata North, taking extensive notes on my observations, as well as documenting customer concerns and ideas. After having captured the voices of transit riders, I will present an official report to OC Transpo management, and bring them to Kanata North with actionable solutions in hand. The current routing needs to be overhauled. When people in Morgan’s Grant and Briarbrook favour skipping the Innovation Park & Ride, in favour of others, or suffer through an overly long commute, we know that something has gone wrong with transit planning. I will work hard to make this service better.
4. Keeping Kanata North beautiful
The City needs to do more to keep our community in good condition – from grass-cutting, to hedge-trimming, to paving our roads and maintaining our pathways. But keeping Kanata North beautiful is a team effort. In my travels on this campaign, and in years past as president of two Kanata North Community Associations, I have encountered private property in dire need of care. To that end, while making the City accountable for overflowing garbage bins in parks, or proper maintenance, those who do not adequately maintain their property will receive a friendly visit from me to see what assistance I can provide.
Kanata North must remain a liveable, accessible home for all of us of differing abilities and as we age. That means looking at everything from cracked asphalt, to bumpy sidewalks, to the timing of traffic signals for pedestrians, to places to sit at a park and enjoy our natural environment. As problem areas are identified, I will work to remedy them. I’ll be conducting a study on the walkability and cyclability of our neighbourhood to complete pathways and ensure that everyone is served appropriately.
6. Traffic calming measures without speed bumps or photo radar
The introduction of photo radar in the 1990s did little to slow speeds, and often led to unsafe braking and sudden dangerous traffic conditions. While it sounds like a promising idea in school zones, I’d rather have drivers with their eyes on the road, than on their speedometers. My commitment to increasing police staffing will result in catching the serious offenders, while allowing common-sense, law-abiding drivers the chance to regulate their speed without fearing a snapshot of them going 2 kilometres over the speed limit.
On speed bumps/ humps, and signs bolted into the middle of the road, I have heard from many of you, and experienced myself, that too often this causes more danger than safety. I will institute innovative traffic calming measures that slow speeds, keep the flow of traffic steady, without increasing danger.
I am opposed to hyper-local taxation on Kanata North residents (like the hydro-line levy or mosquito tax) as I believe it unfairly penalizes residents for services that the City should already be providing (or developers who build on low-lying marshland, for that matter). I will hold a thorough Kanata North Referendum on the mosquito levy – residents should have a say on whether the levy should remain on their property tax bill, or if I should push to ensure it be part of the overall City budget, or scrap it altogether. The mosquito program is appreciated by many across the ward – however, some residents remain concerned about paying an additional fee for this service on their property tax bill. You will have your say.
Overall, I will be seeking efficiencies in the City budget, and demanding that the current, flawed budgeting process be opened up for meaningful debate. Yearly tax increases should not be a foregone conclusion. I also believe that a councilor should lead by example, and that`s why I propose that council office budgets be reduced by 20%, at least. Too often, taxpayer dollars are used by councilors to self-promote, with ads on bus shelters or in the paper. I will not use taxpayer dollars to promote myself this way; savings from this measure alone could result in $5-million per term of council and could be put toward reducing taxes, or improving service – like putting more cops on the road.
8. Common sense delivery of core services
I will work to ensure potholes are filled in a timely manner, that the community is kept tidy and presentable, that the snow is properly plowed and roads resurfaced where needed. My mission is to ensure that our basic services are strengthened - from firefighting, to policing, and paramedics, to garbage pickup and snow removal. We pay enough in taxes already in Kanata North, so let’s at least serve people with the fundamental basics appropriately.
9. Connecting Arcadia
We must connect Campeau Drive to Terry Fox without further delay. It’s long past time that residents of that neighbourhood are able to access the same services as the rest of Kanata North without a lengthy and circuitous drive.
I will work to install traffic lights or a roundabout at the busy intersection of Huntmar and Richardson Sideroad.
At the earliest opportunity, I will be seeking the widening of Terry Fox Drive from March Road up to Kanata Lakes. Traffic is jammed there every day. The new school on Terry Fox Drive desperately needs traffic signals and completed sidewalks. The current situation is unsafe and untenable. I will also be seeking that Goulbourn Forced Road be re-opened as soon as possible. People from Morgan`s Grant and Briarbrook have only limited ways in and out of the community and burdens other roads not intended for through-traffic in Beaverbrook and Kanata Lakes. March Road itself is in dire need of attention. Many roads in Beaverbrook need resurfacing as well.