ISSUES

cropped-bill-pic-2.jpg  Return of Ward ElectionsIt is imperative that the city adopt the election system most widely used in the country to ensure that politicians are more responsive and accountable to taxpayers.  Until we do, the city is at a standstill in reaching its potential.  The present general vote serves politician’s interests first, which is why we have it.  I think the political system should serve taxpayer’s and the city’s interests first!  Don’t you?  Oshawa is the largest city in the country using our system which is seldom used and then only in small communities.  If our election system was best, wouldn’t it be widely used across the country?  See more at http://eyeoncityhall.blogspot.ca/2010/12/you-broke-election-systemnow-fix-it.html

BILL FRONT PAGE OSHAWA THIS WEEK CROPPED

  • Increased Accountability/ Integrity/ Transparency—City Council is not listening to ratepayers because they know that the city-wide General Vote makes their election defeat difficult.  Throughout most of term. Council has, in secret, carried on discussions and negotiations to sell Oshawa Public Utilities.  This would result in an immediate increase in power rates as increased power bills would be necessary to provide the buyer the monies to buy our utility from us.  To increase the integrity, transparency and accountability of both city and regional council, and the councillors, I will move motions to
  • Require both city and regional council to seek public approval via online referendum for 1) All large expediitures for development or renewal of public buildings (The GM Centre, Legends Centre, City Hall expansion and new Council Chamber, the new garbage transfer and equipment storage centre), 2) The demolition of any significant public building (The Civic, North Oshawa Arena, Large parts of city hall, city arenas) 3) The sale of any significant public resource like the PUC. You should have a say in all these.  After all, your taxes are going to pay the debts.
  • I will also move that a regular time slot be scheduled at every council meeting for open public questioning of politicians and officials.
  • I also will move a motion that all council votes should be recorded electronically and publicly available for individual councillor voting records over the term of council so that councillors will vote their conscience more independently without reference to the votes of others to minimize the 8 to 3 block vote registered on the vast majority of votes and also to hold councillors more accountable for their votes.
  • I also will present a motion that all significant city purchases be put to public competition so that there will no longer be single source suppliers,
  • I believe that all hiring increases should be approved by city council and put out to fair and open competition via public advertising,
  • I believe that all significant staff hirings and promotions should be open to fair competition again by public advertising.  The recent hiring of the new city manager was done as a single source contact without any formal candidate search.
  • I will also work to restore the position of Auditor General to insure independent oversight of city hall spending.
  • See more at http://eyeoncityhall.blogspot.ca/2010/09/plan-to-improve-transparency-and.html
  • TaxesOshawa is among the most heavily taxed jurisdictions in the country receiving an “F” rating, the lowest rating in Ontario, from the National Taxpayer’s Coalition.  Steps like increasing developer lot levies to cover the cost of new infrastructure, cutting unneeded city hall waste, attracting new industry and good paying jobs (through zoning for a new high tech industrial park just west of UOIT), and implementing ward elections to increase political accountability are required to reduce residential tax bills.
    • An owner of a $350,000 Oshawa house pays more taxes than owners of a $550,000 house in 16 of 25 GTA municipalities, and pays the same taxes as an owner of a $880,000 Toronto house.  And taxes continue to rise.
    • The last council raised taxes 13% over their 4 year term despite the fact that costs only increased 6.56% as measured by the inflation index over the same period.
    • Huge numbers of tax paying downtown buildings are also being converted to institutional use (university use, the courthouse, public buildings) none of which pay tax….so any tax losses accruing from these buildings or conversions are being borne by taxpayers through tax increases.
    • While the university is a huge asset for the city, it is costing every taxpayer through tax grants to developers and to outright city grants to the university.  Approximately $1M is generated by a 1% tax increase so every city million dollar grant to the university ultimately has a 1% impact on your tax bill.  I believe that city property owners should receive reduced tuitions in return for the city hall grants which should be considered prepaid tuitions for the families of city property owners.  Computer recorded data could easily track and manage credits based on property assessments that have accrued to the owners of city properties.
    • See details at http://eyeoncityhall.blogspot.ca/2010/09/theres-tax-revolt-underway-in-oshawa.html

 

  • The Waterfront–Bill Longworth wants to STOP the Ethanol plant going so far as expropriation of lands as the public good must trump private interests…The Ethanol plant should be located on a rail line in rural corn harvesting areas.  There is no need for its location on our (or any) waterfront, or in any city.  My detailed plan for the waterfront is outlined in the newspaper column at http://eyeoncityhall.blogspot.ca/2010/08/oshawa-bush-league-or-big-league-choice.html

 

  • The Downtown—I will seek council and downtown merchant support for a downtown renewal which includes tax incentives for improved building facades, redirected traffic around the downtown 4 corners to create landscaped, treed, and garden pedestrian walkways and programs like strolling street musicians and downtown cultural festivals to create a people place to attract people downtown.  See more details at http://eyeoncityhall.blogspot.ca/2011/05/hey-city-hallget-out-of-way-and-let.html

 

  • The waste incinerator on Oshawa’s border—-if elected to Durham Council I will move for regular monitoring of particulate matter, and upgrades to the plant technology as necessary, to ensure the continuing health of our children.  I also believe all incumbent Oshawa Regional Councillors (all Oshawa Regional Incumbents except for John Neal and Tito Dante Marimpietri) should be defeated in the election for voting in support of the facility and against protecting the health interests of city residents.  See this site menu bar to review incumbent’s voting records on important issues.

 

  • Attracting Good Paying Jobs—I’d promote the rezoning of land west of the university for an architecturally controlled high tech industrial park to promote a symbiotic relationship between the high tech industries and the university and its physical and human resources—a silicone valley of the north.  See more at http://eyeoncityhall.blogspot.ca/2010/10/attracting-industrial-commercial.html

 

  • City Beautification—I’d Promote greening and naturalization of boulevards and roadsides through promotion of wildflower growth.  This naturalization should reduce seasonal grass cutting maintenance costs.  See my city greening details at http://eyeoncityhall.blogspot.ca/2010_08_01_archive.html

 

  • Airport Noise Bylaw—If elected to the Region, I will move a motion to enforce stricter adherence to the airport noise bylaws, and more detailed and itemized public reporting of the night flight logs of the noisy police helicopter which seems to fly random circuits after midnight over North Oshawa most clear nights, invariably interrupting the sleep of many residents.  I am also dead set against any Oshawa Airport Runway Expansion which will work to bring larger planes, more commercialization, more noise, more flights, more disruption and danger to the Communities of North Oshawa, and homeowner losses in home values.  If a second major airport is needed, the Federal Government has set aside land for that in Rural Pickering.
  • Hospital Parking Fees—I’d work with council and the province to reduce city resident’s hospital parking fees in return for the many city grants provided to the hospital from the city tax coffers.  The parking rates are a discouragement for many residents from visiting their friends and relatives at their most vulnerable time.

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