My top priorities for our town.
Bring in tax rate increases that are at or below the rate of inflation while delivering on other priorities at the same time. This means finding ways to do more for less in order to deliver on my other priorities listed below.
The Halton Hills property tax increase for 2022 was 5.3% at a time when inflation was 3.4%. In other words, our local taxes went up 55% over the rate of inflation. Now jump ahead to this year when inflation is running at 7%. If the process and people that brought in the 2022 budget repeat in 2023, it would suggest we’re staring down a Halton Hills tax increase of over 10%. We can and must do much better than that; my previous municipal experience as Budget Chief, my accreditation as a professional accountant (CA/CPA) and executive financial positions in business will serve me well in this goal.
Community centric growth.
That is, listen to the people who already live in Halton Hills, grow in ways that enhance our small-town character, strictly follow our official plans and secondary plans and control provincially directed growth so we can manage a stream of new development as opposed to being overwhelmed by a tidal wave of new development.
Improve road safety.
A top concern of road safety is to reduce speeding, especially in school zones and community safety zones. In 2017 the Province delivered the authority for municipalities to implement a powerful tool through Automated Speed Enforcement signs and technology. We need to move quickly to bring it into our Town just as many other Ontario municipalities have already done. It’s proven effective. Let’s make it happen. See more here: https://www.aseontario.com/
Protect our water aquifers, encourage green development using known approaches, oppose the 413 and perhaps most importantly, develop a cohesive strategy to prepare our Town for the not-so-distant day when internal combustion vehicles will no longer be for sale in Canada in 2035. This includes robust charging solutions, both private and commercially operated, and having contingent plans for hydrogen fuelled vehicles in the event it becomes a clear alternative.
We have families that choose to live in Halton Hills for lots of great reasons. However, as their children become young adults or for those in our community on fixed or low incomes, we need to ensure that we have municipally developed, privately funded housing solutions that financially allow them to put a roof over their heads and remain residents of our community.
I will be advocating for a made-in-Halton Hills strategy. We need to provide ways for people to get around our Town if they don’t have access to a car, but well beyond what the current ActiVan and Taxi Scrip programs deliver. It doesn’t necessarily mean big articulating buses if indeed small, nimble, low-capacity vehicles can get the job done at a reasonable cost.