This election you will see on my signs that I’m Voting for:
- Knowing where every dollar is spent and all the details of each contract important for residents because that is what your taxes go to! I have worked 8 years in the Federal Public Service and transparency was first on the priority list. Letting the residents of Ward 9 know where the Ward Office Budget funds are being spent, invested within the community and not being returned back to the city coffers Keith Egli likes to say is Transparency 101. Showing where the property taxes of residents are being spent within the city and in the ward and allowing residents to know what type of projects and contracts and how much the city is spending on these initiatives. It is important for all to know what is going on at CITY HALL!
- During the Tornado and the aftermath, communication from Keith Egli to residents was an issue. No one knew what the next steps were, where to get hot food or water, or who to contact if they had issues like many seniors residences who were without power for three days. Communication to community leaders or those who were offering support, like myself was lacking. Flyers could have been printed and given to police officers who were on patrol in Craig Henry and Arlington Wood or members of Keith Egli’s large team could have helped pass on information. When elected I will make sure to have a list of community leaders, have town halls, coffee meetups, weekly email newsletters and monthly print letters to all residents of Ward 9 so that they are in the know.
- Community First
- One of the reasons why I am running for City Council in Ward 9 is because Keith Egli’s Ward Office Budget is a mess. Over the last 8 years, Keith Egli spends roughly 55% STAFF expense and RETURNS roughly 25% of the Ward Office Budget, which is meant to be spent on the residents of Ward 9, back to the “City Coffers”. This has translated into the lack of care and attentiveness to the community and sports associations,, the places of worship, the resource centres around the ward. And what he does “invest” in the community is less than 15% of the Ward Office Budget every year! Instead of returning a total of over $500,000 (including this fiscal year) he could have invested that money into you, the COMMUNITY. I pledge to donate and hold more special events for each community and communicate to residents what is happening in the ward and at City Hall with the Ward Office Budget.
Property taxes increased over the last four years and essential city services such as snow removal, road repair, paving and services for seniors such a Paratranspo and long-term care are declining in quality and increasing in costs. It is time to spend where the funds are needed.
Quality roads and repairs are needed not just in our ward but throughout the city and the lack of care and attentiveness by the current contractors is apparent. Why are we always going with the same 2 or 3 contractors if they keep doing poor quality work? I would like our residents to send me photos and a description of where the potholes, broken sidewalks or anything that you see needs repairs around the ward directly to my email firstname.lastname@example.org or my personal cell number 613-87LUIGI (613-875-8444). This is one way to hold myself and the city accountable for its services.
Seniors are often forgotten in city planning and budgets and I would like to focus on the services that benefit them in everyday use such as lower and fair Paratranspo fares, changing the free Seniors OC Transpo day to Thursday to line up with the free museums day that happens in the city every Thursday and public services that will keep them as active members of our city. We all know that our long-term care facilities are in need and I will make sure the city’s budget reflects this need.
Traffic Speeding and Congestion:
To reduce speeding and to beautify our ward’s streets, I would spend more than the 70 percent of the allotted budget of $40,000 to add more pedestrian crosswalks near community centres, speed cameras that will capture the speed of drivers and issue speeding tickets accordingly when they become available and circular planters in the middle of the streets, which look very similar to roundabouts with flowers and vegetation. This would deter speeders with large eye-level obstacles that have been used in other cities around the world for the last century. The speed boards and flexible speed bollards have done little to deter the issues that residents have been complaining about over the last two terms and it is time to use deterrents as a measure to reduce speeding.
Traffic congestion (Merivale, West Hunt Club, Greenbank, Fallowfield and Woodroffe) is still a large issue for this ward, there is much to done that has yet to addressed in the last 8 years, such as expanding the LRT to Barrhaven and following up on the Merivale Density study that has yet to results in tangible action.
Social and Low Income Housing:
I am strong supporter of creating and improving current social housing not only in my ward but across the city. I don’t want another eviction of our residents like what is happening in Heron Gate. The 10-year homelessness plan is currently at the half-way point of its life-cycle and in reviewing the key initiatives the city has set out for 2018 and 2019, the city must ask for more than $23.3 million to build new affordable and supportive housing and increase the allocation of funds for a minimum of 500 new housing subsidies for people experiencing homelessness. The wait list for affordable housing continues to increase and an increase in the length of stay for families, single women and youth for emergency shelter needs. It is time to start asking for more help and start spending the funds now to get ahead because this chronic problem will only get worse as your city’s population increases. I also support inclusionary zoning as a tool to improve the supply of affordable housing units in Ottawa and for the city to buy and develop land for affordable housing. It’s time for the city to start reducing the amount of families on the wait list for social/low income housing and improving the current housing status.
You need to lead by example, have information at the ready to be shared so that residents can say “This is easier then I thought it would be”. I have been a long time user of the green bin program and I have encouraged my neighbours to use the green bin by speaking to them and sharing my tips on how to use and what to put in the green bin. As a city we should be able to meet the contractual obligations of the Orgaworld contract, we don’t want to be amending it and wasting taxpayer dollars because we can’t recycle organic waste, adding plastic bags and dog waste is not the solution either. This being said, I would support mandatory recycling (Green, Blue and Black) by all residents, condo buildings and businesses. I am also in favour of moving towards a Waste-to-Energy initiative that leading countries such as Sweden, Germany and Japan have all been using this way to rid of waste and turn it into energy to be reused in cities. It’s time to lead by example and show Canada that its Capital city is ready to move forward and lead the recycling initiative
As violence continues to increase, it is necessary to create a policing initiative that supports the relationship between community members and organizations in their quest to develop problem-solving techniques. These would pro-actively address the concerns that surround crime, fear of crime and social disorders within the current level of police funding.
The Knoxdale-Merivale Ward has plenty of green space that could be easily turned into community gardens that residents and neighbours can share, grow and enjoy the fruits and vegetables of their labour. I have heard from community centres that it take roughly two years with all the bureaucracy to be able to have community gardens. I will make sure that this will change.