ATTRACT PEOPLE BACK TO THE DOWNTOWN CORE WITH URBAN INTENSIFICATION
We need to provide incentives that will shift developers’ focus from suburban sprawl to the urban areas by encouraging building on empty lots and renovating old homes to increase property values and attract new residents. This would increase neighbouring property values, create local jobs, and increase overall tax revenues.
- Offer residents tax based renovation or adaptive reuse loans or grants. This program would give current residents the opportunity to increase the property value while in turn increasing the property tax to be collected. Loans or grants would be leveraged against the new assessment of the home.
- Offer incentives to developers through current or new strategically zoned city CIPs (Community Improvement Plan) including waiving of all development charges, fees for such things as official plan fees, building permit fees, demolition fees, and land transfer fees. These investments would result in a higher property value for that property as well as increase the overall property value for the entire neighbourhood.
- Offer new homebuyers in these areas a graduated tax increment based grant over 10 years, similar to the one we offer new businesses under the current CIP. This would help entice new residents to these areas. This program more than pays for itself as new tax revenue generated from the increased property value would cover any grants.
RESPECT TAXPAYER MONEY
With taxpayers being stretched in so many ways there has never been more of a need for questioning every dollar spent at City Hall. Taxpayers should be respected through controlling expenses and finding new ways to generate revenue.
- Reinstate the Auditor General position vs the outsourced model.
- Review the dividend payments from Enwin and look for ways to reduce rates on energy bills and evaluate administrative costs
- Evaluate the way water rates are charged – look to have rates better reflect usage and re-evaluate “fixed” charges
- Create specific procedures and expectations for funding requests for singular events or projects – i.e – Children’s Summer Games
- Tying any/all increased spending proposals to specific programs with tangible targets set for measuring their success and/or continued funding
- Work towards lowering the multi-residential tax rate – impacting seniors and low income earners the most
SUPPORTING BUSINESSES CREATES JOBS
As a business owner I know the challenges that are faced by businesses. I also know that supporting businesses stimulates our local economy and helps create jobs.
- Eliminate barriers for small businesses and make it easier for businesses to expand and grow by creating a small business liaison at City Hall.
- Push to change the way Enwin collects and charges unfairly large deposits in the opening stages of their business
- Modelling services and functions at City Hall around the needs of the businesses not around the structure of City Admin and create a friendlier more efficient atmosphere that takes customer service into consideration
- Provide tax, or service fee reduction incentives that are tied to local hiring credits
- Reduce fees for licensing, permits.
AN OPEN CITY COUNCIL THROUGH TRANSPARENCY & OPEN DATA
With social media and technology even City Hall needs to be part of the times and create ways the public can have a voice and access to information.
- Revamp the way the City collects and shares data – SWOT analysis of 311 and all data systems
- Publish all municipal data in commonly accepted open standards unless there are privacy, security, or legal reasons for not doing so.
- Create a Ward 3 Councillor website for increased awareness of issues and creating an avenue for better communication between residents and their councillor
- Keep constant communication with community groups, BIAs, business leaders, City administration and departments which is facilitated through social media such as Twitter, Email, Facebook etc
- Publish voting records on the City website and Councillor website
DEMAND IMPROVED BASIC SERVICES: PROPERTY STANDARDS AND ENFORCEMENT
We need to invest in basic services that enhance our neighbourhoods. Our focus in the Downtown core should be on sewer repair, maintenance of parks, by-law enforcement, and road and alley repair and maintenance.
- More designated bylaw enforcement officers and prioritizing calls pertaining to property standards and long term issues coupled with stiffer penalties and action taken on infractions.
- Prioritize infrastructure spending with timelines and targets
- Use open data and 311 information, map and pinpoint repeat bylaw offences for public view and response rates
ADVOCATE FOR BETTER PUBLIC TRANSIT USE, ROUTES AND AVAILABILITY
I believe we can improve the quality of life of our residents through continued and increased investment in services that are environmentally friendly. Part of revitalizing downtown and attracting new residents to the core is improving our current public and alternative transit system.
- Increase budget allotments for bicycle infrastructure including more bike lanes and separated bike lanes.
- Expand Transit Windsor service times and areas where lacking service – i.e late night service to/from downtown Windsor on weekend nights
- Work with neighbouring communities to offer county wide bus service in partnership with those communities
- Look to improve efficiency and service levels of Transit Windsor such as the development of a phone app that would map and determine wait times and arrival times of buses.
- Develop a long term funding plan that uses parking revenue as future investments in public transit to help encourage transit use and reduce congestion and pollution
PROMOTE ARTS AND CULTURE AND CULINARY TOURISM AS ECONOMIC ENGINES
We can use our cultural assets and work with our Arts organizations to create economic drivers similar to what this current council has done in the sports tourism sector in attracting swim meets and different sporting events at the WFCU. We can also help facilitate the growth of the culinary tourism sector that is positioned to become one of the premiere culinary tourism destinations in the province. Both Arts and Culture and Culinary tourism will also play a big role in revitalizing downtown.