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Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Candidate Questionnaire - Mike Salisbury (Ward 4)

1) Why did you want to run again for city council?
The City of Guelph is in the midst of a transition - from a small, progressive community to a much more complex and diverse mid-sized city. We require leadership capable of navigating this transition - a council capable of seizing the opportunities while preserving the character and quality of life that makes Guelph so unique.
This council has worked together with city departments, the community and other governments in an environment of respect, integrity, and mutual understanding in order to effectively manage this multi-million dollar corporation we call Guelph.
My personal vision for the City of Guelph is to build upon this legacy and making Guelph an inspiring place to live – invest – and to visit. I want an outstanding quality of life for all residents of this city. I want to continue to build on this vision – for our families – and for our future prosperity.

2) What initiatives/achievements are you proud of during the last term?
A new transit terminal on Carden Street will accommodate Guelph Transit buses; inter-city VIA Rail and Greyhound buses; and GO Rail service, which is being extended to Guelph.
Facing a revenue shortfall of $8.1 million in 2010, Council passed a fiscally responsible budget for 2010, with emphasis on keeping property taxes low while protecting City services.
A new economic development and tourism strategy for Guelph, Prosperity 2020, was developed to guide Guelph’s economic development and tourism for the next decade.
The City purchased, renovated, and opened a new emergency shelter for at-risk youth and efforts are currently underway to increase the number of beds available at the facility from eight to 16.
Guelph Transit is developing a new Transit Growth Strategy and Plan for transit and mobility services.
A contract to construct the new Organic Waste Processing Facility was signed, and demolition and site servicing work began in the fall.

3) Please describe your position/ideas on the following issues?

a) Taxes
We must control spending and exercise fiscal responsibility if we are going to help struggling families make ends meet and help businesses retain and create jobs.

b) Budget
Over the last term we started doing business differently. These measures included new policies that set limits on debt, establish minimum reserve levels, and cap the use of property taxes for capital projects, as well as a new priority ranking tool that brings new discipline to capital planning.
This term, a new debt management policy and updated reserve policy was established to ensure we control capital spending and bring the necessary discipline to our budget decision making. This new budget process and format means that future budgets will deal with issues instead of hiding or deferring their costs and ensures that we live within our means.

c) Transit
Perhaps the most exciting (and overdue) initiative was the development of the Transit Growth Strategy. The strategy combines increased service frequency during peak periods and off peak periods combined with a host of routing improvements which addresses long standing complaints about the radial transit system we have struggled with for years.
I believe we are making strong headway but there is still much more to be done.

d) Development/Infrastructure
The City of Guelph was successful in securing more than $44.4 million from the federal and provincial governments for 21 infrastructure projects that will create jobs and help build a stronger community.
Roads and pipes, cultural spaces and recreation facilities will all be improved. It may be a pain to deal with this level of disruption but the results will be well worth it, positioning Guelph for the future.

e) Arts & Culture
Arts and Culture are not just “pretty things” but a highly valuable economic development tool in the new economy.
One of the world’s largest solar companies searched across the province for the new manufacturing facility and selected Guelph over several other major cities. Guelph was selected as a result of the quality of life, diverse highly educated population and a commitment to sustainability.

4) Is there another issue that you’d specifically like to highlight/focus on?
One of the most troubling issues in the West End is the proliferation of vandalism, petty crime and graffiti. In addition to requesting staff to develop a comprehensive public and private property graffiti bylaw, I am chairing the Skate Park Relocation Committee in order to ensure the adequate development of amenities for our youth. Boredom breeds trouble – engagement breeds a pride of ownership in our community.

5) What’s your message for voters?
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve my community as City Councillor; it has been one of the most significant and meaningful responsibilities I have undertaken in my career.
I would like to thank my constituents for their faith in me and ask for their support to represent their interests at City Hall for a second term.

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