About the Blog:

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

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Candidate Questionnaire - Susan Ricketts (Ward 6)

1) Why did you want to run for city council?

I hope that I can use my skills, knowledge and relationships with so many people here in Guelph over the last 20 years to help Guelph become an even more sustainable, civilized and attractive place to live for all. I have been an accountant, franchise owner and financial advisor for many years and am a fiscal conservative who wants to work to ensure that we get the best bang for our buck with city finances. I am a graduate of the Guelph-Wellington Leadership Program put on by the University of Guelph and the Wellington-Guelph Volunteer Centre. I want to use that knowledge of the institutions and history of our area to provide better governance. My experience on various non-profit Boards, working with a variety of volunteers will help me to work with all members of the Elected Council and Mayor to find the best solutions for Guelph.

2) What do you think of the performance of the last council?

I believe they have done their job to the best of their ability, but there are many more things needing to be done. I'm full of questions and intend to pursue solutions in the shortest time possible for all Guelphites. We need to be able to take public transportation to all points in Guelph, Wellington and Waterloo Counties as well as the GTA. How is it that we have to drive a car to catch the GO bus in Aberfoyle? Why is there nowhere to park on Gordon Street? Why can't someone in Fergus-Elora or Rockwood get to a specialist in Guelph on public transportation? Would it be cheaper to provide bus service to a GO train than to build a parking garage downtown where there is already a shortage of parking?

Why does the south end have such a problem with absentee landlords and their tenants? Why doesn't the south end receive equal treatment when it comes to services like police, fire, bylaw enforcement, waste management and property standards? Why can someone downtown receive money from the City to renovate their business premises but not if your business is located outside the Downtown Business Association boundary? Are we sure, yet, what the true cost of the new waste management system will be? Has there been sufficient public input and education on that issue?

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

a) Taxes
The current ratio of industry/commercial is 16 per cent to the Residential 84 per cent. It is almost exactly opposite to the way it should be. Guelph needs to be "Open for Business" and not trying to protect ourselves from so many things. We need to have a clear plan of the businesses we want to attract and then get pro-active and lobby them before they announce that they want to build a new plant. All city departments have to start being pro-active and not re-active, sitting in offices waiting for a call. The Administrative departments need to make outsiders feel welcome as they guide them through the necessary steps to operating here.

b) Budget
Careful, measured, balanced consideration of each issue on its own merits needs to happen. Building future capacity with today's dollars can be a two edged sword and has to be weighed against the future benefits and debt we are leaving to our children and grandchildren.

c) Transit
Citizens of Guelph deserve to have affordable, timely, frequent public transportation options for Waterloo and Wellington counties just as much as ways to reach the GTA. We can't build enough highways to accommodate everyone using a small passenger vehicle. Seniors and disabled as well as students and workers should be able to travel to appointments, shopping and entertainment without difficulty and long walks to far away stops.

d) Development/Infrastructure
There needs to be a strong, long look at a plan for the whole city and not just the downtown business area. The quality and conditions of life throughout Guelph need to be addressed as a whole or else it's only a part of a plan.

e) Arts & Culture
Once you get south of the University there just isn't any in Guelph. We don't have a cinema. We don't have a theatre. We don't have a public meeting place. We don't have a senior centre.

4) Is there another issue that you’d specifically like to highlight/focus on?

The destabilization of neighbourhoods is important and needs to be addressed as quickly as humanly possible to stop the people who are moving outside of Guelph - anywhere but here - because of noise, garbage, parking problems and lack of bylaw enforcement.

5) What’s your message for voters?

If your problems haven't met up with solutions from the last Council, put in some new blood who will face the issues to look for new opportunities to find solutions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They did nothing in south end over the last 3 years..except rasing up the taxes.....any recreation center?