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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.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Candidate Questionnaire - Karl Wettstein (Ward 6)

1) Why did you want to run again for city council?
2) What initiatives/achievements are you proud of during the last term?
3) Please describe your position/ideas on the following issues?
a) Taxes
b) Budget

During this past term of Council we have made excellent progress in some key strategic areas that were of particular interest and concern to me. My background and experience enabled me to play a meaningful role in the following areas:
  • We significantly strengthened our financial management and discipline through the approval of a number of key financial policies – designed to guide us through a very difficult recession and to position our financial decision making going into the next decade and beyond.
  • We established an Audit Committee to oversee the critical areas of Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Audit.
  • We overhauled the Budget process to ensure we finalized out annual budget in a timely manner – before year-end. We began deliberations earlier and added a number of stakeholder input steps prior to the final Council deliberations.
  • We developed a new Governance model, with supporting policies, to ensure we maintain our current culture of teamwork and mutual respect – especially as it relates to Council, the Sr. Management team, our Unions and the public at large.
  • We implemented a functional re-organization of the corporation to streamline decision making, eliminate the silo effect, and improve efficiency and responsiveness to all of our stakeholders.
  • We initiated significant structural changes to our interface with the County. The primary objective being to protect the financial interests of Guelph taxpayers.
  • With the help of the General Manager and his Board of Directors we developed a strong partnership with the Chamber of Commerce – recognizing the critical importance of ensuring Guelph is seen as a business friendly community.
  • Primarily due to the recession and the need to put some major projects on hold we didn’t get as far as we had hoped on the South-end Recreation Centre – We did manage to maintain it as one of our top priorities and I look to the next council to make it happen.
  • With the help of the University of Guelph, Neighbourhood groups, Landlords and a number of other stakeholder groups we are making very good progress in understanding and dealing with the critical issues in the Shared Rental Housing area. I have had the opportunity to be significantly involved as a sub-committee member and at the Town & Gown meetings.
Although we have made progress in a number of key areas, we need to be diligent in making sure these changes take root. This requires a Council and Senior Management team that clearly understand the critical roles that strong financial policy, good corporate governance, positive and constructive teamwork, and the ability to find consensus solutions play in running an effective and efficient 300 million dollar complex corporation.
During this past term I have chaired both the Finance Committee and the Audit Committee – I also sat on the Governance committee, Guelph Junction Railway Board, River Run Board, as well as attended all standing committee meetings dealing with all major strategic issues and all issues related to Ward 6.
I would like to help make sure these successes are fully implemented.

c) Transit
I am fully supportive of our recently approved transit growth strategy – designed to take Guelph in to the next generation of transit.

d) Development/Infrastructure
The recent $66 million infrastructure program, though disruptive to for all of us, will have major tax saving implications going forward.

e) Arts & Culture
This is a critical component of our community. Our functional reorganization will significantly enhance bringing these voices into our decision making processes in a much more effective way.

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

5) What’s your message for voters?
Thank you for your support, guidance and assistance over the past 4 years. Please vote!

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