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, October 20, 2010

Candidate Questionnaire - Peter Bortolon (Ward 1)

1) Why did you want to run for city council?
I decided to run for council this term as I feel our current taxation level is unacceptably high, our current council seems to be taking on expensive capital projects that I am not sure that the taxpayers of the City can afford

2) What do you think of the performance of the last council?
I think our past council had many successes, but I believe that they were not always as focused on the issues as they should have been. Specifically, the numerous times they took the County of Wellington to court and end up losing their case. I believe honest dialogue would have saved thousands of dollars in court costs, lawyer fees etc. I also believe that they did not study the proposed three-bin system for garbage as thoroughly as they should have nor did they get the necessary input from ALL Guelph residents. I believe that they did not thoroughly do their budgeting correctly leaving the City of Guelph without essential services for five days.

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

a) Taxes
Taxes are currently too high in the City of Guelph and if not brought under control we will eventually lose development of new commercial and industrial lands which will have a long term detrimental effect on the City

b) Budget
I believe that we must budget must better than we have in the past so that we do not have to send employees home for five days without pay and take away vital services to our residents. We must set realistic budgets and stay within them. As for large capital expenditures, we must really evaluate ALL new capital requests to ensure that we have the funds available. This will require council to prioritize projects and even set aside money every year for large capital items that will be need in the next few years

c) Transit
We must study our whole transit plan and that includes a new terminal for buses, the GO Train, VIA Rail etc

d) Development/Infrastructure
Guelph needs development to continue to grow, but we must work with the developers to ensure that the development will also meet the needs of the area being developed so we do not have a situation like we have in the eastside of Ward 1 where we have a lot of new homes, but no services such as medical centres, pharmacies and grocery stores.
As for the Infrastructure, we as a City will need to continue upgrading our water and sewer services across the City. If elected, I will try to have a plan developed so that we can have the infrastructure replaced before we have broken pipes that end up getting a patch.

e) Arts & Culture
Arts and culture are the soul of any community. I would support projects in these areas providing there are funds available and the groups requesting support have a sound financial plan in place.

4) Is there another issue that you’d specifically like to highlight/focus on?
I believe the City of Guelph must re-consider the three bin system for our garbage. The $30,000,000 expenditure at this time, I believe, is unaffordable, especially in the light of some reports saying it will be at least 30 years before the system will be at capacity.
I believe that building something with today's technology for use 30 years from now is not a wise decision. It would be like the city trying to run all the administration on Commodore 64's instead of the computer systems we are currently using.

5) What’s your message for voters?
I am asking for your support on Election Day to help make the City of Guelph a better, more affordable place to live. I have always been very committed to the City of Guelph. I’m a volunteer for many organizations including Guelph minor sports, the Italian Canadian Club, The Knights of Columbus and St. John's Parish.
I have lived in the City of Guelph and in Ward 1 my entire life and I will work very hard if elected to improve the City and Ward 1 specifically.

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