1) Why did you want to run for city council?
My role in public service positions has spanned the entire 18 years that I have lived in Guelph. The thing I like most about Guelph is the people and I would like to be on city council so I can help build a great quality of life for its citizens. There are so much great things about Guelph, but I would like to work for the people of Ward 1 so they are heard. I am a good listener and can translate this need into real policies that will benefit people.
2) What do you think of the performance of the last council?
Council met many challenges last term. I think their accomplishments will come to fruition over this next term. I’m hearing that people would like to see less spending and more planning concerning the real needs of the people. City Council has a responsibility to do this. There are some hopeful signs of good things to come. A transit service that runs every 15 minutes during peak hours is one of them. In Ward 1 people want to have services in their residential neighbourhood and the W.C. Woods land needs to be developed with the cultural heritage and values of the Ward neighbourhood being thoroughly considered. Once construction is finished a comprehensive traffic study should be done so our children are safe while playing and going to school.
3) Please describe your position/ideas on the following issues:
Many people have told me that they are worried about rising taxes in the city. Taxes are necessary to support our budget and our quality of life. How the money is spent, where and when, must be considered carefully so there is little waste. Council should continuously work to get the best value for each tax dollar. For seniors, I am proposing that city council have a program similar to the one in Elliot Lake. There, if seniors who are on fixed incomes and it is low, they would bring in their proof of income to city hall and their taxes would be frozen at the rate they presently are paying. This program is wonderful so people can continue to live in their homes and have the independence and dignity that they deserve.
Council budget should always be transparent, visible and based on the vision and values set out by the people and their needs.
Many have told me about their concerns over accessible transit, safe neighbourhoods, traffic control including safe sidewalks and roads is of utmost importance. This is one place where money should be invested. I myself am a transit rider and the cutting of this service to people in the most vulnerable of our society is not appropriate. i.e. No Sunday service last summer in August.
We are going to grow to a population of 175,000 by 2020. City council needs to infill and invest in brownfield development. Urban sprawl onto our farmland must not be a choice during this development.
e) Arts & Culture
Guelph is unique because of the large population of artists and musicians within the city. This represents a large group of very talented people giving to the city. We should continue to support the arts and our cultural heritage which would also promote tourism and result in good business for the city.
4) Is there another issue that you’d specifically like to highlight/focus on?
In Ward 1 people have expressed concerns about traffic and access to shopping in their neighbourhood. This is a local concern that should be addressed. The legacy that we want to leave for our children needs to be one of fiscal responsibility and environmental consciousness.
5) What’s your message for voters?
If elected I will work for you and be accessible throughout the four-year term. Take the time to vote on October 25th. I would be honoured to represent you on city council. Please help me make a difference and vote for Tamara Williams.