Ray Ferraro is the epitome of a life-long Guelphite. He was born and raised in the Royal City where he has raised two children and six grandchildren. He's worked over 40 years in the real estate construction and development industry, and has been a member of Guelph's storied Italian Canadian Club for 35 years. Previously serving as a city councillor during the mayoralty of Kate Quarrie from 2003 to 2006. Below is Ferraro's response to the Guelph Politico candidate questionnaire:
Most of your questions are covered in my web-- www.rayferraroward2.ca
Having been on council before-and observing this council where they seldom worked as a "team" i feel a new council needs to respect each other and that effort begins with this campaign . There for i'd rather not give personal judgements on the current council by answering your other questions
I hope your efforts get more citizens to vote.
I'm not sure some of these answer the specific questions, but it seems to be where they fit best:
1) Why did you decide to run for city council?
I am running as a candidate in the Oct 27th city election to represent ward 2 citizens on a new city council.
I believe I have the experience and time to contribute to a new "team" of elected councillors to ensure our city is responsibly operated on your behalf.
4) Some people say that Guelph is over-taxed, others believe that our taxes are inline with a community our size; where do you stand on taxation in Guelph?
To attract new private commercial/industrial investment to balance residential taxes. We need to rebuild our reputation as a city that welcomes investments to create jobs. We also need to implement a "retention plan" to assist our existing industries and businesses.
If elected I will propose a freeze on all non essential expenditures and no increase in the city mill rate for realty taxes for the year 2015. This will not affect the current level of city services.
5) Do you believe that Guelph has a spending problem? If yes, then please cite specific examples of areas and/or programs that you would cut to save money?
To get the facts on the estimated 25 million dollar cost overrun on the city hall construction ($15 million construction overrun + 6.9 million court judgement + 3 million legal costs).
To have the new council, as a team, reclaim the decision making process and cease to be a "rubber stamp " for the senior administration and local boards and agencies expenditures.
To review the need for the city to be in the land development and building business and the recent incorporation of Guelph Municipal Holdings Corp, with the stated intent to develop major projects with private firms and tax payer funds. This has the potential to repeat the $10 million dollar private partner extra cost that the city absorbed from the Sleeman Center project.
10) What issue, aside from any previously mentioned in this questionnaire, do you think should be a priority and why?
To address the serious need for subsidized housing and the total lack of housing grants from the provincial and federal governments in the last 8 years. We must rebuild working relationships with Ontario/Ottawa and area counties -- which are currently at an all time low.
In a perfect world, I could have linked to Ferarro's responses in 2010, but he seemed not to respond to the questionnaire then either. (Then again, in a perfect world, Ferarro might have taken so time to fill it out.) Here are, to my reckoning, the questions from the survey that Ferarro's web page doesn't answer:
2) What makes your ward unique to Guelph?
3) Using a letter grade, how would you rank the performance of the current city council? Explain.
6) What’s the biggest priority for Guelph in terms of services needed? This could be something that’s provided by the government, ie: a library or rec centre, or it could be a commercial need, ie: a new grocery store in the east end.
7) How would you propose to mend relations between the city and transit workers, and to improve the services of Guelph Transit?
8) What will you do to insure the best possible communication between yourself and your constituents if you’re elected to council?
9) Guelph is implementing online voting for the first time with this election, are you in favour of this development or against it? Explain.
11) How can local government be a force for good in the lives of the people of Guelph?