Bill Glover: “Putting People First” at Kingston City Hall 2007-2010.
(This is the text of Councillor Bill Glover's 2010 election canvass folder.)
Four years ago I pledged to put people first. I am pleased to ask for your support in 2010 on my record of having done just that. I have been a member of a Council that adopted a new focus based on strategic priorities rather than “bricks and mortar ” projects. Our priorities were based on sustainability and the implementation of themes that addressed quality of life improvements for all residents.
The record on taxes.
Voters generally look to taxes first. I have been a supporter of budgets that have had the lowest annual tax rate increases since 2000. They have been based on 1% for capital infrastructure renewal -- continuing the 1999 decision to overcome the years of neglect – plus an allowance for the projected annual inflation. Even with tight spending controls we have improved and expanded parks. I proposed and received the unanimous support of Council to increase and restructure arts investment. To achieve all this and more while keeping tax rates down, we have instituted multi-year funding for capital projects, ten-year planning for operating budgets, and much tighter project management. Senior staff positions have also been reduced. And we have done that despite being severely handicapped by the problem of the skewed tax base resulting from senior governments’ inadequate payments in lieu of taxes. (We can hope to see that change as a result of the April 15, 2010 Supreme Court ruling.) If we are to achieve our goals of sustainability (and we cannot afford not to), we must respect the urban growth boundary of the new Official Plan, develop the city wisely, and at the same time reduce our carbon footprint. I believe that a basic building block to achieve many of these goals was to create a more efficient and reliable public transit system. My motion of March, 2008 calling for that won wide Council support. After two years of work the first new bus routes start in September. Express routes will be proposed to the next Council. We must continue that work. Higher transit use reduces downtown parking needs, an immediate benefit to Sydenham District, while also meeting many other objectives. When looking at this record, it is interesting to note that KEDCO has reported an increase in the number of companies asking tough questions about quality of life issues. We started none too soon.
My promise going forward.
To continue the momentum and directions of this Council the next one must follow the Official Plan with the necessary zoning by-law that implements the plan; transit improvements must continue; the cultural plan needs to be supported with related investment; many other initiatives that will continue to make Kingston an attractive place for residents and newcomers need to be supported. We must also consider strategic priorities that will meet the needs of our changing and ageing population. During this Council term I have been able to win support for my initiatives and supported others that have enhanced our quality of life. I pledge to continue that. I also promise to continue my careful work and preparation for Council and the committees on which I serve; to continue my practice of holding public meetings for you, the residents, to speak to specific issues or ask me questions on any matter, and to continue to use my web site as a means of telling you what I am thinking on the issues of the day. We have done a lot. Together we can do a lot more. And there is a lot more to be done. I am asking for your help and support as your representative for Sydenham District on the next City Council in Kingston so I can continue the work for you and the City of Kingston.
I would welcome any comments and ideas you have about this issue. Please email me directly. Thanks.