2. In your opinion, what principles are most important for running
an effective municipal government?
Municipal governance is a highly regulated process and includes many
complex procedures, laws, practices, policies and oversights. Effective
management requires experience, vision, dedication, passion and
integrity. I have demonstrated those qualities through the past
must actively learn the many processes, procedures, policies and
laws that govern both council and the town’s business, and we must
continually educate ourselves on them and on other issues that
affect us throughout the course of the term. We
have to read a considerable amount, question, analyze, debate and
decide. An uninformed councillor is not an asset to good governance.
We must look forward and try to plan for a changing
community, not simply meet current needs and not simply address
immediate demands. We need to plan and prepare for Collingwood's long-term
future and look for options that are meet our fiscal, environmental
and social responsibilities.
To do so effectively, we must engage with the public and with staff; keep an
open mind about issues, investigate all options, and to always look for the solution that
benefits the greater community, not simply bow to pressure from
And we have to do it by staying within an
affordable, sustainable budget.
I have kept myself up to date on the many laws,
policies and agencies that regulate municipalities. I have attended
conferences, workshops and seminars to keep myself informed and to
understand the role I have as councillor.
I have continually engaged the public and
staff during my years on council, and communicated on social media about town issues as well as
my personal thoughts and goals.
Back to my election page
3. What are the three most important planks of your platform?
First is maintaining the economic stability this council has successfully established this term: keeping costs and spending low; no or very low tax increases, and paying down the debt.
This term, over the past four years we paid down $11 million of the $45 million debt we inherited
from previous councils.
The average property tax increase this term has been a mere 0.5% a year – well under the cost of living. Municipal spending is under control and our financial health looks better than ever. But we need to be vigilant to keep it so.
I can help that: my experience in business and on council prove I can make difficult but sustainable financial decisions.
Second is aggressively developing our new, very modern model
for economic development, using our cooperative partnership with our community
partners and our newly-hired marketing/economic development manager to promote
and market Collingwood.
Strengthening our brand and re-establishing our profile throughout the province and the country
as a community with an active, engaged lifestyle will help make us more attractive as a
recreational destination and a place for industry and business to locate.
As our demographics change and we grow, we need to focus on those industries and services that
best meet the changing needs of our residents. We know we are the best community to live and work in – my goal is to make sure everyone else knows it, and that our growth serves the interests of our residents.
I have experience in business, communications, marketing and promotion that
can help plan our strategies and tactics to best meet these
Third is to help guide the town through its operational restructuring process and strategic planning reassessment,
initiated by council this term.
The CAO’s proposed changes to the political committee structure
promise to alter the way this town does its politics and its business to the betterment of the residents and businesses.
However, such a drastic change will not be easy or smooth to effect.
It will need experienced politicians to help council and staff implement the changes and
communicate them to the public so we can make the new systems work effectively and efficiently
Next term we will also need to re-examine our Official Plan and several other policy documents to bring them up to date and incorporate any necessary changes and enhancements.
I have the experience, expertise and the passion to see these and
other initiatives through.
Back to my election page
4. What are the most important challenges facing Collingwood
Council in the next four years and what qualities and experience do
you possess that make you a strong candidate to assist in
accomplishing those tasks?
As I mentioned above, economic development, financial stability and operational restructuring are the three biggest challenges I see
for the town in the next term, but they are not all we face, nor do
they exist independent of other challenges.
As a growing community with evolving demographics, we need to be aware of, and respond to, our residents’ changing needs for service, support,
accessibility and accommodation. That requires someone who can see and manage the bigger picture – housing; employment opportunities; healthcare; social, recreational and cultural amenities; accessibility; economic growth; traffic management; trails; preserving green space; environmental concerns; parks;
heritage; water and wastewater; infrastructure, and communication.
In fact, you cannot simply take on a set number of challenges:
everything a municipality does interacts with and affects other
aspects of its operation, its profile, it policies and its
governance. You need to understand how they all connect in the
For example, you cannot create job opportunities if there is no
serviceable land available for growth, so you need to work with developers to
create a bank of such properties, then market them cooperatively. You need to make sure you have the
infrastructure in place to support any new industry such as the
three new craft breweries we have seen open here this
Employers can't get local workers if those workers have no affordable places
to live. Reasonable housing costs means keeping a rein on taxes,
development charges, user fees and utility costs. Yet the town needs that
income to pay for the services and functions that make the town
livable and desirable and help determine our quality of life. This
needs a balanced approach.
You need to encourage developers to build a
range of housing types, not simply single-family dwellings. That
includes building apartment and rental properties - which few
developers see a profit in. What alternatives will developers agree
to build? And what incentives can we offer them? How can we ensure
we get the housing types we need most?
It also means
maintaining adequate streets for vehicular traffic, and public
transportation for those without vehicles. Plus it means working to
create active transportation alternatives, and accessibility for
those with mobility challenges. Streets must be cleared
of snow to allow workers to get to and from their jobs; they must be
patrolled by police to ensure safety and serviced adequately by fire
and emergency crews.
Residents should have adequate access to recreational amenities
like parks, our pool and rinks, our magnificent trails, as well as
shopping and medical offices. That means trying to make sure development occurs where it can best serve these needs.
You need to understand the water and wastewater capacity of our
current infrastructure. Is it suitable; can it accommodate new
users? Do we need to rebuild it? If so, who pays and when can it be
To complicate matters, you need to
understand the relationship with the county, which has the mandate
for affordable housing and can expedite funding and development for
certain types of housing. Working effectively with the county
requires politicians who have a grasp of the process and the layers of
authority and jurisdiction; and who have experience at the council table.
of these issues have to be considered, discussed and, when necessary, dealt with by
My experience in covering municipal politics for the media for a dozen years, in writing and researching about municipal governance issues for my books and magazine articles, in serving on local boards
and committees for over two decades, and in my current service as a councillor for the past three terms have given me the vision, the foresight and the knowledge required to help guide this community through the next several years.
I understand and can work with the complex challenges and
opportunities our municipality faces.
Back to my election page
Vote for a councillor who CARES passionately about this town and about good governance,
a councillor with experience, vision and an open mind.
Vote to re-elect Ian Chadwick in the upcoming municipal election.