Election Platform 2014

Dear Voters of Ward 3 Greater Napanee:

During the electronic voting period of October 20-27, I ask that you consider voting for me to be your next Municipal Councillor. Below are some of the reasons I believe I can be an effective member of Council for all citizens of Greater Napanee.

My Qualifications
My careers in environmental science, and computer and information technology have given me some relevant skills for the 21st century that would compliment the expertise of the other members of Council. I have volunteered on a number of organizations related to arts and culture; mental illness and affordable housing; and conservation. I am married to Kathy Medd and have two adult daughters who were raised and schooled in Greater Napanee.

Sustainable Development
I will be a voice for smart sustainable development that ensures our natural environment and heritage is an integral part of economic development planning. Clean air, water and soil = Healthy Living = Good Business

I do not support any future expansion of the Richmond Landfill site or the proposed BREC landfill for environmental and economic reasons that have been well documented. We can do our part in managing waste by significantly enhancing composting and recycling; or by attracting private investments to build a regional material separation facility or enclosed composting facility. Like landfills, site selection is critical for industrial wind and solar energy projects. These developments should not be built on good farmland or in our prime tourist areas where beautiful natural vistas and heritage zones have been identified.

Conserving Country Charm
Many people in Ward 3 want to maintain the quiet, pastoral living offered by the Villages of Roblin, Selby, Forest Mills, Westplain and the surrounding countryside. Roads and infrastructure upgrades are a common request. The Salmon River, Lime Lake and the Menzel Nature Reserve are important natural treasures in Ward 3 that deserve our continued conservation.

Business Sectors
I recognize the fundamental importance of food production and will be a strong advocate of our agricultural sector that has played a historically essential role in the prosperity of our community. I strongly support other established sectors like manufacturing, skilled trades, commercial-retail, and health services that have helped diversify Greater Napanee’s economic base.

I am excited by Greater Napanee’s rising sectors like alternative energy technologies, tourism, boutique retail and restaurants. I support coordination of efforts and integrated strategic planning between the Town’s Core Advisory Committee, the County’s Economic Development Coalition, the BIA, and the Chamber of Commerce; all of which are doing outstanding work.

Art, Culture and Heritage
As a long time volunteer organizer of arts, and music initiatives, I can help provide venue opportunities for young people; and help build our rising tourism sector as a member of the Town’s new Cultural Plan. I will help promote Adolphustown’s unique Loyalist heritage as a defining moment in the creation of Canada. Greater Napanee is the eastern gateway to the Bay of Quinte with four magnificent waterways that comprise the Bay of Quinte area: the Napanee River, Hay Bay, Long Reach and Adolphus Reach. For this reason our natural heritage will continue to play a key role in tourism development.

During my campaign I have talked to many knowledgeable citizens about a number of other important issues, some that include: the pool; taxation; affordable housing; and public participation in municipal government.

The Pool
Communities are built by organized people with the conviction and creativity to communicate a dream that benefits the whole community. An aquatics venue could serve many needs for youth and adults such as recreation, competition and therapeutics. It fits into a vision of healthy-living for Greater Napanee that has been built over the years by committed people who have created a vibrant sports scene; a top-calibre hospital; a diverse health services sector; and by people who are willing to stand up for a clean environment.

Our next challenge in making the dream come true is to clearly define the scope and responsible financing for the capital and operating costs. We have an example of a financing model that worked, namely the SPC arena. I support moving forward judiciously to find a funding mechanism that works and is in balance with the other needs of the community, like roads and infrastructure upgrades.

Taxation
Although the new provincial formula for determining policing costs will result in a significant reduction from the estimated $4.4 million bill for 2015 and the next 5 years, we need to continue lobbying the province through the Association of Municipalities (AMO) to control rising costs.

By listening to urban and rural rate-payers, I will continue to educate myself on the history, rationale and suitability of the current rural versus urban property tax rates. A services delivery review is underway and will form a baseline for future public discussion.

Affordable Housing
There is a multi-year backlog for people requiring affordable housing. I have been absorbing the input of a number of stakeholders, including students, families, Social Services and the Community Health Centre to better understand the scope and solution options for this important issue.

Public Participation in Municipal Government
I would like to create an environment at Council meetings that would encourage public participation, including that of students. This could be achieved by allowing a regular public discussion period during some Council meetings.

Striking a Balance
When we live in a small town we are part of a larger extended family. My grandparents taught me about living a life of balance: the balance between our needs and our wants; between our personal interests and that of our community; and between material wealth and spiritual wealth.

Please contact me with your ideas and concerns for our exciting future ahead!

Respectfully,

Stephen Medd
napanee@stephenmedd.ca
www.facebook.com/StephenMedd.Napanee