As published in The Erin Advocate - by the candidate
With my wife Gina and our four children, our family moved to the village of Erin in 1981. In 1991, frustrated with out-of-control property taxes, aging schools and a lack of community facilities, I decided that it was time to make a difference in my family’s home town and became the public school board trustee for the then Village of Erin and the Township of Erin at the Wellington County Board of Education.
Back then, the Village of Erin taxpayers had had a decade of 15% average tax increases for the village council, school board and county council, the highest in the 21 municipalities of Wellington and including the City of Guelph.
At the same time it was also evident that all area schools were at capacity, with no more room for portables and no plans for growth. The village office was half condemned. The local active seniors group, led by Jack Dyce, and also EWAG now known as EWCS (East Wellington Community Services) were looking for a stand alone building. Erin had a 1,000 sq.ft. public library that was open only 15 hours a week!
I proposed a very unique and creative vision for Erin to develop a multi-use facility with the goal of delivering the maximum number of public services while minimizing building, land and operating costs for the local taxpayers.
I spent two terms (6 years) as one of 17 trustees, winning the second term election with the high school on the ballot. With the support of the school board’s senior management and that of the trustees from the East Wellington Attendance Area Study committee, plus our local MPP Ted Arnott, our project was granted over 20 million dollars for a new “multi-use” facility featuring a 560 student high school in Centre 2000, a renovated Erin P.S. and an expansion of Brisbane P.S.
The only reason our community received funding for the high school and beat other projects in Peel region was because of the pioneering partnerships established between the town, the county and the board. Erin now has a centre with state of the art high school, theatre, public library, fragile senior centre, nursery school and medical centre attached to a traditional arena and community centre. Officials came from across Canada to see our achievement.
After two terms as public school board trustee, I was appointed for six years as a volunteer on the Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin Trillium foundation with the net result of over 2 million dollars granted in support for non-profit entities serving the needs of Erin.
I have the work ethics, knowledge, creativity and passion for the well-being of our community and would be a great asset in the position of County Councillor. Once again, I see a desperate need for change and am ready, willing and able to get our community back on track!!