September 24, 2014

Craig Porterfield wants citizen participation

As published in the Erin Advocate - written by the candidate

I have lived in the SW Town of Erin for 25 years with my wife and two now grown children. I have worked as an environmentalist, a teacher, and a surveyor, but for the past 25 years I have owned an Industrial Automation business. This is my second election for Council; even though I was unsuccessful, I sat on the Environment Advisory Committee for 3 years and the Center 2000 Committee for 4 years.
During my tenure on these committees, I became convinced of their value for citizen participation in government, however their efficacy can be improved, and if elected I will do so. I was disheartened by the discord amongst the Council and Staff, however, and pledge to regain the symbiotic relationship between these pillars of our government.

This must be done soon, because momentous decisions are looming for Erin. The SSMP report has been tabled, and the next step will determine development and tax burdens for years to come. Other issues facing the Town that are just as crucial is the Fill bylaw, which is critical to our rural way of life and environment, and limiting rural development which threatens to change our economic base in ways we cannot predict. Development must be done according to the rules and regulations, and not impede the neighbours reasonable expectation of enjoyment of their own properties.

We have little control over other more macro issues affecting our Town. Some experts say extreme weather events will continue; whether global warming is the culprit is open to discussion. What is clear is that the Town needs to prepare itself for weather emergencies. The Towns response to the ice storm, especially in the rural areas, was inadequate. Emergency communications and location of warming centers were not communicated in a timely fashion. I hope to change that.

Whether or not climate change is the culprit, a change from consumer to conserver societies is the only way to reduce energy use. The Town needs to be a leader in conservation, and audit energy use. Monitoring use in Town buildings, reducing idling in Town trucks, and judicious use of resources will all help. Citizens can do more; so many of us commute I would like to see bus service to the Acton GO train. Generation of renewable energy locally is preferable to the grid.

Support me (or not), but vote on October 27