Michael Blair — Collingwood mayor
If elected mayor, Michael Blair will urge town council to take the following steps:
1. Freeze property taxes for at least five years while studying ways to reduce property taxes. Collingwood enjoys a strong balance sheet and operates at a surplus. It does not make sense to burden Collingwood residents with property taxes beyond the taxes needed to support approved programs. Rising property values have seen a parallel increase in property taxes which risks forcing residents on a fixed income out of their homes needlessly.
2. Improve cycling safety by providing paved shoulders and cycling lanes where practical as part of the town’s maintenance of its linear assets. Collingwood has an excellent trail system but exposes cyclists to dangerous cycling conditions on many roadways where the lack of a paved shoulder or cycling lane forces cyclists dangerously close to passing traffic.
3. License and regulate short-terms rentals to alleviate the shortage of rental property facing the town while allowing residents the opportunity to earn additional income from their homes. Collingwood is a vacation destination and the availability of short term rentals such as Airbnb enhances the town as a destination.
4. Ensure transparency of contracts with the town. Recent reports of potential conflicts of interest by members of the town council and the need for a judicial inquiry in respect of at least one such incident point to the need for greater transparency. The town can require representations and warranties by all contracting parties that they are aware of no actual or potential conflict of interest and have made full disclosure of all relationships they have with persons involved in town management or town council and their relatives.
5. Expand inventory of serviced industrial land. Long-term growth of industry in Collingwood is hampered by the limited availability of serviced lands and related infrastructure. Collingwood is an ideal location for knowledge-based industries but is uncompetitive in terms of the availability of serviced land.
Telephone number — 705-293-0069