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Fisman responds to residents’ questions

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In Wasaga Beach
Sep 8th, 2010
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From Steve Fishman – September 6 2010
Listed below were a series of questions that I answered at the request of a local group of residents. Please feel free to share the questions and my answers with your group membership.We just now see your name as a nominee for MAYOR re up coming Wasaga Beach  Fall elections.
Because we haven’t  heard of you before now: and know nothing about you; can you please share with us the following.
 Why did you decide to run for MAYOR this year?
I’ve always been involved in politics for quite sometime, and I’ve followed council with interest the past several years. Speaking with residents over the past several months they expressed concern on how our current Mayor is running the town. From the issues surrounding the bankruptcy of Blue Beach Developments, to the issues surounding our water billing system, and the over 4 million dollars in back taxes owed to the town. They want a change, and from my research nobody on council and outside of council is willing to go against the Mayor. The last thing most of us want is for the Mayor to be acclaimed.
What is your present occupation?
Currently I work for the City of Vaughan, as the General Manager of their live theatre. I’ve worked for the City for the past 8 years, and prior to that I worked for Cineplex Entertainment. Working for the City of Vaughan has also given me great insight into how municipal government is ran.
How long have you lived in Wasaga Beach; and is it year round or just as a part time resident.?
I’ve lived in Wasaga Beach as a full-time resident since December 2003.
Would you feel free to share with us a little about you and your family and personal interests?
I have 2 teenaged daughters aged 14 and 16. I’m currently divorced, and my youngest daughter lives with the ex in Ajax, Ontario. My oldest has lived with me since my wife and I split up as she always had a strained relationship with her mother. I enjoy a variety of things, like politics, attending live theatre, movies, concerts, bike riding, reading books, and keeping abreast on world events.
What experiences can you bring with you that would enable you to handle this position?
During my career I’ve always been in a leadership position. I’ve managed staff ranging in size from 12 to over 300. I have a solid understanding of budgets, and having worked for the City of Vaughan for several years, I understand how munincipal government works. In 2007 I was the Provincial candidate in our riding of Simcoe-Grey, and received over 12400 votes with about 1700 coming from the residents of Wasaga Beach which resulted in me coming in 2nd to Jim Wilson. During this time and even today I’ve made several strong contacts within the Provincial government which would help me in getting things done for our town should I be elected Mayor.
Have you served now, or in the past on any boards or comittees?if so when and what were they and what postions have you held; and their durations?
In 2006/07 school year I served on the parents council at Birchview Dunes. I also currently sit on several Theatre Production companies board of directors. I’m also currently a Director of the Provincial and Federal Green Party Executive in Simcoe-Grey.
What are your goals as a  concillor if you should win this election and have a seat on council?
As the leader of council, it would be my goal to ensure that all members of council are involved in the decision making and not just a select few as I’ve observed with our recent council. I’ve noticed over the years that our current Mayor does not communicate that well with our Deputy Mayor, and instead relies on other members of Council for advise and direction. Being a leader is to rely on all members of your team to make the decisions that will have a direct impact on all residents. Part of my platform is the creation of “Vision 20/20 – The Future of Wasaga Beach” which I will outline in greater detail in your next question.
Please share your visions and dreams for Wasaga Beach for with in 2-5 yrs..10 yrs and 15 yrs?
Under the Municipal Act, you are required to have a Master Plan in place that projects 5 years into the future. My plan is to create “Vision 20/20” which will be a blueprint of where we want our town to be by the year 2020. Some of the highlights include the following:
A fair and balanced tax system
A code of conduct for council and town staff
More Investment in promoting our Tourism Industry
Development of our Industrial Park so we can attract high paying jobs to the area.
More attention focused on making our town a Green Community.
Moving our water billing system to a consumption based system and introducing an equal billing system much like our hydro and gas bills.
Attracting serious developers who can transform beach area 1 and 2 into a 4 season resport much like the village at Blue Mountain.
Working with Collingwood develop a bus transfer station so our residents can transfer to the Collingwood trainst system and vice versa.
More sidewalks and parks
Lobby the School Board and Province to build a high school in our town.
Are there any changes that you see need to be made in Wasaga Beach now or in the near future; if so please enlarge upon these.
 We need to go after the collection of back taxes in a more aggressive manner. Having over 4 million owed to the town means that certain projects will not get done as our budget will be short by the amount of back taxes owed, and this also affects the towns operating budget and cash flow. If we are owed this large sum of money then we have to borrow the money to make up the shortfall. We also have to stop these backroom deals. Recently it was revealed on 97.7the beach on July 12th when the Mayor was on the show, and questioned by a resident named Walter, that the town was selling our water to Splash Canyon in Springwater. At first the Mayor denied this and then admitted to it as Walter followed the tanker trucks to the waterpark. This deal was not approved by council, and as soon as council was informed they put a stop to it. How can the Mayor go around and tell us to conserve our water, when he’s selling our water to a water park. This goes down to being held accountable to each and every resident, and spending our tax dollars wisely. Therefore one of my first goals would be to bring in a code of conduct for both council and town staff so these backroom deals don’t occur again.
Please feel free to add any other items or bits of information that you feel you would like us to know about you and share. with neighbours.
If elected as your next Mayor, I will be a Mayor who has no connections to any local builders, developers and businesses. I don’t owe anybody any favours, and won’t be influenced in my decision making. My decisions will always be made with the interests of all residents in mind and not a select few. I will be a strong voice on county council and ensure that the rights decisions are made for our town. I will be a full-time Mayor, and I will respond to each phone call, e-mail, and letter. If I can’t find the answer you are looking for I will not run and hide, but I will tell you why, and hopefully together we can find the solution. I will work with each member of council and tap into their strengths as we move forward in creating a vision for our town.
Please take the time to visit my website at www.voteforsteve.ca I’m also on Facebook and Twitter and you can get the links by clicking on the icons from my website. If you or your friends have any further questions, please feel free to ask, and I will answer them as quickly as possible.
Thank you for this opportunity.
Answering the above  questions and your prompt reply will really help us get to know you; and also help us to make an informed decsion come election day.
 John and Shirley Doan

And on behalf of our neighbours and friends

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