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Budget, Tottenham water issues top of priority list for Milne

In Candidates / Election 2014
Oct 28th, 2014

New Tecumseth Free Press Online

New Tecumseth Mayor-Elect Rick Milne said last night his immediate attention will turn to 2015 budget process to keep with the previous years’ practice of having the package approved no later than in January.

“It’s sitting there waiting for us right now,” said Mr. Milne last night. “The management team has been working and they’re ready to present the budget to us right now.”

He’s expecting to hold a two day orientation session for the incoming councillors for an overview of the process, then hit it running after the new group is sworn into office Dec. 1.

Mr. Milne also said he will ask council to move quickly on dealing with the water issue in Tottenham, because “we have to do something down there, that water is terrible.” As well, look at pushing forward with paving 15 Sideroad.

The target of a third party advertising campaign waged by individuals who only identified themselves as the “New Tecumseth Citizens Coalition” (NTCC) focused on “urban sprawl” and critical of development interests donating to campaigns, he noted that “Oh sure, I knew I was the target, but I told my team, we keep it clean, we don’t come back at them, and the residents, they’ll make their minds up at what’s right, and what’s wrong.”

On the issue revolving around the Cappuccitti/Mattamy proposal for 15,000 new homes between Beeton and Alliston, Mr. Milne said, “You know as well as I do, that was put to bed 10 years ago, it was voted down by the majority of council at that time, it’s at the OMB, and of course it’s now in the hands of the province. It doesn’t meet our official plan, it doesn’t meet the County’s official plan, we’ve got two developments now at the OMB, I can’t see it coming back to us. It doesn’t fit with our growth node.”

Deputy Mayor-Elect Jamie Smith, who also felt the brunt of the NTCC advertising, believes it backfired, defeating Glen O’Leary by 110 votes.

“I’m happy to have won although it was a little bit closer than I thought it would be,” said Mr. Smith. “I really think the interjection of the NTCC helped me and hurt the people it was trying to promote more than they thought.”

He expects the new council move quickly “to try to bring some sense to the airport issue and see if we can get that slowed down or whatever possible we can do.”

As well, the first time deputy will use his new post at the County council level to “basically speak up for the south end of the County on every issue to try to keep as much control over planning as much as we can down here.”

Other quotes from last night:

“I had a lot of years there and I had a lot of great opportunities, and I was able to make some changes, so I feel good overall with what I did, especially the last term. I guess people maybe think I’m getting old, so they put me in the bone yard. Anyway, I think I’ll slink away home and retire.” – JIm Stone, Ward 8

“Next year, 25 years since amalgamation …. It’s time we step back and do a complete operational efficiency review of all Town departments. Not to say we’re not doing the best, but everyone can always improve, and I think we need to have a hard look at that.” –  Paul Whiteside, Ward 3

“It was a pretty fair election, fought fairly hard….  Overall, democracy in motion, I think it’s a good thing, and it’s nice that I won, now I don’t have to put up with this anymore. I’m going to have a good year. – Bob Marrs, mayor candidate

“Definitely a good eye opening thing. We still can’t get enough of the population out voting, we’re still at only 39 per cent, it’s a shame that it’s that way because that’s what’s guiding our future. People have to think about that. Nothing surprises me anymore. It’s politics, and that’s the way it’s going to be.” –  Damon Corbet, mayor candidate

“Certainly been the longest two months, and the longest job interview in my life. It was a decisive win, I received a clear mandate from the residents of Ward 2. First thing we need to do is address the DC issue. What I want is that development pay for development, we need to go back to collecting development money, upfront.” – Michael Beattie, Ward 2

“I’d like to see some of the things I felt were wrongly dealt with last time most important one being taking money at building permit stage for DCs, rather than taking it at registration, You either can afford to be in this business or you can not, and that’s when you start to separate the wheat from the chaff when you are a growth area, and we are going to be the largest growth node in Simcoe County.” – Fran Sainsbury, Ward 4

“I had a very supportive family and campaign group, brought together by the desire for change on council. They worked very hard with me on the campaign and to them I send out a message of gratitude. I have heard the residents’ concerns and committed to them to continue to build on this communication.” – Shira Harrison McIntyre, Ward 7

“I would like to start work on getting the same quality of water in Tottenham that the rest of New Tecumseth currently experiences. We need the Georgian Bay Pipeline in Tottenham, and soon.” –Chris Ross, Ward 8

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