Bob Jeffery wants to bring ratepayers back to the council table
Bob Jeffery is running for Midland council. |
Editor’s note: MidlandToday has asked council candidates in Midland, Penetanguishene and Tiny Township to provide a synopsis of why they are running for public office. Municipal elections take place Oct. 24.
The following response is from Bob Jeffery, who is running for councillor in Midland. For more election coverage, visit our 2022 municipal election page by clicking here, where you can find candidate profiles and other election news.
What is your name, what will be your age on election day, and who are your key immediate family members you rely on for support?
Bob Jeffery, I will be 73 years young, the new 58 as I’m being told! My wife of 45 years is Sherry-Jane, nee McIntaggart, we have four adult children and seven grandchildren, many of whom take an active interest in my endeavours.
In 10 words or less, why is your municipality the best in the province?
Living, Working, Playing with the best gateway to Georgian Bay!
What prompted you to run as a municipal leader?
The overall lack of ratepayer input and involvement. Council’s lack of initiative to involve the regular resident.
Midland Bay Landing is mired in controversy, involving contaminated land, residents wanting to protect park land, developer visions for the future, and the municipality’s choice for that developer. What is your stance on Midland Bay Landing?
That part of the town needs to be developed in the best interest of All Midlanders. The original purchase by the municipality was based on the premise that: As stated by then Mayor McKay, “The Unimin lands and the proposed new Midland Bay Landing community will change the face of Midland. It will give the waterfront back to the people of Midland plus act as a significant catalyst to improved economic activity in the Town. The Midland Bay Landing project will be a game changer for the town that will fundamentally change the future of our community in many positive ways.”
You will be asked to join committees and other municipal representations. Which are you eager to become involved in?
Finance: Ensure that money raised from taxes covers our costs for what we need and the collection of taxes although, a necessary evil, is not an overwhelming burden on residents.
Police Board: Public safety concerns and the involvement of the hired police force to appropriately manage said concerns.
Voter apathy is always a concern, ranging between 25.7% to 42% of cast ballots across North Simcoe in the last municipal election. Knowing you could be elected without even half of possible voters turning out, what will you do to combat voter apathy so your municipality is best represented?
Ensure that more ‘little guys’, regular ratepayers are involved in committees and commissions. This would lead to results that are designed and upheld by regular people. It is they who will influence more locals to take an interest in their municipal scene and be apart of it, at the least, through voting.
There are many prominent concerns ongoing in the region, from affordable housing to the opioid epidemic to short-term rentals as well as others. What is one concern that you think the majority of residents are not aware of?
The lack of awareness of the impact inflation will have on the town to deliver services in a cost-efficient manner. Inflation and its implications will effect all residents one way or another. The town is not immune! Serious thought must be given this concern, not only for the town to deliver services, but also on the effect it will have on the people’s ability to pay their taxes.
The province is planning for a population of 555,000 and 198,000 jobs by 2051. If now is the time to prepare for that influx, what will you pro actively do as your part in the process?
I am assuming that this is a reference to the growth of the County. Midland would do well to make it known at the county level, through our reps, that Midland is indeed, open for business. Midland will gladly welcome housing starts, investments and businesses, both startup and relocations, with the help of various levels of government funding to accommodate such.
Recidivism isn’t just on the police and courts. As a municipal leader and crafter of bylaws, what initiatives will you undertake to address crime in your care?
Recidivism is the act of re-offending. Appropriate deterrents are required at both the provincial and federal levels. However, it is my belief that working with the police, courts and parole officials to help those, who may fall into this category, to gain success in an area in which they chose will help reduce re-offending. The municipality could pave the way by initiating and/or facilitating, through third parties, programs to that end.
Infrastructure projects require taxpayer dollars. What infrastructure project does the municipality desperately need, and does it justify a tax increase from the rate payers to have it done as soon as possible?
The short answer is no!
The hidden infrastructure of storm- and wastewater collection requires a major overhaul. There are still numerous combined storm/waste water collections filtering through the sewage plant and, at times, overloading it. This, of course, causes spillage into Georgian Bay! Planning for and allocating funds on a yearly basis to separate these collection pipes will in the long run make the sewage treatment plant much more efficient and free up much needed capacity that storm-water is now using.
Times change. What is the most aged or obsolete bylaw in your municipality’s code?
That is a question best asked after being on the job for a while! However, it seems for the most part, that incumbent and new candidates, alike, are totally ignoring By-law 2011-80, a bylaw to Regulate Election Signs, enclosed in the candidates package. The short of it is that signs should only be on private property. It was brought about in response to complaints from residents of the proliferation and the eyesores created by signs, as they are now, occupying public lands, much of which was in front of residences. If it is not to be followed and/or enforced, then it should be rescinded!
Once you complete your four-year term, what is the legacy you want residents to best remember for your time in office?
That I championed the cause of the ‘little guy’, the regular rate payer, therefore, ensuring fairness to ALL residents.
Read the article here