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Tom Gardzinski presents fresh ideas to residents

In Governance
Oct 1st, 2022
Tom Gardzinski |
From MidlandToday, September 16, 2022

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 Tom Gardzinski, who is running for council 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?

Tom Gardzinski, age 43. My wife, and father in-law.

In 10 words or less, why is your municipality the best in the province?

Outdoor recreational centre 12-months of the year.

What prompted you to run as a municipal leader?

I believe I can be a positive influence in the shaping of our Town. I believe I can bring fresh ideas and actionable items which will produce results Midland residents can be proud of.

Midland Bay Landing is mired in controversy, involving contaminated land, residents wanting to protect parkland, developer visions for the future, and the municipality’s choice for that developer. What is your stance on Midland Bay Landing?

Phase 1, according to the media release on July 5, 2022 is to develop the far east portion of the lands, and is meant to consist of townhomes, not condos, or high-rise buildings. Additionally, in my estimation, based on the research I’ve done, Phase 1 consists of approximately 25-35% of the total lands. Subsequently, Phase 2 will only be developed on upon a mutual agreement between the Town and the developer. After speaking with residents, I believe much of their attention has been drawn to the Phase 2 conceptual drawings enclosed in the media release of July 5th, 2022. I also believe that most residents do not agree with the conceptual design and particularly the ratio between buildings/structures and the parklands/public green spaces. I would tend to agree with this sentiment. If Phase 2 is actuated, I believe more parklands/public green space need to be dedicated for it.

You will be asked to join committees and other municipal representations. Which are you eager to become involved in?

During my career I’ve been on, and lead sustainability committees. My professional experience in business improvement can also be an asset for certain committees. Given my professional experience and committee experience, I believe I’d be most beneficial serving on, and I’d be eager to be on the following committees; Active Transportation Advisory Committee, Sustainability Committee, Severn Sound Environmental Association board member, and the Business Improvement Area Committee.

Voter apathy is always a concern, ranging between 25.7% to 42% of ballots cast 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?

Voted or not, I will listen to my constituents for which I’m responsible to. I will actively listen, gather all opinions and base my decisions on this information. Decisions made will be what is best for the Town’s current residents, and future residents.

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 opioid epidemic is definitely a prominent concern that I believe many residents are not aware of the gravity of the situation. This is by nature of the issue. Opioids aren’t relatively easy to spot and often times they are not in clear view. By comparison, homelessness is typically in clear view which draws awareness to the issue. I believe we are in an “opioid epidemic” as the question suggests. The solution to this problem is one that requires multiple countermeasures, and a coordinated, synergistic approach by all three levels of government.

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 proactively do as your part in the process?

I believe we need to start evolving our land use bylaws and be carefully creative. One concept is to adopt what some European countries have in place. For example, you are permitted to build an additional living structure on your property for one of your dependents. Or, perhaps it is time for Midland to have a Tiny Home community. Tiny Homes are a great way to develop sustainably. These are just two examples how carefully crafted bylaws can help support sustainable development and tax revenues.

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?

I’m not so certain that crafting certain by-laws will reduce recidivism. Recidivism can be reduced if and only if adequate funding and programs are in place. These funding sources are a combination and contribution from all three levels of government. Adequate programming in our youth divisions will help secure a positive future. Adequate programming in our adolescent and adult divisions are important as social services are required to help individuals reform. Social Enterprises can be a key contributing factor for reform. Operation Grow, although not an agency that reforms those who have been repeat offenders, is a best practice example, and a world class agency that proves social enterprises can promote development, growth, and reintroduction.

Infrastructure projects require taxpayer dollars. What infrastructure project does the municipality desperately need, and does it justify a tax increase from the ratepayers to have it done as soon as possible?

I personally believe that there are no major infrastructure projects that the Town currently needs. Maintaining roads, parks, trails, and waterfront are key to making the Town an attractive and healthy place to live. Continuing to replace and improve our playgrounds will also ensure families have a safe place to raise their children.

Times change. What is the most aged or obsolete bylaw in your municipality’s code?

I’ll admit, this did take some research. I’m hesitant to state that any one complete bylaw is aged or obsolete. However, there may be certain aspects of a bylaw that is aged or obsolete. Particularly bylaw 2013-79, as per Restrictions 2. C., “no person shall keep, possess or harbour any Animal listed in Schedule “B” of this by-law on any property except upon lands assessed and zoned as farm lands.” When referring to Schedule B, “domestic rabbit” is listed. Essentially, this bylaw states that it is against Town bylaw to have a rabbit in a residential zoned area.

Once you complete your four-year term, what is the legacy you want residents to best remember for your time in office?

I would want my constituents to remember me hopefully as someone who is responsible and made a significant positive influence on our Town. With regards to tangible items, I would hope I would be remembered for a councillor that helped shape a fair and just parking program, and was a responsible decision maker with regards to the Midland Bay Landing development.


Municipal election information for Midland is available on the elections page of the town website.

For Midland residents:

For the first time, Midland voters will be voting by internet and telephone only. The Town of Midland has entered into an agreement with Intelivote Systems Inc. to provide the software, consulting and technical services required to implement this voting method.

Voting will take place between October 11 and 24, 2022. Voters will receive a Voter Instruction Letter (VIL) by mail containing directions on how to vote using the internet or the telephone, or both. You will receive this letter seven (7) to fourteen (14) days prior to October 11, 2022.

You will only receive a VIL if your name is on the Voters’ List. Please call the Clerk’s Office at 705-526-4275 ext. 2212 or 2208 or come into the Municipal Office at 575 Dominion Avenue to make sure you are on the Voters’ List.

A Voter Assistance Centre will be located in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Office at 575 Dominion Avenue. Please bring your Voter Instruction Letter and a document showing your name and address for identification.

Voter Assistance Centres will also be set up at several retirement/nursing homes for in-home residents only.

Read the article here

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