MAYORAL CANDIDATES FOR THE NATION HAVE LAST WORD
With the municipal elections fast approaching, we have asked three questions to Prescott-Russell mayoral candidates. Questions related to their priorities, the infrastructure, taxes as well as their management style. Here are the answers of François St-Amour, Danika Bourgeois-Desnoyers and Denis Pommainville, mayoral candidates for The Nation.
In your opinion, what are the two biggest challenges facing your municipality? If elected mayor, what measures do you plan to take to address them?
The first challenge is the diversity of our tax base. 5IF /BUJPO .VOJDJQBMJUZ OFFET UXP UIJOHT UP stimulate economic development: an action plan and a team in place. In the action plan, we will first find our culture as a municipality, the type of development we want. This is done by consulting with our residents and existing businesses. It will then outline our TUSBUFHZ GPS BUUSBDUJOH MBCPS 8F OFFE UP CF able to assure new developers that we have a good pool of labor among our residents. The objective of this community improvement plan is to revitalize, strengthen and diversify 5IF /BUJPO T FDPOPNZ CZ QSPNPUJOH QSJWBUF sector investment, development, redevelopment and construction activities.
The second challenge is the legalization PG DBOOBCJT .VOJDJQBMJUJFT XJMM IBWF B NBKPS role to play. Although the guidelines are still not completely clear, there is enough documentation available to start consulting residents and get their opinions.
0OF PG 5IF /BUJPO T two major challenges is to increase its commercial and industrial tax revenues, to contain the high increase in residential municipal taxes, which are already the second highest in Prescott-Russell. The measures necessary to meet this challenge consist in having a vision, a business orientation in the creation of a real economic and tourism development department, with professional human resources and budgets necessary for an investment that will create jobs.
The other challenge is to redeploy municipal and sports infrastructure and meet the needs of citizens. It is necessary to stop building excessive financial reserves according to provincial standards that sleep in
municipal coffers and use this accumulated capital for the benefit of citizens.
Our first challenge is to continue to do more with less and keep UBY SBUF JODSFBTFT UP B NJOJNVN 8F XJMM continue to review our procedures and practices to streamline expenses and service offerings to achieve savings where possible.
Our second challenge is to attract commercial and industrial development. 8F QBSUJDJQBUFE JO UIF EFWFMPQNFOU PG the Prescott-Russell Opportunity strategy, which presents key recommendations for the expansion of commercial and industrial development.
8F BSF DPNNJUUFE UP FYQBOEJOH UIF economic development team to increase PVS SFBDI 8F IJSFE B NBSLFUJOH BOE DPNNVnications officer to work with the economic EFWFMPQNFOU UFBN 8F IBWF QVU JO QMBDF key infrastructure in the Limoges region that we can use in discussions with developers and we will study the possibility of providing water service to the 417 for the Saint-Isidore industrial park.
I will lobby to increase high-speed Internet services, natural gas and electricity, which are critical to attracting commercial EFWFMPQNFOU 8F IBWF SFTFSWFE BDSFT PG BGGPSEBCMF JOEVTUSJBM MBOE JO -JNPHFT 8F will work with all levels of government to maximize opportunities with our partners and take advantage of infrastructure programs and grants, and we will continue to work with neighbouring municipalities on projects.
Avoiding increasing property taxes for taxpayers while improving infrastructure are recurring themes in any election campaign. 8IBU BSF ZPVS UIPVHIUT PO UIJT
Doing more with less has been my commitment to the residents PG UIF NVOJDJQBMJUZ 8F IBWF EFMJWFSFE BOE have not increased the tax rate in the last UXP ZFBST "U 5IF /BUJPO XF IBWF TFU BTJEF reserves for major infrastructure expenditures for the Village of Limoges, to ensure that new units in the water and sewer system are reasonably affordable. As a result of major infrastructure work with good strategic planning and subsidies received from the provincial and federal governments for the Limoges project, the municipality is well positioned to accommodate significant residential development, which will encourage increased commercial and industrial development. The municipality is in an excellent financial position at the moment and, with the anticipated new development, combined with a good financial strategy, we will have an increase in our revenues.
Ontario municipalities own and maintain two-thirds of all infrastructure but collect only 9 per cent of taxes. The Association PG .VOJDJQBMJUJFT PG 0OUBSJP NBEF B SFRVFTU to the province last year for 1 per cent of sales taxes. This is critical for small rural municipalities struggling to maintain and improve their infrastructure.
Fiscal SFTQPOTJCJMJUZ JT UIF SPMF PG DPVODJM .Z QSJNBSZ HPBM JT UIF TUBUVT RVP GPS QSPQFSUZ UBYFT 8F OFFE UP XPSL UPHFUIFS UP EJWFSTJGZ and increase our tax base, reassess our spending habits and find new and innovative ways to save money, including the street sweep recycling program that I introduced JO NZ DPNNVOJDBUJPOT 8F NVTU SFJOWFOU ourselves and do things differently.
Currently, property UBYFT BSF JODSFBTJOH JO 5IF /BUJPO CVU XF BSF receiving fewer services. I am not advocating an increase in property taxes, but a reduction in the policy rate on property value increases and the use of excessive reserves to restore missing services.
Lisez la version française sur notre site Web: http://www.editionap.ca/mairie-nation et dans le Reflet-News de cette semaine.
À l’approche des élections municipales, nous avons posé des questions aux candidats à la mairie de la Municipalité de La Nation. Voici les réponses des trois candidats.