Three of our biggest challenges…

SPENDING.  We need to clearly understand our costs and determine our specific needs in order to prioritize our spending.  We cannot continue to burden residents with tax increases.  Over the past 4 years, Waterloo council has hiked its total payroll costs by 38%, an increase of $15,000,000 – the highest in the Region.  Furthermore, at the end of 2009, Waterloo’s Debt totaled $73,000,000; 13 cents of every tax dollar goes to the debt.  We need to look at financially successfully municipalities – like Mississauga – to learn what works and what doesn’t.  I am convinced that we must thoughtfully work with the money that we have and pay down our debt before we can move forward. 

TRAFFIC CONGESTION affects more than just temperaments. It is environmentally destructive, affects our quality of life and wastes gas.  We must start by determining the causes behind our increasing congestion and then prioritize cost-effective actions to correct the problem.  Solutions may include improving mass transit (with consideration for the environment), encouraging the use of alternative methods of transportation, including walking and cycling, and improving the existing flow of traffic.

ADVOCATING FOR SENIORS.  We will shortly have the greatest number of seniors in history and we need to prepare NOW.  We need to shore up our subsidized services, support our seniors in their choice to live at home and facilitate the building of more long-term care facilities.  Consider volunteering for seniors; it is a rewarding and enriching experience where you will develop some meaningful relationships.  I welcome any opportunity to participate on committees related to support for seniors.

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