The issues and why I’m running
There’s an awful lot to love about Caledon. The moment I stepped foot in this town I knew I had come home. But I also quickly discovered that it can be a confusing place to wrap your head around. So for the past four years I’ve been scooting around town collecting information and sharing it, hoping to make the town an easier place to understand for all the new folks moving in.
Improving the channels of communication
To be honest I never imagined that all that information sharing would really hit home with so many residents of the town who had been here a whole lot longer than me. That’s when it hit me. There’s a real gap when it comes to information sharing and I believe the Town can and should do a better job of keeping residents informed and engaged. For instance, I am always saddened when I hear the same message again and again: “this public information meeting is about 15 years too late.”
Residents need information in a timely way and they need to feel like their input is valued. They also need to know that their opinion really does count. Decisions that look good on paper don’t always translate into effective and positive change. We need to do more to connect reality to design.
Making the Town more business friendly
Another area of great concern for me is the uniform feeling amongst not only businesses within the Town of Caledon but also those outside of it. Caledon has a reputation of being difficult to work with. Strong Economic Development is vital to well managed growth in the town. But businesses often shy away from working with the Town of Caledon. This hurts all of us. We need to take a good look at our processes and how decisions are made. We need to look at our Building Department and review our by-laws. We need to clean up the backlog of building permit applications. We need to ask ourselves what it would take to be a place that businesses clamor to set up shop in.
Supporting our seniors
For sure some seniors are happy to move out of the country and settle for an apartment in a high rise condo somewhere outside of Caledon. But many simply want to retire in place. Their home is their nest egg and they have to sell it to retire. But once they do they find that they have nowhere to live, in the same community that may have been their home for a lifetime. At a time of life when social and family connections are so much more important they are forced to move away in order to retain the quality of life that they are comfortable with and deserve. There aren’t a lot of easy solutions on this one but the solutions are out there. We just need to be more creative and more committed to finding them.
Youth employment opportunities
At the same time as having an aging population, thanks to Provincially mandated growth Caledon is experiencing an influx of young families. This means that in the near future Caledon will experience a boom in the need for youth employment opportunities. To put it another way, Caledon has an opportunity to take advantage of a fresh and ample supply of employable individuals. We need to develop employment opportunities for youth. There’s a whole lot more that I’ve got to say on this topic but it pretty much almost warrants its own Facebook Page. Suffice it to say that it brings us back to my first point about making the Town more friendly to businesses.
There aren’t the only issues that the Town of Caledon has to deal with. I’m well aware of many of the other concerns that many residents share when it comes to different things in the Town. I’d be happy to chat with you about them. Just give me a call or feel free to stop me if you see me around Town.