Councillor priorities

The following article appeared in the October 26 edition of the Guelph Tribune:

During the Trib’s pre-election coverage, we asked all candidates what their priorities would be over the next four years, if elected. Here’s what Guelph’s newly elected members of city council said:

Bob Bell

To recover from this term’s overspending! Residents of Guelph will be faced with unavoidable large tax increases in the next few years as the consequences of irresponsible overspending in this past term roll down to the bottom line. Guelph Transit should be at the top of council’s priorities. Transit needs to be available to everyone, not just the university and the downtown. We need to get operating costs down and service levels up at transit through better utilization of capital equipment and management of personnel. The new “Transit Strategy” falls far short of being able to deliver results to the community. We need to resolve our disputes with the county. We owe the county money and we need to settle our account. We need to work with our neighbours, and the “My way or the highway” approach has not got us far! It’s teamwork that gets results. In dealings with residents and business interests, we need to promote a higher public service attitude at city hall.

Jim Furfaro

The electorate has major concerns with the tax-and-spend philosophy of this council. Average tax increase over the past four years is 4.05%. There needs to be more fiscal responsibility and accountability. Constituents want more quality planning for major expenditures. Ratepayers want value for their hard-earned tax dollars.


Andy Van Hellemond

The new council must deal with a large deficit due to the current council’s fiscal mismanagement. Make it more attractive for new industry and small business to locate to the City of Guelph.

Ian Findlay

People work hard for their money, and the taxes they pay should be about improving their lives and their community.


Maggie Laidlaw

Completion of many exciting projects where the groundwork is in place; jobs; more affordable housing; a significant reduction in poverty; a permanent home for our arts and culture community; and my personal priority –a new downtown library before 2015!

June Hofland

People tell me they appreciate the respect at city hall and I think it is important to maintain that sense of decorum so things continue to get done. Sustainable employment opportunities are a priority, as is our continued environmental stewardship. The plans are in place to improve our transit system, and we have to make sure we move ahead on this issue.


Cam Guthrie

Attracting businesses to this city is priority one. We must lower taxes while maintaining essential services only and find ways to mend relationships with the county so that those in need come first.

Gloria Kovach

Tackling the challenges around growth. The province has mandated the city to grow to 175,000, and the intensification required to meet these targets will impact our current neighbourhoods. I am committed to ensuring that development within our ward is compatible with existing neighbourhoods.

Future employment lands have been secured. We need to ensure that we can attract the jobs and investment we need to thrive. We need to move forward on the Guelph Innovation District. Council needs to decrease its reliance on debt financing and ensure the best use of our tax dollars. Rate of taxation, economic development, service delivery, growth and waste management are priorities.


Leanne Piper

Economic development, transit growth,

urban forest management, water/energy/waste conservation, debt management, tourism/arts/culture, and building healthy and vibrant neighbourhoods for all demographics, including seniors, young adults, families.

Lise Burcher

Stay the course with the strategic plan and council priorities while continuing to engage citizens meaningfully in their implementation.


Karl Wettstein

Effective tax management, balanced growth, making sure our strong financial and governance policy changes take root, full implementation of our functional reorganization, making Guelph business-friendly, developing strategic partnerships, establishing effective boundary relationships.

Todd Dennis

Attract business –small to large. Increase the commercial tax base. Be fairer to all citizens of the city.