The Picton BIA organized an All Candidates meeting for all Picton Ward 1 Councilor candidates. It was held last evening Oct 11th at Ste Andrews Church (King and Bowery). There was no A/V so I have recorded (at my desk) my Opening and Closing remarks ( 3 minutes in total). The Audio is posted as “All Candidates Audio”. This post is a bit of Detail on my Overview Comments as presented in my Audio Remarks.
Water audit – checking losses & best efficiency practices
PEC water system shares technology with water systems all over the world. There has been a lot of research and anecdotal evidence to produce meaningful best practices.
All systems have leakage and waste that steal revenue. But one of our KPI is higher than generally accepted so we should conduct an audit.
Reduce Municipal spending on Tourism & focus on new Industries
Our Economic Development Department has done a wonderful job attracting tourists to PEC. They have also tried hard to attract new industry. However they should now concentrate 95% effort on new jobs and 95% budgeted money on that effort.
Approve new housing to widen the tax base
This is self evident; PEC has very few effective options but to grow our tax base
BnB regulation must be revenue neutral
There is plan in progress to License PEC STAs. That plan involves new by-laws which will require enforcement personnel. I would estimate at least one year to complete inspections etc so any additional personnel should be paid out of the license fund.
Levy Sandbanks Park – at least we should try , I have an idea
This concept has been talked about forever (it seems). But has anyone actually presented a plan which would recognize the Park’s concerns. I feel that they are concerned about a precedent. If the levy was calculated by considering headcount plus distance from Provincial Roads, it would be applicable everywhere. It could get complicated or it could be simplified. PEC needs to present the idea for discussion.
Re Town Hall, do not sell it, begin a 3 yr trial to reduce the subsidy
The current subsidy numbers as presented by PEC Staff are not acceptable for the long term. However, the working group has identified some new sources of revenue and has ideas for sizable grants. They should be given time to put their plan in place. Then again I would not want this issue to run over to a new council so I recommend a 3 yr trial.
Heritage, Use Digital files, start with the Salmon Pt Lighthouse as proof of principal
We all recognize and appreciate the ‘Settler’s Dream’. I think PEC Heritage Group should begin to collect Digital Files to supplement that book.
The Salmon Point Lighthouse would be a good ‘proof of purpose’ Project for a Digital Heritage File. Given that the owner shows no indication of preserving the Lighthouse and there are no other monies readily available, a Digital File is better than letting it disappear.
I envision a complete file including:
a) Video – exterior & interior walking cam tours
b) Audio – interviews with persons historically involved
c) Photos – new and old
d) Text – archive articles, maps, etc
e) Budget & journal as a Continuous Improvement step
Note: #1 This file could be raw material for a Documentary but that is not the prime purpose. #2 Certain elements might serve as a Project for PECI A/V Students. #3 File and repeat for other Heritage properties, prioritized for those that are scheduled for renovations, decks, etc
Picton Parking meters – review options/improvements
In Picton, what is the purpose of parking meters? I think it is to keep the spots turning over, similar to tables in a restaurant. The revenue is not significant and barely covers the direct labor to collect, count and record the coins. Also there is indirect labor for maintenance and complaints.
It is my understanding that Bracebridge does not have meters.
Traffic light at top of town hill – it is time
Someone pedestrian or motorist, is going to get hurt. The first observation is that winter season is a problem. However, the stop sign going west on Mary at Elizabeth has been there for two years.
Re Doctor shortfall – demand an audit by LIHN
PEC spends a modest amount of money to attract Doctors. However, Quinte West has gone all in with incentives so it would be difficult to compete. There will be Doctors retiring so PEC needs to continue our program. Also many citizens are complaining now about not being able to find a Doctor to ‘accept them’ as a patient.
I recommend PEC request an Audit by the LIHN in order to identify why we have a shortfall.
The County website should have a FAQ section
FAQ stands for ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ and it can save a lot of ‘hunting and pecking’ on a Citizen’s part. There are two questions that almost everyone is interested in having an answer.
#1 How to report a problem and/or how to follow-up.
#2 Which Roads are on the work plan and when.
The systematic plan for roads should be advertised.
The PEC roads department has a rating system and it has been applied to all PEC roads. Most citizens do not know that and further, do not know how to see the rating for their road of interest. This information should be advertised. It is available to the Public and makes sense.
County website & streaming is a work in progress
Sometime ago ‘Live Streaming’ of horseshoe events was implemented. It is a good service that has several improvements identified and awaiting implementation. For example the audio is clear but a deputation with slides is very difficult to follow.
In my opinion: searching the website has a steep learning curve especially for Budget items.