Cornwall ON – This year the Cornwall Ontario Chamber of Commerce was soliciting more business people to take the bit and run for City Council. Mike Bedard must’ve been listening as he decided to take some time from his company, Roys Pools, and run for council. He provided us with some information about him and his platform.
Platform ItemsEmployment Retention & Creation
- Attract new employers
- Award city contracts to local businesses before out of town firms
- Improve our highway presence
- Improve the image and relationships between city staff, citizens and businesses with regards to Planning and Building Permits
- Adopt “greener” standards and attract “greener” businesses to our city.
- Ensure equality and consistency when adopting or approving policies that effect the competitive nature of our economy.
- Support decentralizing government employment to Cornwall
- Reduce residential and commercial property taxes by:
- Eliminating unneeded spending on consultants
- Outsourcing services
- Increasing the population through employment creation which will reduce the cost per home
- Promote the City of Cornwall and its citizens to our youth in an effeort to eliminate the negative opinions such as; “ You must leave Cornwall to become successful!”
- Support the creation of new University programs
- Promote and Expand our Parks and Recreation Services
- Allow for the youth of our city to have an active voice within city council
- Waterfront Development
- Create a museum and arts building
- Maintain our Bilingual Culture
- Create new affordable housing complexes
- Create new long-term care facilities
- Support “Not for Profit” organizations
- Attract and Retain Medical Professionals and Services
The following is a list of responses to the questions that are posted on the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce’s Candidates Profile section.
- Why do you want to be Councilor for the City of Cornwall?
“I want to become a Councilor for the City of Cornwall because I believe that my abilities as a leader will prove instrumental in guiding Cornwall into an era of prosperity and help our city find a new sense of pride! I want to desperately change the mindset of our citizens that; “You must move out of Cornwall if you wish to become successful or to obtain opportunities!” Cornwall is full of untapped potential that must be realized now!”
- What do you believe the role of the Councilor to be?
“I believe the role of a councilor is to ensure that all of our citizens needs are met through spearheading improvement initiatives, providing groundbreaking service to potential investors, becoming a forerunner in initiating environmentally friendly solutions and a trailblazer for the retention and protection of our youth, workforce and senior citizens!”
- In your view, what is the most important issue facing the City over the next three years and how would you address the issue?
“The most important issue facing Cornwall within the next three years is the Seaway international bridge and location of the customs facility. Even though, this may be a federal issue it is extremely important to the future success of the Cornwall economy. My main priority would be to ensure that our local opinion and voice be heard and that senior levels of government pay close attention to our requests.
In my view the most important issue facing the City of Cornwall over the next three years, which I can become more involved with at a front line level, will be the health care options for our senior citizens! The baby boomer generation will reach the ages of between 47 and 66 years of age in 2011 and we must ensure that such a large part of our population is cared for through quality affordable housing and compassionate long-term care facilities!”
- What would you do to competitively position Cornwall with respect to attracting new business?
“I would work with administration, fellow councilors and the community to ensure that our Department of Planning, Parks and Recreation become the most efficient and user friendly experience; as compared to other communities! This department is responsible for Planning, Building Permits, By-Law Enforcement, Parks and Recreation; which I believe to be the pillars of a fruitful municipality. All the divisions listed can either attract or repel domestic and foreign investors! It is vital to ensure its operation is the finest of all! I would also like to see our highway presence improved through enhanced signage.
I would also like the entrances become more visibly appealing to vehicles using the 401 Highway at its furthest Eastern (Boundary Rd.) and Western (Tollgate Rd.) entrance/exits! Let’s let people know that we are here and that we have a lot to offer by advertising along our busiest corridors!”
- What three key strengths do you believe you can bring to the Council Chamber?
“1. Creativity – I am the youngest candidate and would like to see new ideas be passed around council table and add alternative points of view that may be absent due to the lack representation from different demographics!
2. Professionalism – I am a local business owner and an accounting graduate! I was awarded the President’s List from St. Lawrence College for obtaining the highest GPA in my discipline Business Administration Accounting. I understand through the ownership of my own business that spending more money does not guarantee satisfactory results and thus I will be more than capable of measuring cost vs. reward since I possess experience in this area!
3. Leadership – I have led and have strived to be the best my entire life. My only goal in life is to ensure everyone is proud of me! I will bring this quality to council and will not sleep soundly until our image and council members have clearly set forth a precise plan of action. I will also ensure to have set time lines to adhere to our plan and hold the necessary people/s responsible for our failure and success. I will try to ensure everyone is aware of what is and isn’t being done and for which reasons!
I have garnered many athletic awards and personal successes due to my obsessive nature that allows me to strive for perfection and reach goals some only dream of……..my new dream is to see Cornwall become a developers dream!”
So there you have it Cornwall. What do you think?
will you work to re-negotiate the Hydro Quebec terms for Cornwall? So that we can benefit from the federal and provincial Feed-in Tariff Programs. You want to be ‘green’?
Thank You, for the question Rony. I will do everything I can to help reduce the carbon footprint and reduce the cost of living in Cornwall. However, it is a community effort and I must convince at least 5 other councillors/mayor to approve any proposal. Pleas continue to provide input and question the candidates due to the fact that we often, due to time and space constratints, can not provide full details. I personally try, as hard as I can, to provide specific actions or changes that will provide desired outcomes.
1) I wish to play an active part in transforming the Planning Division into a user-friendly / award winning service department within the city. Why? Have you ever spoke to anyone requiring a building permit and discussed their experience? Changing the customer experience will not only improve the cities image but also attract more and new investors; both locally and from out of town. Hence, creating new jobs!
This is how candidates need to respond to questions and not just state that they will change the world without a plan of action. Direct results derive from direct actions!
Your example seems to be self serving. Install a pool, get a building permit,…. quicker, you get paid quicker. I can see where this is going.
My example is based on personal experience and yes it would benefit anyone in the construction industry by having a quicker process. However, I am paid in advance for my services and my customers are responsible for their own building permits. I lose sales due to the fact that I require the clients to present with a copy of the permit, prior to the installation date, and if a pool is built without a permit than both the homeowner and the builder are both fined. One for permitting without a permit and the other for building without a permit.
Most of the citizens of Cornwall will agree with myself when I say: “Getting a permit in Cornwall is not an enjoyable experience!”
Willie 191, would you rather someone with no experience and no desire for productive change trying to rebuild your planning division?
If you wish to speak about this issue in detail or are genuinely interested in my platform or business
here is all of my particulars:
240 Northwoods Crst.
Home: (613) 935-9429
Work: (613) 933-0411
Web-Site: http://www.mikebedard.ca or http://www.royspools.ca
I only ask that when you contact me you use your real name and a tag name.
willie you make a good point, it does seem like Mike is serving a personal interest. It fits very well with Cornwall’s reputation.
That being said Mike makes a good point as well. Cornwall has to be the worst city for someone attempting to accomplish almost anything related to construction, permits and engineering.
It could be just change people fear or it could be guidance from above directing them to take so long. Stall the process so people become frustrated and think of moving. That way people but property cheap and help Bob with his retirement community.
Mike Judging from all the bylaws not followed in Cornwall, are you sure we do have an enforcement team? I think municipal fines should be upgraded to discourage some of the bylaws ignored by people. One concern in this city is the use of fire lanes. The fine here is only about $25, not much of a deterrent. You are fined more for parking in a handicapped zone. The provincial law for smoking is 9 meters from a business entranceyet here it is ignored. Take a look at Wal Mart. They have an ash tray just outside the door. By adjusting the fines appropriately we can hire one person to stay at Wal Mart and the LCBO. In that time they could earn enough to operate the bylaw enforcement potion of the city.
I agree with you 100%.
If you want people to use a system properly:
1) Make it easy to use
2) Make it harder for people not following the system
To accomplish this task I think we can start by simply going back to the basics:
1) Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound)
2) Consistently Monitor there Results
3) Implement Immediate Changes as Needed
The key to this basic business notion is to encourage both customer (our citizens) satisfaction, increase usage; which will also increase the city’s credibility (at least in this department). And YES, we should absolutely make it harder on people not following by-laws.
Smee, Do you not agree that we must make it easier to use the system before lashing someone for not following a flawed system? My targets are precise and I hope I to be elected because people like yourself believe I will make changes! I am not interest in watching from the sidelines I am very adamant about being an “Active Leader”. One who people will look back on and be proud of selected!
That is a good idea Mike and good luck with it. I can assure you it will be a challenge
What type of KPI’s will you set in place to determine so the value of the changes and assess if they are meeting expectations or not.
Since, quality checks or verification is currently not present; it will be a huge task.
Some Key Performance Indicators that I would like to see put in place would be simple and effective. Please Note almost anything right now can be viewed as a good KPI since we currently have nothing
When selecting KPI’s they must reflect the organization, or in this case the department’s goals! The definition of what they are and how they are measured must not change unless the goals have changed or the goals are close to being achieved.
So, after stating the basics we must first realize we are dealing with a problematic division which provides a people oriented service.
The KPI’s should address:
1) Courteous Service
2) Quick Turn-Around Times
3) Accurate Information
4) Efficiency or Financial Viability
A few ideas would be then to create KPI’s as such; which should be recorded within the city’s HRIS:
1) 80% client satisfaction rate – To ensure the quality of care provided to the citizens.
2) 48 Hour Inspection or Approval Response – To increase production and income.
3) 80% Successful Application Rate – To measure the clarity of the aid given to each client.
4) Cost of Services per Customer Ratio – To compare with other municipalities.
Although these could be modified others added and some omitted I do believe in the motto of “You have to start somewhere!” but the key to it’s success will be to consistently monitor and change as change is needed ensure the KPI’s are met and utilized/