There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding my campaign. This has been one of the dirtiest elections that I’ve personally ever encountered.
Sadly the media are playing a huge role in this as well favoring Mayor Kilger.
The Seaway News has been on the attack since I’ve announced, and have not only not sent me an ad offering; but have not responded for my request to run an ad. Corus Radio refused my ad at first stating it was defamatory and then simply delaying and dragging out after having to go to head office to get clearance.
The Freeholder; who editorially have been the best of the local bunch, gave Mayor Kilger first crack at ads and essentially locked out other candidates from choice ad slots.
Even our local Cogeco outlet favored the mayor giving him nearly twice the air time for his interview with Todd Lalonde as I received and there was quite a bit of irony especially considering what happened when Todd and 4 others were fired from their City Works positions. (Mr. Lalonde was back on the job after some back door wrangling)
So as you can imagine it hasn’t been easy to get the word out about what I stand for and what my campaign platform core is.
First off is cutting taxes. I have targeted working with council to find 5% savings in the first four years. I think that will be a walk in the park as the city under the Kilger Council has compounded tax increases for all eight years they’ve been in power. Much of that was used to cover scandals and needless litigation.
I used one example to show that savings. I think a strong council working hard with city management can find even more to cut without chopping services.
Sadly the Community Action Group will not meet with me and I was snubbed at the Labour Council debate by Sandy Cameron. They will be taking ads out promoting candidates; but you probably won’t see my name on their list or their ad on CFN despite us having the largest audience in the city. The question begs is whether they are more concerned about holding the line on taxes or playing petty politics?
Cleaning House at City Hall. That’s where the damage to our bottom line occurs. We need to revamp our Economic Development team because frankly they’ve failed our city; especially with the budget line they’ve had these years. We have one nearly quiet gentleman in Mark Boileau and another in Bob Peters who was brought back after leaving the city employ under a very dark cloud with very dark suggestions of impropriety being brought back because of his assistance to Mayor Kilger’s campaign including working on the campaign during office hours.
The City still hasn’t answered to what occurred in February and June 2013 regarding communications from Trillium Distribution Cornwall Inc. and the Chem tanks. Either they did consult with the CAO and Mayor and followed orders or there was gross incompetence. It’s time for a change of that office and a termination of the 3rd position so we can shift that salary to another needed area of the city.
Better Community Consultation. No more nearly unadvertised public meetings. No more break out groups that silence the voice of those at the table. Can you blame the public for being so apathetic? We need to create an environment where the tax payer will feel more enfranchised in the future of OUR CITY.
Kill the Divestiture process. If you have to practice the level of secrecy that has gone on regarding this process without the public having input or say there’s something wrong, especially if there are contracts being signed. Frankly I don’t think we should partner with Akwesasne unless the public on both sides has more information and frankly that land claim should be resolved. What community would give up half of something it may already own? That question btw, cuts both ways.
We need better and more transparency at City Hall and our waterfront is something we have one shot at making work.
Permits & By Laws. We have one very silly candidate promoting a video about cleaning up our city showing pictures of ugly garbage. Great way to promote Cornwall while he lives in the Cotton Mill lofts and rents a location for his business outside our city when there are so many store fronts available in Cornwall. Why isn’t Neo Vintage furniture in Le Village Mr. St. Jean? Do we really need Porch Police or do we simply need to properly conduct our by laws?
And by laws are a big issue in Cornwall and are holding back business like what’s happened with the Sylvain family and the Port Theatre.
Or when restaurants have to wait as long as a year to open, or housing contractors get dinged for thousands of dollars of delays.
When these type of incidents happen people talk. They talk more about negative experiences than positive ones. Either we need better staffing in our department or more staff. It is key to our growth.
Changing the Culture. We need to be more inviting and eliminate the culture of bullying that exists in Cornwall. We need to honour those that achieve and reward merit instead of the cronyism and nepotism that is the perception here in our city. That doesn’t happen overnight but is key to getting our city over the 50,000 mark which I’d like to see in this next term.
Conflict of Interest Policy. While there has been some lip service to this we need to clearly draw the line. For example if you work for the city you can’t be on council. That’s black and white, and like wise I believe that if you wish to be on council you can’t be on any board or entity that works with the city.
I call this the Elaine MacDonald Conflict of Interest Policy.
It’s great that you want to help the poor and the Agape; but if you have to make a choice; either you’re on their board or you’re on council. Same for her role with the Labour Council and the farcical Art Council. Those are all noble choices, but there should have to be a choice made. There are many ways we can serve our community; but if one chooses to run for office then they should have to make those choices.
Same for Denis Carr who is paid to lead Heart of the City and at the same time is on council. Nope. Nothing personal; but that reeks. I’m not suggesting that the long serving councilor has done anything wrong; but again a choice should be made.
This is part of transparency and being inclusive.
Vote to Rescind Council raises. Yes, I would categorically vote to rescind the 40% raise. You don’t get a raise after the performance of this past term’s council and the new council hasn’t earned one yet. I would support the same raise that we have offered staff if even that.
Accountable Agency Spending. Every year we give out nearly half a million dollars to groups without holding them accountable to performance. That has to change, and we have to ask if there are better ways to spend that money.
Arts Centre. There is one clear solution and that is an amalgamation with our beautiful downtown library. Communications with the Counties Library head office could see book service moving to the counties building or the use of the basement for book lending as that’s one of the areas of the library that isn’t growing. At a cost of nearly $2M per year the over head of our library is something that we should consider before building a costly facility. We can expand some of the services that the library offers and add a small auditorium to the ground floor. We have a ton of parking in the back of the library as well that is rarely used at nights and on weekends.
The impact to the downtown core and business sector would be huge and it’s close enough to our waterfront to also have a valuable impact there too. Frankly I’d rather put more money into the Arts and Artists than into another building with high maintenance costs.
It comes down to vision and leadership.
On October 27th the people of Cornwall have a huge choice to make that will impact our communities future for generations. A vote for Bob Kilger and his crew will most likely insure a secretive deal with the Federal Government for the Harbour lands that could end in utter disaster.
Drive down Montreal Road and Pitt Street. How many of you reading this have seen friends and family move because of lack of real opportunity or because of cronyism and corruption.
There are better options and solutions.
On October 27th take that first step and make change happen.
Vote Jamie Gilcig for Mayor of Cornwall Ontario!
To read more of my platform and what I’m about click the link to my election blog.
this has been a paid advertisement for the campaign to elect Jamie Gilcig