Since we will be going to the polls to elect Council members on October 27, it seemed like a good time to read up on Taking Back Our Cities by Gord Hume (Municipal World Inc., 2011) which I found at the library. While I haven’t read all of it yet, he seems to make some useful arguments. Among the reforms he advocates, Hume says:
“We must get rid of the 17th century tools (property taxes) and 19th century thinking (the BNA Act that devolved responsibility for cities to the provinces”
He also talks about what the real issues might be in a municipal election:
“At the end of the day, citizens are not going to be asking who cared about which by-laws – they are going to be demanding to know which councilors led and worked on the big issues that are really important …”
And he goes on to list what he thinks some of them are:
- Can my kid find a good job in my city … ?
- Is our downtown vibrant and culturally dynamic?
- Am I getting great value for my property taxes?
- Do other communities respect our city?
- Is our city a leader in technology and innovation?
- Is my city sustainable; promoting local food; environmentally sensitive?
- Do we offer a superior quality of life for all residents?
How do those ideas compare with your perception of the issues? Do those issues resonate with you?
In Toronto, The Toronto Star has been running a feature asking readers to contribute their Big Ideas to revitalize that city. Here, Innisfil’s focus since 2013 has been on a broad strategic plan, Inspiring Innisfil 2020, which focuses on community quality of life; economic development; and culture through tourism, heritage and the arts. Great stuff, but is it enough?
What transformational ideas do you have to make Innisfil the great place to live? I’ve created a short survey (9 questions) for Innisfil residents who would like to share their thoughts: