Council has two roles says incumbent Deputy Mayor

Hello Saugeen Shores.

Four years ago, I campaigned and asked you to support me and my vision for Saugeen Shores. I believed we needed to control growth and development. We needed to improve our Recreational facilities and programs, and most importantly, we needed to address the issue of Housing in our community. All of this while still managing our finances and bringing forth responsible budgets. You agreed. You elected me as your Deputy Mayor, and I thank you. Now four years later, I am again asking for your support by your vote.

I believe Council has two roles. The first is to listen to the concerns of all members of the community, no matter what it is. The public must feel that your concerns are being heard and responded to accordingly. The second role is to represent and do what is best for Saugeen Shores – all of Saugeen Shores. Sometimes Council must make decisions that go against what some people believe is correct but will benefit Saugeen Shores in the long run. As your Deputy Mayor for the last four years, I have accomplished both. I believe I am open and approachable. I listen to all concerns and then respond accordingly. Sometimes you may not like my decision or response. However, the decisions I make are based on Municipal Laws and Procedures and are the guidelines I must follow.

As a council, we have accomplished much over this time. It has been a challenging four years for which none of us could have planned. We have experienced unprecedented growth and fought our way through a global pandemic. Who could have imagined any of this? With this Council’s guidance and our staff’s hard work, Saugeen Shores has emerged stronger over the last four years than ever.

Let me re-cap our accomplishments over the past four years:

1. We won the $250,000 Kraft Heintz Project Play contest
2. Completed the Transportation Master Plan
3. Completed the Affordable/Attainable Housing Report
4. Completed the Environmental Ad-Hoc Committee Report
5. Completed the Bicycle Friendly Report
6. Approved the development of over 800 rental units
7. Revitalization of the Port Elgin Waterfront
8. Pride Cross-walk in front of SDSS
9. Truth and Reconciliation cross-walk in front of G.C. Huston Public School
10. Completion of phases 1 and 2 of the Lamont Sports Park scheduled to open in the Spring of 2023
11. Pool and Recreation Center Consultation

What do I see as the priorities for the next four years?

I believe our Municipal Government must continue its practice of being open and transparent.

· The rules and procedures we follow are complicated, and the public is often unaware or does not entirely understand them. As your Deputy Mayor, I will continue to be available, listen to your questions, and inform and explain when questions arise.

Controlling Growth and Environmental Stewardship

· As the fastest growing community in Mid-Western Ontario, our Municipal Government must continue to embrace Economic Development while respecting the Environment. We will achieve this by working closely with our Planners and the County to develop environmentally appropriate developments. We also have great tools our own. Our Environmental Stewardship Ad Hoc committee completed and presented their plan, broken down into five key areas. Of these five areas, we can easily focus on two areas right away.

> The first is to develop a tree retention policy. I have brought this topic up in Council, and Council is in total agreement. We need to replace trees when we build, and every lot should have a tree.

>The second area we need to focus on is Waste Management. It is time that Green Bins come to Saugeen Shores. Please consider the amount of waste we would divert from the landfill with this program. With Saugeen Shores championing this initiative, I hope we can move it forward.


· As we grow, your Council must realize the needs of its citizens. How do we do this? We listen. We have public consultations. We then take all that information and apply it to meet our needs. One area that was a high priority for me was recreation. Your present Council listened to you, and as a result, we have seen the most significant investment in recreation in the history of the community. We have modernized our playgrounds and built the Lamont Sports Park. We have one large project yet to complete: the new Pool and Recreation facility. This new complex is required. We need a new pool, a walking track and new gymnasium space. Our community is very active, and I believe an active community is a healthy community. As our community grows, we must provide opportunities for everyone. Who knows, we may even have a Cricket Pitch someday.

Affordable and Attainable Housing

· Although Housing does not fall under Municipal guidelines, your present Council has gone above and beyond to address the housing crisis. We are working with our developers to ensure that more affordable rental units are available. We have over 800 rental units planned in the current developments. We have also changed our by-laws to allow for the creation of more secondary dwelling units. It is hoped that creating more rental units will help lower the prices and get more people into homes. I have personally campaigned to address this need in the last two elections ( Provincial and Municipal ). With your help, I will continue to work with Council to ensure we do all we can to help people find affordable living places.

· Council has discussed the possibility of more Habitat for Humanity builds to enable families to afford their first forever home. I fully support and look forward to working with Council on this endeavour.

As you read through the profiles and promises of the candidates running for election, we all say the same thing. It is up to you, the voting public, to decide what is important to you and which candidate can best achieve those goals. Who is the best candidate to represent you and your wishes, and who will best represent Saugeen Shores?

We have accomplished much in the last four years, but the work is far from over. There is more that we need to do, and there is always more. As we continue to grow, you need a Deputy Mayor representing the entire community—a Deputy Mayor who is approachable and listens. A Deputy Mayor with experience and one who is not afraid to make difficult decisions. A Deputy Mayor who does what is right and cannot be swayed by public opinion. Where most people see problems, I see opportunities. I want to work with you again as your Deputy Mayor to ensure we complete all of the amazing projects we have started. To ensure that as Saugeen Shores grows, we can meet the needs of all our residents.

Working together, we can make an already strong community even better!

When you vote, please vote – Don Matheson for Deputy Mayor