Candidate - Mayor of Highlands East
1. Do you favour the concept of an amalgamated, single-tier government for Haliburton County? What would the advantages of such a system be, or, conversely, what are the advantages of maintaining the existing two-tier system?
I do favour a single tier government for Haliburton County. I believe there is an overlap of some services and amalgamation would solve that issue. One example is the roads department. In the winter I watch Highlands East drive by my place with their plows up because 648 is a County Road. I also believe a single tier government would result in less staffing costs. I strongly believe single tier government is something to be considered for the near future.
2. Is the county’s tourism strategy working? What are its strong points and weaknesses? Is there anything that could be done differently to attract more people to the Haliburton Highlands?
Yes, the tourism strategy for Haliburton County appears to be working. Haliburton County is widely advertised and branded as a place of many adventures. A shortage of accommodations could be a weakness as we can only accommodate a specific amount of guests at a time.
3. The county is currently in the process of strengthening its shoreline protection bylaw. What provisions and restrictions should be included to adequately protect the health of the county’s lakes?
The Shoreline Tree Preservation Bylaw is a huge step in the health and protection of our lakes. The bylaw not only makes a firm stand on shoreline habitat protection but it is also encouraging people to do everything they can to improve and rebuild what has been lost.
4. The issue of short-term rentals of private cottages continues to be a topic of discussion in the community. Should municipalities be implementing control measures on short-term rentals; why or why not? What does a responsible framework for the control of short-term rentals look like?
Short term rentals is part of Haliburton County’s tourism interests. Implementing control measures may look like a cash grab to many people that are already struggling to pay taxes. I believe people are renting their vacation properties to help pay the taxes. I am curious as to how much will it cost to administer this type of control?
5. The county has been working toward a public transportation plan, which has not yet been produced. Do you think the county should offer a public transportation service; why or why not? What would a sustainable transportation system look like?
Yes public transportation should be offered. Bancroft has “The Trout” (a small bus that has a pre-determined route) and it is working very well for them, a similar service would work well for Haliburton County.