Clearview election 2018: Ward 2 candidates

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We put the following three questions to those running for Ward 2. Please see their numbered responses (in alphabetical order):

1. Traffic and speeding are a common concern for residents. What can be done to improve pedestrian safety?

2. What step would you take to ensure the vitality of the township’s downtowns and commercial nodes?

3. Should the existing ATV route be revisited and would you support the expansion of ATV access to township roads?

Donna Baylis

Hometown: Grew up in the area

Profession: computer consultant, The Creemore Coffee Company.

Hobby: Environmentalist – administer social media sites and Facebook page “Clearview Township News” 

Favourite Clearview Destination: the curling club – in both Stayner and Creemore.

1. Sidewalks are key to pedestrian safety. Sidewalks should be available, wheel accessible, and level without cracks or heaves. I’m sure everyone can agree that walking around Clearview is one of the pleasures of life; a healthy activity that should be safe as well.

2. People can shop anywhere. They can stay home and shop. So these days town centres and commercial nodes must be “destinations” offering entertainment as well as goods and services. Such destinations must be attractive, clean, comfortable, lively and friendly. We have a lot of creative people and enthusiasm in our area. I would encourage that zeal. I would also like to see open WiFi (a great advertising opportunity).

3. As the Secretary of the Dufferin Grey ATV Club, I would like to see a comprehensive trail system across Simcoe County. ATVs and side-by-sides are outselling snowmobiles. People want to ride and need somewhere to go. Without a trail system, riders will go everywhere, which will cause problems. Allowing an organized trail network establishes a route, a structure for resolving issues, provides insurance, maintenance, safety training and enforcement paid for by the clubs. ATVing is not a cheap sport. The bikes, insurance, permits and fuel are expensive. Riders pick a destination for fuel, food and accommodations. What a terrific way to introduce people to Clearview Township.

Doug McKechnie

Hometown: Nottawa

Profession: recently retired commercial pilot, paramedic

Hobby: hiking

Favourite destination in Clearview: Nottawasaga Bluffs near Singhampton. 

1. This is a township-wide problem. Locally, our Ward 2 hamlets have no sidewalks and limited street lighting.

Solutions such as lower speed limits, radar activated signs, and zero tolerance should be given consideration, however it’s important to remember that traffic enforcement is the responsibility of the OPP. Township staff prepared a report and recommended that no traffic calming action be taken. 

Clearview Township has a Community Policing Committee that I would work with to find long-term strategies. I would strengthen the committee (more members) and give it a more robust mandate to address the issue.

Outside the box solutions such as Yield Roadways could be considered. Yield Roadways work well in Europe encouraging slower speeds, enhancing pedestrian and cyclist safety. 

Finally, we pedestrians need to take some responsibility for our own safety. Easy to use apps are available for your smart phone that flash bright amber strobe lights that are visible for 3-5 blocks. I use a free app that works well called Pedsafe. 

2. Attractive facades, and the collective image of the downtown area can help retain business and attract visitors. The Community Improvement Plan provides grants of 50% of the cost for businesses to upgrade their storefronts. I would continue this program and improve it to make it easier to apply. 

The Downtown Stayner Revitalization Plan will make a major improvement to Stayner’s vitality, but I would be cautious of some of the spending proposed. I am agreeable to the core elements of the plan, but would vote against items such as the $350,000 splash pad.

I would encourage Stayner to form a BIA (Business Improvement Area) that will have a higher profile than the current Chamber of Commerce. Creemore and Collingwood both have BIAs that work well.

Finally, I would encourage all banks and government offices to locate in the downtown core. People use these services every day and keeping them downtown helps ensure a steady stream of business for all retailers along the main street.

3. Since the current ATV bylaw was enacted Clearview has had only one road ATV complaint. I recognize the current route does not work. I live close to it and have never seen an ATV on it. I am open to having the discussion brought back to Council to have the route modified for ATVs that are traveling in groups.

Many farmers in Ward 2 use their personal ATV to travel between farms. I want to support the agricultural community so I am open to unrestricted use of township roads for single ATVs.

So in summary, single ATVs should be allowed to travel our township roads without restriction, whereas ATV groups touring through the area should adhere to assigned routes. I encourage the ATV clubs to come back to Council if the routes need to be modified.


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