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Randy Curtis - Deputy Mayoral Candidate

Randy Curtis is a Cobourg native, and after completing High School here, graduated from Ryerson Polytechnic in Industrial Engineering. Then he spent a few years in the family “camper building business”, before moving on to Union Carbide where he became V.P. in charge of marketing, and director general for the company in Mexico.

He returned to Cobourg in 1999, and started up a consulting business which he ran for a number of years, before taking up his managerial position with Rexel Electric in Cobourg. He is married, with two sons and two daughters.

In 2017, when council needed to fill a vacancy, he was one of 13 to apply, but the 10 minute pitch he was allowed to make did not result in his appointment. However, he was asked to join the Economic Development Council, and also the Downtown Coalition committee, and has been attending council meetings on a regular basis as well.

There was no question he wanted to run in the 2018 election - he was the second person to register for as a candidate for councillor.

However, when he saw that the Deputy Mayor’s position was going to be acclaimed, by someone who had never won a Cobourg election, he strongly believed that the best interests of the Town would be served by giving the electoral a choice.

He feels he has the skill set required with all of his business and financial experience, but also his knowledge of Cobourg, with family history here going back to the 1700’s.

Why did he decide to run for office? While the town has a number of financial benefits, including ownership of public utilities and the Northam Industrial Park, taxpayers in town are paying among the highest rates in the province, and that its time for tax payer dividends. Yes, HOLDCO and the Northam Industrial Park need to invest in infrastructure maintenance and improvement, but some profits also need to go towards limiting tax increases. More frequent expense vs. budget updates need to be made, and more reporting on reserve funds.

Regarding the marina, he feels that it could easily increase needed revenue, not through expansion, but by reducing the transient boat slip allocation from about 38% to a more standard 10%. The proposed travel lift purchase at $850K is far too high, but is also not advisable until increased boat storage capacity is secured (perhaps at the old Works Department on King Street). When it comes to the trailer park, it also has increased revenue potential, by adopting market rates, and increasing short term rentals, especially on premium lots.

For Cobourg, he would like to see only moderate growth in residential development, so it does not become a bedroom community for the GTA. There is a labor shortage for blue collar industries, but more needs to be done to attract and create higher paying white collar opportunities. The town also needs a “consumer attraction plan”, not just a retail attraction plan - the difference being more retail that will encourage destination shopping, as has been done successfully in many other centers. The Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is something he supports going forward, based on the current year experience of $136K in town grants and loans resulting in over $1M in investment.

Randy Curtis stresses how he wants to make Cobourg affordable. and have it retain its small town feeling. He says he has the time to help make that happen, the knowledge of the community based on his long history here, and a strong skill set gained over years of business experience.

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Suzanne Seguin - Deputy Mayoral Candidate

Suzanne Séguin was born and raised in Prescott, Ontario, and included in her professional background is being co-publisher of the Lighthouse Press. She was elected to council in Prescott in 2003, then mayor office in 2006.

What brought her to Cobourg? Part of it was a desire to be closer to her three daughters and four grandchildren living in Toronto, and her second husband Gerry, who has sons in Belleville and in Peterborough. But when they started looking at options, Cobourg with its wonderful downtown streetscape and waterfront stood out for them, over other places such as Bowmanville, Whitby and Ajax. Cobourg impressed both her and her husband that Cobourg as a clean, friendly and open community.

She was appointed to fill a vacant councillor position in Cobourg in January of 2017. Although Prescott has only 4500 residents as opposed to Cobourg’s close to 19,000, Suzanne believes that the issues and priorities here are really no different than they were in Prescott. There is the same need for strong fiscal management, and evidence based decisions, founded on proper analysis and research.

For example, when the 600 page Waterfront User Needs Assessment and Detailed Design Plan was submitted to council, she was given the final report on a Friday, and then at Monday’s council meeting was expected to vote on its adoption. She voted against, recommending that it simply be accepted for information purposes until she and others had more time to study it in detail. This motion was withdrawn after a discussion with council members, and the report was adopted. Now she is opposed to two main components of it - the marina expansion and purchase of a boat lift using taxpayer funds.

Suzanne explained how she would like to see more open communications with residents, and believes this could be done through mailings, but also town hall meetings focused on a few important issues, with round table discussions. She would also like to see the introduction of a possible question period at Committee of the Whole meetings, starting perhaps with questions from the media first. Experience does suggest to her that questions from the general public are often used to promote very specific issues at great time expense for council.

What are her other priorities? She commented on what seems to be an excessive use of consultants by past councils, and too often their reports are not used. She believes the Cobourg Community Centre’s deficit of $1.2M per year is too high, but further research is required - something she loves doing. The budget process needs attention - right now there is too much duplication of effort, and tax increases need to be kept down. She would like to see the establishment of a resource to promote small business in the community, and an opportunity to restructure the Economic Development position. Venture 13, she feels, is a very positive initiative, but more can be done in arts and culture, and high tech sectors. The town needs to attract more young families, but also offer more in the way of housing and transportation for seniors, who make up 55% of our population base.

Is her interest in the deputy-mayor’s position a stepping stone to once again becoming mayor? Her quick answer was no as she has full confidence in the job that Mayor-elect John Henderson will do. She understands that being deputy mayor will demand up to 25% more time than just being on council, but the mayor’s job probably means a 50% increase in time commitment, and she wants to protect family time. But if elected, she will always have a notepad ready for impromptu meetings with residents to record issues and recommendations. She in turn will have 3 questions: Do you live here? Did you vote in the last municipal election? Are you part of the solution or just part of the problem?

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Nicole Beatty - Councillor Candidate

Nicole Beatty was born and raised in Cobourg, attended CDCI West High School where she was valedictorian in her graduating year, and then went on to earn her BA from the University of Ottawa, in communications.

She then spent some 11 more living in Toronto, and another four years doing some world traveling.

Her plan then was to come back to Cobourg for three months, to catch up with her three sisters and their families, but also with her best friends. She has now been back for 5 years, and has no thoughts of leaving a place where she loves to work, live with her partner Warren, and play.

Nicole says she made her decision to run for municipal council about 18 months ago, after receiving the 2017 Mayors Award as a trusted community leader and phone calls from several friends and contacts in the community urging her to run, but basically because politics has always been a goal in her life. In fact, she has her sights set on becoming mayor one day, before perhaps moving on to provincial and/or federal politics.

Her campaign platform, with a brother-in law as campaign manager, involves 5 guiding priorities:

- Economic Development, with an expansion of not only manufacturing but rural and agricultural initiatives. Venture 13 is a prime example of what can be done to bring new jobs with living wages. When asked about marijuana, she said she is on record as being in support of its legalization, and that it can create good new jobs in this area. At the same time, she is aware that there are concerns, and these need to be listened to.

- Culture and Tourism. She along with Jeff and Amelia Bray are the co-founders of “Cultivate”, was influential in promoting the pop-up patio license on the waterfront, and has a strong track record in raising funds for many different charities and public causes. When it comes to tourism, she outlined how there is need to promote tourism from away, but also within the community. Specifically, she is opposed to expansion of the marina, is OK about the trailer park, and the restoration of the East Pier, but with preservation of its current use, rather than new commercial development.

- Environmental Sustainability. She would like to see council establish a new ‘green committee’, and see Cobourg grow through responsible and sustainable planning. The Tannery lands, for example, have exciting potential for mixed purpose development, but careful collaboration will be required between council and staff.

- Youth Engagement. She notes that youth are currently not well represented in politics generally, and would like to see one representative on each council committee, but also have a youth advisory committee. She would like to see more active partnerships with post-secondary education institutions, including an active campus or at least satellite classrooms in Cobourg. She had the benefit of helpful mentorship throughout her schooling, and feels that more opportunities can be created for young people to earn a good living wage.

- Social Policy. She is in favor of having a Community Development Committee under council, dedicated to coordinating priorities with a particular focus on affordable housing. As well, better provision needs to be made for the homeless on a 24/7 basis, and basic food needs of many residents. In all of this, she sees Cobourg as a community that values equality, welcomes newcomers, and above all, provides a safe environment for its residents.

On a more personal note, Nicole also explained the five tattoos she wears. One is a peacock, symbolizing her open and free spirit, another has a Viking motif - something that will help her find her way, an Irish and Celtic symbol (she is of Irish background) representing life, love and community, and others representing courage and grace. So, in a nutshell, she wears her values, but also intends to live them.

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Aaron Burchat - Councillor Candidate

A 2005 graduate from Fleming College’s Home and Building Automation program, Aaron was hired with Alliance Security as a technician. When this company purchased Compton's Telecommunication Services, Aaron became responsible for business development services while still keeping his hand in the technical side of things.

In 2017, he and his wife Lindy purchased “Showtime TV and Stereo” when the previous owner wanted to retire. His wife does the book keeping, and they have two employees to handle most of the daily responsibilities. Somehow Aaron has been able to manage store ownership along with his full time job and council responsibilities (since being appointed to Cobourg council in 2016 to fill a vacancy), as well as being a parent to three young children.

Aaron first got interested in politics during the 2014 provincial election. He became intrigued with the nature of public service and feels he has a vision for Cobourg and how council can work towards that.

He describes himself as having a strong work ethic and a compassionate nature. Aaron wants Cobourg be a good place to raise his family. “The best way to make change is to be a part of it” says Burchat. “It’s been a very rewarding experience to date, despite the challenges and controversy.”

Council has done a good job, he maintains. Council decisions such as purchasing Northam industrial park 15 years ago, and developing the Official plan of the Town of Cobourg, the Heritage Master Plan and the Waterfront Plan are highlights. All of these have been done with the help of consultants, with public input, something he believes is more cost effective than hiring additional staff. Pleasing everyone is never easy though. Take the Waterfront Plan; rather than expanding the marina, he questions whether existing boat slips might be reconfigured to add more capacity yet not intrude on the natural west basin. Aaron understands the purpose of adding a travel lift to Marina operations, however there needs to be a proper business case presented.

He cites the renovation of 394 College Street as a great example of intensification without altering the building’s overall Heritage. The building exterior was retained, but the structure now accommodates five, residential units rather than just one. Aaron voted in favour of the Certo building being designated, and put forth a motion to designate two other Kraft buildings on the property. Even the Sidbrook building on King Street, he feels, has value, but finding a renovator with deep enough pockets to take on such a project may be a challenge.

Being on council has been a learning experience for him. Dealing with the public, the understanding of the town's heritage policies, and focusing on topics such as land use planning. Would he favour a Question and Answer session at council meetings? Aaron recognizes that people have a chance to present to council and a right to being kept informed but believes having a Q&A session may not always work out the way that people expect, and that there might be some times where the answer isn't immediately available during the Q&A session and might require some research to be able to provide the correct information. He recommends that if council does choose to add a Q&A session to meetings, it’s with the understanding that sometimes the answer might not be able to be provided until the next council meeting.

For Burchat the most important thing is to make sure people are informed and involved in what the town and council are doing. This “customer service” aspect is much the same as what is required in private business. Burchat’s plan was always to run again in 2018 and he wants to stay involved as he works toward bringing his vision for Cobourg to life.

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Adam Bureau - Councillor Candidate

Adam Bureau was born in Scarborough, Ontario, and has since lived in many Ontario communities including Durham, Minden, Lindsay, and Pickering, before coming to Cobourg about 10 years ago, and starting up his “Buy and Sell” business on King Street.

He describes Cobourg as truly an “inspiring” place to live, and where he and his wife Wendy have raised their 3 daughters, as well as cared for a number of foster children. In his words, “it’s a community that makes you want to do more”.

For the last three years, he has been on the Board of the Downtown Business Improvement Association, and chair this past year. He is especially proud of a project he initiated to restore the harvest festival in downtown Cobourg, and he believes that there is a strong future for the downtown area, with strong leadership by the DBIA and Town council.

On that note, Adam maintains that the transition to Town council would be a logical and easy transition for him, since his experience on the DBIA has made him very familiar with meeting protocol and procedure. He says he has learned that decision making is not personal for him, but rather a process of considering differing recommendations and opinions based on public input. However, being an “A” type personality, he is quite prepared to make whatever decisions are necessary.

There are a number of issues which he states will be important to him if he wins a seat on council, based on his overall philosophy of ‘locals first’, and that tourism is important but not the first priority for council. Based on his experience with the DBIA, he feels it is vitally important for Cobourg to do something about the parking problem downtown, and for him, the solution is to build a tiered parking lot on 2nd street, or Covert Street. How would the project be paid for? In part, he would allocate all parking meter revenue to the project, but additional funding would of course be needed - something that the Town would just have to invest in for its own future.

Considering the Waterfront Plan, he favors a referendum on marina expansion, is not so sure that the Travel Lift is a good idea, wants to see an upgrade to campground, and the beach washrooms. He believes the East Pier is a vitally important renovation project, and that public input is needed on a possible expansion of the pier to include businesses including restaurants.

Adam also noted that housing is a key concern for him. He wants to see more affordable housing, and a much higher availability rate for rentals, which he currently states is only .3% of all rental units in the town. He would like to see a lot in Westwood, already zoned for apartment units, developed as quickly as possible (and it might provide up to 35 additional units).

If he should win one of the five council seats, is he in for the long term? He says “most definitely so”, but laughs when asked if he has bigger ambitions as well - “lets just see what happens in the next four years”.

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Emily Chorley - Councillor Candidate

Emily Chorley is originally from Northumberland County, and attended St. Mary’s High School before going on to complete her Hon. B.A. at the University of Toronto, while also working alongside her parents on municipal projects involving floral displays, lighting and bicycle lanes.

Later, she completed her M.A. at Sussex University in England in international politics, and stayed in London for another 7 years, working with a consulting company, writing and delivering briefings for government and United Nation officials on military and international security issues, including nuclear non-proliferation, and control of chemical weapons.

She and her husband started their family in London, but soon realized that they did not want to raise a family in such a hectic environment, and chose to return to the comfortable way of life that Cobourg has to offer. She still works for the same consulting company, but is able to tailor her workload to whatever other priorities she takes on. They now have two children, aged 2 and 6.

With interest and experience in international and military politics, what is her interest in running for a local council position? She doesn’t see the change as being that significant, in the sense that both require asking the right questions, listening, and doing careful research into the issues which are of concern in the community. She deferred our interview and preparation of her campaign platform until after she had done extensive consultation with residents in Cobourg.

She would like to develop a more citizen-centered council (after regularly attending meetings for the past year), have it move away from the 4 pm time slot to make it more accessible, add a Q &A session, and also have open forum meetings in an informal setting.

To encourage greater youth participation, she would like to see council partnering with local schools, and having a model youth council with the public invited.

If elected, she would want to use her experience in the family business to work closely with the DBIA, the planning department (on a comprehensive zoning review), and the heritage advisory committee (to ensure that existing property standards and by-laws are enforced, and heritage properties preserved). Regarding our waterfront, she would not support marina expansion into the west harbour area (people have spoken on this), and would want to encourage a more natural approach rather than over-commercializing it. Her guideline would be to always give first opportunity to local businesses and residents in any future development (including projects such as the inflatable waterpark).

Growth is inevitable, but taking a long term view, Emily would aim to manage growth to protect the small-town feeling that Cobourg has. Emily also believes that greater diversity is needed on town council, staff, and advisory committees, so that all segments of the population are represented. With the lack of media coverage, she feels that it is left to the citizenry to scrutinize council action, and provide oversight.

Her husband is also her campaign manager, and they enjoy working on local issues together. If elected, she is fully OK with the time commitment involved, but also the big learning curve involved in not just preparing briefings (as she does in her consulting), but also having to make decisions. She intends to be active in politics for a long time.

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Brian Darling - Councillor Candidate

Brian Darling’s family history in Cobourg goes back at least three generations, and in Hamilton Township a lot more. He was with the Cobourg Fire Department for 30 years, and Fire Captain before his retirement. His youngest daughter lives in town, the older one is in Niagara Falls. Time with family and 4 grandchildren is an important part of his life, as well as giving back to the community.

He was elected to council in 2014, with the largest vote count of all councillors. For this election, he was often asked to run for deputy mayor, but chose not to, because of the increased time and family commitments.

As councillor, he was told that it would take up to 15 hours of his time per week - it turned out to be more like 25, and as deputy mayor, it would be a much more. But it’s also a 24/7 job, in that council issues are always on his mind, and he is always being stopped on the street by residents with their issues and concerns, which he doesn’t mind, unless his wife is with him. Then he asks for an email message or phone call at a more convenient time.

During the last council session, Brian was very involved in both the Community Improvement Plan(CIP), the Heritage Master Plan, and the Venture 13 project, all he feels as important council achievements over the past 4 years. Under the CIP, over $136K in funds have been granted or loaned this year, which he states helped stimulate over a million dollars of rehabilitation work in the downtown area. Of particular interest for Brian is the start of refurbishing of living quarters above the King Street stores, an important addition to housing stock in town.

Councillor Darling also talked about how important it is for the town to have an asset management study completed, to ensure that plans and funds will be in place to maintain and or replace town infrastructure as required. Past councils have done a good job in investing in roads, sewers, and public buildings, but future councils will have to focus on not only new but also existing infrastructure, including the East Pier for example. He wants to see it become a people place, with benches, trees and access for cars. He voted against the marina expansion during his first term, but has taken no position on the purchase of a boat lift, pending further feedback from the public.

Some actions by council and staff are not well understood, he maintains. For example, the recent flooding of the Canadian Tire parking lot was by design, to mitigate overwhelming the storm sewer drainage system and causing flooding in more vulnerable areas. He feels that council needs to continue its fiscal responsibilities, keeping tax increases to inflation rate levels or lower, and is proud of the fact that the town owned Lakefront Utilities Corporation provides electricity rates that are among the 5 lowest in all of Ontario.

Council will need to get ongoing professional help from consultants on a number of issues going forward, along with public input. On that note, however, he is very aware of how questions to the public can be worded to influence the outcome, so care and caution are required to get constructive feedback. He is not opposed to having a Q and A session as part of council meetings, but strict guidelines and time limits would have to be set.

When asked what two changes he would most like to see, to council or in the community, nothing came immediately to mind. We have a beautiful and diversified community, a very scenic waterfront, and vibrant downtown core. With what he describes as his honest, reliable and caring nature, he hopes to be able to help keep it that way.

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Travis Hoover - Councillor Candidate

Travis Hoover is a native of Cobourg, and attended Cobourg Collegiate before heading off to George Brown College in Toronto where he completed a degree in pastry and baking. Soon after, he realized that this was not going to be a career long interest for him, and hired on at Tim Horton’s as a health and safety manager, before becoming senior manager for a group of stores in Port Hope and Cobourg.

Then in 2014, he accepted a position as special assistant to MPP Lou Rinaldi, noting that he always had an interest in politics. He became parliamentary assistant for municipal affairs, and in that role, had contact with many municipal councils in the province, and exposure to the issues and challenges that they face. With this unique perspective, he feels that Cobourg has been doing well, and that it has had very seasoned councillors.

What are some of his priorities in wanting to run for council himself? Economic Development was the first he mentions, with a need for business expansion, and industrial growth. And it needs to attract younger families, and populate its schools. It is a large growing community, and he wants to see it continue to thrive and prosper. Working closely with Northumberland County, and other levels of government will be vital in this.

The Waterfront in Cobourg is a precious jewel, and more development would be a bad thing. For example, he feels that a way could be found to expand the marina, without affecting other uses of the west bay area. He has found memories of days spent in the trailer park with his family, and sees it as an important tourism draw for the town. At this point, he has not formed a position on the purchase of a boat lift for the marina.

In terms of economic development, he stresses that it is required in all parts of town, not only the downtown area. He was very impressed with the success of Venture 13, which he just visited recently, and also the results achieved by Northumberland Makers, an innovation and design hub run by school teachers over the summer, to help youth get interested and involved in new technologies.

The upcoming legalization of marijuana will provide economic opportunities, and Cobourg should take advantage of them. At the same time, he is very mindful that there will be lots of controversy going forward, and that public opinion will be divided on it, just as there was during prohibition debates.

If he could change two things on council or in town, what would they be? For one, he would like to see residents of Cobourg having to pay less for downtown and beach area parking, and he would also like to see more use of public transit. He is a frequent rider.

In closing, Travis again stressed that he wants to be a voice for the people of Cobourg on council, and how being accountable is so important, something his mentor Lou Rinaldi imparted to him. He has no ax to grind, and doesn’t have a set agenda, but is anxious to build on the past successes in town. It’s too bad that being councillor is a full time job with part time pay, he says, which likely stops other younger people from running - but not him.

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Miriam Mutton - Councillor Candidate

Miriam Mutton is a veteran when it comes to municipal elections and council responsibilities. She was first elected to council in 2006, again in 2010, (both times with the highest vote count of all councillor candidates), and then ran for mayor in 2014 against incumbent Gil Brocanier.

Professionally, Miriam is a self-employed landscape architect, and a long time resident of Cobourg. She describes herself as being a community advocate, and is looking forward to the opportunity to serve as a member of Town Council once again.

She noted that she has received some criticism in the past for abstaining from a number of votes, but explained that she has done this only until she was able to gain a full understanding of the issues at hand.

Her platform, she explains, has five components, as follows:

- the preservation of Cobourg’s valuable assets for all citizens. Included in this is the waterfront, and she does not favour the proposed expansion of the marina. Similarly, she has concerns about the purchase of a travel lift, because of safety issues but also land use for its storage and operation requiring another fenced off area. The trailer park, she says, is sort of a neat and quirky feature in town, but she wants to see better use of the space in off-season times, and modification to better accommodate the Waterfront Trail, and bicycle tourism. In general, she does not favour exclusive use of public space, but also sees the harbour as not only recreational, but a working harbour, and a harbour of refuge. Other valuable assets include the arts, culture, heritage, and parklands. It’s important also to protect the local autonomy of the hospital, and our community based policing.

- the building of a healthy economy, including a vibrant downtown area, safe streets, good public transit, more attention to development of affordable housing with natural cooling features, more rental units, and better streetscapes for future developments. As an aside, she noted that the current Town Official Plan predicts the population of Cobourg to double in 20-30 years, and new neighborhoods should be built with aging-in-place design.

- protecting the environment for a sustainable future, through ongoing expansion of better waste management practices, well designed neighbourhoods, and ensuring clean water, land and air.

- working with Council to provide clear direction to administration. She would like to see more feedback to council on what works well, and what directives from council create difficulties.

- improved communications between council and the public. She would also like to see council adopt a public question period, and having each councillor act as chair for their areas of responsibility during council meetings.

While the current council seems to have functioned well, she does see a big shift coming, towards a more inclusive approach.

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Johnny Percolides - Councillor Candidate

Johnny Percolides, who is fluent in French and Greek as well as English, has been a Cobourg resident for the past 10 years. He was born and raised in Montreal, and then spent 18 years in Toronto before settling here. He has owned several businesses, including a moving company, and is now a broker and branch manager for a real estate company in town. He is married with two children, aged 10 and 11, and feels he has a vested interest in the well-being of the community, and is concerned about what has been happening over the past 10 years, and some of the decisions being made.

He therefore chose to run for councillor in the last municipal election, entering the race at the last minute and doing quite well, he thought, considering the fact that he is relatively new to town (still an issue for many voters, he states), and not a politician by nature.

What are some of the concerns he has over what has been happening?

- The zoning change at College and University was the first example that came to mind for him. He strongly feels that Mayor Gil Brocanier should not have taken part in the debate and vote, as his wife was related to the buyer. Further, he feels that similar buildings in other municipalities have not been properly maintained after similar rezoning, and a multi-unit rental building should not be located in what he sees as a historical district.

- The possible expansion of the marina. He believes the public doesn’t want this, and he would like to see it preserved in a natural state. He is opposed to the water park, and feels that it was poor planning, and poor management for it not to open as scheduled this summer. With regard to the Waterfront Plan, he would like to see it put to a plebiscite, rather than having what he maintains is only 10% of the population providing their input to date.

- He would like to see King Street from Division to Second Street made into a pedestrian mall first on a pilot project basis over the summer, and then year round if successful.

- He is concerned about the CCC, which he states should be better managed to increase revenue, by holding more major events for example, and by reducing expenses.

- He is opposed to local residents having to pay for parking at the beach, and feels that parking rates should be increased by 20-30% for visitors. Too much money is being spent on foolish things, such as signage to the beach, when it could be much better used for better snow removal from sidewalks in winter months.

What is his view of the role of council? He maintains that maybe 2 or 3 major issues should be decided by public referendum, but that council has to be the leader and visionary force in roads and public transit, for example. He also feels that there should be much more transparency and financial reporting to taxpayers, for institutions such as “Holdco” and “Lakefront Utilities.”

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Karl vom Dorff - Councillor Candidate

At age 18, Karl vom Dorff was in a very serious car accident, which left him a quadriplegic. He spend 9 months in rehab, then another 18 months at home, before heading off to the University of Ottawa where he successfully completed his Honors BSc degree in Biology. He spent about 5 years in Europe recently, which to his surprise did not have nearly the same public accessibility for him as he found in Canada, and certainly in Cobourg.

He started up his own software company while at university, and was involved in raising funds for the development of a state of the art operating system called Haiku, which would have been revolutionary, had it ever been released. He now does consulting work on website development and computer problem solving. After a failed marriage with his partner of 12 years, he now lives and manages on his own, noting that many things we take for granted are much more time-consuming for him to handle, but handle them he does.

Why get into politics? Maybe the short answer is that he is bored and needs another challenge, but the more complete answer seems to be his conviction that he has a lot to offer to the position of councillor in Cobourg, as a patient, determined and capable negotiator, and one that would welcome the people contact involved.

He has done a lot of research and study into the responsibilities and issues facing councillors. One immediate priority, he explained, would be to make “capital expenditures more efficient”. For example, the 24 year town infrastructure plan will cost over $1M (average) per year, but many of the projects may qualify for provincial and federal grants, and time and effort need to be taken to ensure that the Town of Cobourg receives every federal and provincial dollar it is entitled to, before municipal funds are used. The Small Community Infrastructure Fund, The Ontario Trillium Foundation and Farm Credit Canada Fund are three sources he would focus on.

Karl talked about his concern for more affordable housing, and noted again that the Federal Government funds up to 30% of costs for new projects, and that up to 90% of costs can be financed through assistance programs.

He would like to see more public engagement in civic matters, and favors having a Q&A session as part of council meeting. Further, if elected, he would undertake a monthly blog, explaining all decisions that he took as part of council. The town website and print media could be translated into five other languages - French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese, so as to be able to attract foreign investment into the community, and tourism. This can be paid for through grants such as “Invest Canada - Community Initiatives” (ICCI).

While turning to a few specific issues, Karl noted that he is in favor of keeping the marina as is, and ensuring that it is self sustaining and even profitable for the Town. The boat lift purchase, he states, needs more study and research. Tendering of town contracts should be mandatory, starting at $25K, not $50K. Regarding the legalization of cannabis, he is concerned about how and where retail outlets will operate, and would want to make informed decisions on this as councillor, with consensus from residents.

While the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan needs to be updated, he believes that Cobourg has been well managed, and that a lot has been done to make this the place he loves.