In the fall of 2010 we knocked on Ward 3 doors and heard what matters to you.
Many of you were opposed to the pending introduction of waste carts, and your sentiments and concerns spanned the ward, cutting across neighbourhoods.
The ward response was consistent on this, street by street by street. It was a good polling sample by any standard.
And yet this sentiment was not expressed during council deliberations on December 5, 2011. In fact, quite the opposite.
Your concerns were ignored, your councillors were not your voice, and your money was taken for granted.
I know this because of what you consistently told us in the fall of 2010 and because I was in the public gallery during council’s discussion on December 5th, 2011.
I saw that discussion first hand, which included a defeated motion for staff to report back to Council with newly-available info on the matter — new info that council voted against obtaining before making a decision that very much impacts on you.
In that meeting, one Ward 3 councillor was quoted as saying she didn’t care what the province said on what it may actually allow us to do. Options to examine? No thanks — your Ward 3 councillor wasn’t interested in hearing about them.
Were your Ward 3 councillors open to hearing your concerns about the carts in any substantial way, either?
Are they today?
What happens when you disagree with a city priority? Do your councillors engage you — or are you flat-out ignored?
Possibly? What is their record on that? It depends on the issue and what side of it they’re on? Maybe you’re being heard a bit more in this election year?
How confident are you that your elected representatives will be there for you the next time you need them to stand up for you?
“Not entirely confident”, right?
That’s a problem. It’s simply not good enough and it’s time to address it. It runs completely against the grain of what I think political representation should look like.
So, there is a clear choice for you.
And it’s time to say “no thanks!” to your elected representatives using their role as a soapbox for positions that have little to nothing do with the council discussions, positions that don’t reflect the sentiments of the residents and businesses they are supposed to represent.
It doesn’t accurately inform Council of what matters to you, so Ward 3, it’s as if you are not even in the room when matters are being discussed at Council chambers.
It’s time to put Ward 3 issues back on the map in Guelph, including at City Hall.
It’s is time to say “yes!” to a sensible, measured approach to the issues. I will bring that as your city councillor. I am approachable and I am balanced. And for me, my job is to talk about the issues that matter to you, not to waste Council’s time on personal soapbox issues.
There was a lot energy during a recent Ward 3 “town hall” discussion about the carts, which included a staff presentation for those who are getting them this year.
It was a case of your councillors inviting staff to talk about how a decision at City Hall will affect you after they had long-disregarded your concerns about it.
Hole chewed in no time flat
Part of the reaction at the meeting had to do with how the carts would work in Ward 3 — we have areas with narrow streets, which of course become more narrow with snowbanks in the winter. And we have inclines! And there are storage issues that didn’t exist with the bags.
And we have older trees, meaning we have trees with hollows and larger canopies, great habitat for squirrels and other animals that will be interested in your green cart.
Let’s be up-front about all of that.
What is gained in pretending otherwise, right?
So, yes, there are reasons why Ward 3 streets, properties, trees and hills make it less conducive to a cart system compared to a ward in a Milton or a Mississauga.
But I think beneath that, the energy at that meeting had to do with how Ward 3 residents haven’t been well represented on this issue from the start, and their concerns on how it would all work for them haven’t been taken seriously.
The official line? The carts work elsewhere and as for the issues you may have, we’re confident you’ll figure it out.
And the comments you’ve heard from others about them? They’re only an individual’s opinion. Yes, a Ward 3 councillor said that at the recent meeting.
Ward 3 residents weren’t engaged with their concerns by the incumbents then, in 2010, and now they’re being told in a meeting how wonderful the carts are in a presentation that should have been more attuned to Ward 3 issues and concerns.
Given what I heard directly from you in the fall of 2010, and then heard being said on your behalf in council chambers in December 2011 — yes, that would create a reaction!
If you elect me to represent you at City Hall I will have town hall meetings to hear what you want to say, on what you want to talk about.
You have my word it. That’s my commitment to you, that’s who I am.
That’s my authenticity.
And in terms of our door knocking so far in 2014, what are you saying? I will be posting on that later.
I need your support –please donate to my campaign and please vote for me at the advance polls or on Election Day — Monday, October 27th, 2014.
Thanks again everyone!
Ward 3 waste cart (bin system) for Ward 3 residents
I have the carts — here are the straight goods on the carts in Ward 3:
- We are not comprised of new subdivisions with young trees. We have older trees with hollows and large canopies. Our trees create habitat for squirrels and other animals.
- Your green bin represents food security for wildlife. Finding or making a hole in your green bin is their version of winning Cash For Life — and once they’ve gained that experience, they won’t be easily deterred!
- Squirrels are capable of making short work of your green bin. They’re capable of chewing holes in it in no time at all. You may have noticed other examples of squirrels being able to chew in order to access food or to make a home, through plastic and wood. You may run into this, you may not with your green cart — but it certain can and does happen.
- Leaving your green lid unlatched will not necessarily deter a squirrel from chewing a hole in the cart anyways, as my neighbour discovered.
- You may want to store your carts (or at least your green cart) in a shed or in your garage, if you have one/ can afford one/ have room for one. (We used to store our bags in a squirrel proof container before collection). Don’t be surprised if a squirrel chews a hole into the shed or shed door to get at your cart.
- This past winter season was much more of a “winter” than we’ve had in recent years. If the contents freeze to the cart, the contents remain in the cart after they’ve been “dumped”, which becomes a problem as your cart fills from not being emptied and becomes heavier. Lining your cart with newspaper may not work.
- The latch on the green bin can be difficult to open if you’re not the strongest person, but it will eventually separate from the cart with use and changing temperatures and from being shaken by the truck in an effort to empty it (see #6). You can pop it back on, but it does require some strength.
- The carts are not necessarily easy to push or even pull through the snow. They’re carts. It depends on your abilities (and how much snow you have to get through, to take them out and to retrieve them after they’ve been emptied).
- Snow banking is an issue in terms of room for leaving out your carts.
- Bottom line: Whether or not you find the carts to be more convenient than bags depends on your specific circumstances in Ward 3.