Your input is needed at the polls on Monday, October 27th

2723The city is asking for help in coming up with “new funding options” (new taxes, fees and charges) to pay for infrastructure growth and renewal. This is no small issue for Ward 3.

The City has a survey (click here); property owners are asked to participate in this survey by June 30th.

This raises questions for me about the true state of our sustainability as a city — including how well we will be able to keep pace with our infrastructure needs going forward — and what this can mean for the future affordability of living, working and doing business in Guelph.

We have to get back to everyday issues. We have to take control of our future. That’s my vision.

Your hard-earned dollars should go towards ensuring our sustainability, that our roads, our water, our waste water and stormwater infrastructure is maintained, not wasted in conflict and litigation that ends up costing us (millions?) and requiring a lot of staff’s attention, all the while undermining our city’s reputation.

We need to step back and refocus our priorities on what matters most to us and importantly — how our municipal dollars should be spent.

So, your input is needed. Including at the polls on Monday, October 27th.

Please vote for taking care of everyday issues — please vote for “Chamberlain in Ward 3″. We can do it with your help! And please support the campaign to elect me, using PayPal on the tab “Donate to the campaign!”

Thank you; Craig

***

From the Guelph Mercury:

City of Guelph asks property owners to help find new ways to fund infrastructure

GUELPH—City hall wants residents and property owners to help determine funding options for stormwater management infrastructure. The requested input is part of the city’s stormwater funding study.

The city is trying to address a significant shortage of infrastructure funding, and needs to find innovative ways to cover the cost of building, maintaining and repairing roads, and water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.

The City is gathering input from residents, businesses, institutions, and environmental organizations to evaluate a list of alternative stormwater management funding approaches, including user fees, property taxes, development charges, and flat rate fees.

The survey asks property owners they would be willing to take steps on their own property to reduce the impacts of heavy rainfall events, or if they would be willing to pay a stormwater user fee based on the amount of hard surface on their property.

Reliable and well-maintained stormwater infrastructure benefits all residents, helping prevent floods, protect and improve water quality and control downstream erosion, Arun Hindupur, Guelph’s infrastructure planning engineer said in a press release.

“Guelph’s stormwater funding study is intended to address the current funding gap, determine future costs, establish service standards, and provide an equitable, reasonable and sustainable funding model,” he said.

The study will assist the city in its preparations for continued growth, helping to address changing weather patterns, and renew aging infrastructure to prevent failures or costly repairs, the release indicated.

Property owners are encouraged to participate in the survey by June 30 at guelph.ca/swfunding.

editor@guelphmercury.com

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Everyday issues

Craig Chamberlain 2014 Ward 3 CandidateI posted the following over a year ago. It was based on trial reporting in the legal battle between the City and Urbacon:

All in all, when the City of Guelph fired Urbacon, what was happening at that point in the project that wasn’t already the accepted norm for it [the project and the relationships involved], as broadly dysfunctional as it seems to have been? And wasn’t the City of Guelph long in the thick of it?

It seemed from the trial reporting that there was a significant break down in communication that included the City.

Also at issue were delays due to the number of changes to the project and the degree of completion when the City of Guelph fired Urbacon.

Of course, we’ll need to look at the judge’s written decision to know exactly why he has decided against the City, when it is released.

What is certain at this point is that we are on the hook for unknown costs.

That’s right — we don’t know at this point what the costs will be.

But we all know for ourselves that we’ve invested a lot into this (how much will be known later) and it’s going to continue to cost us.

2723We don’t know the magnitude of these unknown costs, and we don’t know how they will impact on future decisions regarding affordability and sustainability.

But we can expect that they will, somehow, for years to come.

From what I’m hearing, we’re ready for a shift in our focus. We’re ready to focus on “everyday issues” at City Hall. We’re ready to look at what matters most to us and doing it well.

When we pay our taxes, we want to be confident our hard-earned dollars are going to be used wisely.

We want to see value for money. That’s what we expect when we use our money — on anything.

As I tweeted and posted above, we want our roads to be in good repair, which is about being able to get around easier and safer, whether by bike, by skateboard, by foot or by car.

It’s also about the costs of wear and tear, which matters, especially regarding what for many of us is our second largest investment — our vehicles. But it also ties into wear and tear and related costs for the vast array of vehicles the City of Guelph operates and maintains.

It directly ties into affordability and sustainability, for each of us, and also for our ward and city.

Please support me in bringing Ward 3 priorities to your city hall. Everyday issues directly impact on affordability and sustainability.

Please support me by voting for me, and please donate to the campaign to elect me. It takes a moment — click on the “Donate to the campaign!” tab.

Thank you; Craig

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Online voting in Guelph

2723Election Day is Monday, October 27th.

You may want to vote at one of the “advance polls” instead of voting on Election Day. Advance poll dates and locations will be announced by the City of Guelph.

For this election, you will also be able to vote online during the advance polling period in Guelph. This means you will have the option of casting your vote on an electronic ballot using the internet.

This option is being made available based on polling results in Guelph (in 2013) on how to increase voting during a municipal election. This additional method of casting a vote makes voting more accessible.

For Guelph’s 2014 municipal election, online voting will only be available during the advance polling period.

If you are uncomfortable with online voting, you can still vote by using a paper ballot during the advance polling period or on Election Day.

For more information on advance polls and internet voting, click here to see the City of Guelph’s webpage about online voting.

Thank you; Craig

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Your ward, your city, your priorities at City Hall

If you’re following me on Twitter, thank you!

If you’re not yet following me, it’s easy to do! Just click on the “follow” button on the tweet below.

If affordable city services are important to you, and if you want city budgets that reflect your priorities, please support the campaign to elect me as your Ward 3 councillor.

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Spring: You’re up, bud.

What a winter it’s been. And there’s a lot of work waiting for us under that snow…

Bring it on!

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Political accountability

Fellow citizens, a very short story:

A citizen was on her way to the market when she happened upon her mayor. The citizen and the mayor exchanged hellos and engaged each other in small talk.

As the conversation drew on, the citizen remarked to her mayor that she was just trying to figure out who is responsible for when things go wrong at City Hall — and then asked the mayor, where does responsibility fall — with council, with staff or with the mayor?

The mayor went into a long response, explaining in detail how recommendations come forward to council. A bystander to the conversation was taken aback by the mayor’s response, expecting the answer to begin with a simple, “Oh, as your mayor, the buck stops with me.”

But in all of it, the mayor never actually said that.

That evening, the bystander thought a lot about the mayor’s response. The bystander knew the question wasn’t about the mechanics of decision-making at City Hall — not really, anyhow.

It was a more fundamental question: “Who is responsible to me for what happens at City Hall?”

And then, a realization for the bystander: the question was the issue. The issue was the citizen was no longer clear on who was responsible to them, and when it came down to it, if anyone actually was anymore.

***

Of course, the answer is the buck stops with your elected representatives. And this was not a story about a mayor but about the diffusion of accountability — and where it leaves the citizen: uncertain as to who is actually accountable to them.

If elected as your Ward 3 councillor, I will demonstrate in all that I do that there is no question about who is accountable to you — I will demonstrate in all that I do that I am responsible to you.

That is how it should be, and you deserve it to be clearly so.

It is about demonstrating accountability, and to me, that begins with better engagement.

Craig

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Thank you, everyone!

Thank you for the support, everyone! Full-steam ahead!

Craig Chamberlain 2014 Ward 3 CandidateThe feedback I’m getting is that I’m a smart, approachable guy, a good guy — “why not Craig Chamberlain — voting for Craig is like voting for yourself” — someone who would be a good councillor for Ward 3.

So, in all humility, thank you again.

When I filed my candidate nomination papers on the last day to do so in 2010, I said I’d campaign without signs, and I did just that.

One of the main comments I received after that election was that I had to run again and to use signs. I will be doing that.

Key comments to me since filing my papers as a candidate this January have been — and it’s good to be confirmed in this:

  • Concerns about the wasteful use of tax dollars
  • Concerns about the affordability of city services
  • Councillors who don’t return calls or reply to emails
  • A council that is not listening, has its own agenda
  • Priorities at City Hall
  • Demoralized city staff, a dysfunctional City Hall

I campaigned hard for you on issues such as priorities and affordability when I ran for council in 2010, and it’s good to see that the issue of affordability is now being included in how City Hall talks about issues. But there is still a disconnect between City Hall and people’s realities, something I also campaigned on, in 2010.

With this election and your support, we can take YOUR message to YOUR City Hall.

I’m not the type of guy who will throw people under the bus, and I won’t be doing that to the city’s front line staff. There is a serious morale issue within the City and make no mistake, it is very costly. But I’m a “look to the top first” type of guy. I am truly about accountability.

So yes, the buck would stop with me as your councillor. Period.

Finally, I have been asked about the votes I received in 2010, which of course wouldn’t have been possible without support from Ward 3. Thank you to everyone who voted for me and also, thank you to those who thought about voting for me in 2010.

Here are the Ward 3 election results from 2010:

Incumbent: 2296 votes (29.45%)

Incumbent: 2202 votes (28.24%)

Craig Chamberlain: 1680 votes (21.55%)

Candidate: 799 votes, (10.25%)

Candidate: 498 votes (6.38%)

Candidate: 320 votes (4.10%)

There will be issues coming forward and debated in the lead up to Election Day, October 27th — the question is who on the next council will be voting on your behalf on those issues, and importantly, who will be voting for you on issues which have yet to emerge.

Who do you want voting on your behalf? Who do you want to reach out to when you have a problem?

Please support me in this run to serve you as your Ward 3 councillor, because all things considered, “voting for Craig is like voting for yourself”.

Thanks again, everyone.

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