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Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Stephen O'Neill - County Ward 4

180 Walton Street, ArthurSteve ONeill 2014

Biography

I was raised in Arthur, where I currently live with my wife Susan. We have three adult daughters, two reside in Guelph, and a daughter, son in law, and two grandchildren reside in Fergus.

I have been an active member of the Arthur Optimist Club for 27 years. Volunteering with the Optimist Club and various other groups is an integral part of my life.

I have been a mortgage agent since 2005. This position has allowed me to see the impact that property taxes have on residents in various communities all over southern Ontario.

Platform

Make sure that resident’s priorities for spending in the county are first and foremost.  Set spending priorities with input from the public, and not just at the county office.

Support the Business Retention & Expansion project that the county and townships have initiated.

If we don’t expand our tax base, the ability to provide services will erode.

Growth is key to the county, and the townships. Without growth our property taxes will have to go up to support the current infrastructure.  

Work to let the residents know what the county does for you. It is not just some of your roads, and policing. It is also your library, social services, waste management, recycling and many other projects. Did you realize that Wellington County receives approximately 55% of your residential tax bill?

 

Questions & Answers

Question from Sandra Brown for Kelly Linton, Mary Lloyd, Fred Morris, Stephen Kitras, Walt Visser, Vinnie Green, Stephen O’Neill, Rob Black, Diane Ballantyne, David Gohn

What is your opinion on wind turbines?  For or Against?

O'Neill, Stephen:  No response yet.

Question from S. Brown for All Candidates, except School Board

Micro chip scanner for dogs.  Most dogs have micro chip identification and when I bought my dog licence learned Elora does not have a scanner – why not?

O'Neill, Stephen:  No response yet.

Question from Jeremy Woods, President, Wellington Standard Condominium Corporation No.149 for All Candidates, except School Board

The unit owners and tenants of the Wellington Standard Condominium Corporation No. 149 (The Beckett Centre), at 820 Gartshore Street in Fergus would like to know the candidates’ views of the current Commercial Tax Rates and Classification.  In particular the possible creation of Commercial and/or Industrial Condominium Classifications.  We feel that we are being unfairly taxed – as an example, each of the 26 units are being taxed as if they are stand-alone buildings on their own lots, instead of one building, on one lot, broken into 26 units.  MPAC does allow for this in their assessments, and other municipalities in Ontario have created these additional classes.  By creating these classifications and reducing the overall tax base on these companies, may encourage more of these commercial condo buildings to be built.

O'Neill, Stephen:  No response yet.

3 Question from Karen Hudson for any wishing to respond  (her 4th question was asked at the meeting on October 1st)

We have roads and bridges in poor repair.  Is there money to repair these, and is it really our money, or are we operating in a deficit?  Is there actually any plan?

O'Neill, Stephen:  No response yet.

What can we do to have influence over the slow progress in the building of a new hospital?  Genuine influence.

O'Neill, Stephen:  No response yet.

Why did the mayor agree to such an elaborate expansion of the Fergus library?  It needed work, but this is far beyond what is sensible.

O'Neill, Stephen:  No response yet.

Questions (2) from Steven Wright, Wrighthaven Homes for Mayoral, Township and County Candidates

Nimby Syndrome:  Not in My Backyard or "NIMBY" is a major concern for builders and developers who are faced with community opposition to important new developments including affordable housing, higher density housing mixed use developments and other housing options that provide choice for everyone.  Do you agree that NIMBY needs to be addressed?  If so by what methods will you address NIMBY attitudes in the community?

O'Neill, Stephen:  No response yet.

Places to grow legislation has increased pressures on planning departments to adhere to new rules and density requirements encouraging intensification in existing residential subdivisions and particularly downtown areas whereby often homes and buildings of heritage value exist.  Quite often these older buildings are in jeopardy as a result of requests to demolish so as maximize density requirements when a developer submits new plans to develop these building consistent with the places to grow legislation.  As a councillor do you feel you have the fortitude to resist pressures of the act and vote to deny the requests to demolish heritage resources?

O'Neill, Stephen:  No response yet.

 

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