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Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Fred Morris - Councillor Ward 4

63 Harper Crescent, Fergus

Biography

Fred Morris is firmly committed to working on behalf of the residents of Centre Wellington and Ward 4. He has served on Centre Wellington council for two terms. In addition he is involved with many local service organizations and community groups.

Community Service

  • Member of the Fergus Elora Rotary Club
  • Executive Producer and Founder of Vision Theatre Productions
  • Member of the Community Resources Centre Board of Directors
  • Member of the Trillium Committee at the Fergus Grand Theatre
  • Member of the Fergus Business Improvement Association
  • Member of the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce
  • Active supporter of the Centre Wellington Food Bank

Political Service

  • Chair of the Township of Centre Wellington Administration and Finance Committee
  • Council Representative on the Centre Wellington Heritage Committee
  • Past Council Representative on the Fergus Business Improvement Association Board
  • Chair of the Township of Centre Wellington Budget Committee
  • Past member of the Township of Centre Wellington Operations Committee
  • Member of the BT Corners planning subcommittee
  • Past Chair of the Township of Centre Wellington Economic Development Committee

Fred believes in the importance of working with residents to develop effective solutions to Township issues. He is dedicated to seeing Centre Wellington continue to grow in a way that enhances the quality of our community life.

Fred and his family have lived and worked in Centre Wellington for more than 20 years. He is the successful owner of Vision Financial Services in downtown Fergus.

As both a councilor and a resident, he believes in creating a community that provides the best possible public services to its ratepayers and recognizes the need for more green development.

Fred offers Experience, Commitment and Leadership and is dedicated to serving the residents of both Ward 4 and this community.

 

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?

Morris, Fred: 
Against.

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?

Morris, Fred: 
I think your question is an excellent one. I would be in favour of asking staff to table a report to Council on the merits of a made in Centre Wellington Responsible Pet Ownership Program that would include the use of micro-chip scanners for dogs.

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.

Morris, Fred: 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?

Morris, Fred: 
Centre Wellington’s Public Works Department has been very diligent in budgeting every year a significant amount of money for infrastructure repair and replacement. There is in place a 10 year capital works forecast in which all of the township infrastructure is assessed and prioritized as to when it will be fixed. However, the cost to maintain 105 bridges and almost 500 kilometers of roads has far exceeded the municipality’s revenues leaving us with approximately a 90 million dollar infrastructure deficit. This figure represents the actual amount of money required to fix every road and structure needing replacement and repair within the township. The problem is not unique to our municipality as communities across Canada are all in a similar situation. That’s why there is a growing need for all levels of government to work in co-operation with each other in order to address this critical need. Some of your current Council members have been very involved in keeping on the radar screens of both the federal and provincial government ministers the growing need for infrastructure financing developing here in Centre Wellington.

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

Morris, Fred: 
Thank you for this wonderful question. I was so glad to be part of a delegation this past August led by our current Mayor, Joanne Ross-Zui, to have had the opportunity to sit down with the newly minted Minister of Health, Dr. Eric Hoskins. This meeting gave us the chance to explain to the minister the critical need in Centre Wellington to get our new hospital built. The end result was a second meeting was scheduled to include hospital officials who used the opportunity to provide the minister with helpful information he could use in directing his staff to moving this project forward. For those who are running in this election who see no need to attend such meetings I can only say you are squandering a golden opportunity that only a very few municipalities are afforded.
 

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.

Morris, Fred: 
I am not sure I understand why anyone would be opposed to such community benefits as economic development, educational opportunities for young and old alike and the utilization of a public gathering place for the development and employment of ideas that would enhance the cultural and social fabric of the local community. The reality is that such benefits are now being found within the walls of the 21st century public library system. Restoring the 100 year old Fergus library that was originally designed to be primarily a book depository would not in my mind be a very practical way to maximize these potential benefits. A 2008 study commissioned by the Ontario government sheds light on the future of public libraries in communities across Canada and indeed throughout the world.

I quote: “Through changing times, people have continued to participate in and esteem their libraries. The public library of 2020 will respond to a new social, technological, and economic environment while keeping its enduring values. It will use new tools and partnerships in its traditional roles as part of a lifelong learning system and as an engine of cultural and economic development. It will remain an agent and sign of community and social cohesion. It will respond to Canada's uniquely “diverse diversity.” It will act on research on reading and learning and make information and communication technology accessible in a democratized and participatory digital universe of uneven quality. It will stimulate creativity in the community and provide exciting public spaces where people can participate and share ideas. Through all these means, the public library will contribute to sustainable prosperity for Ontario and Canada in an increasingly knowledge-based economy.”

Question from Frederick Schuett, owner One Axe Pursuits for All Mayoral and Township Candidates

What will you do to support small businesses and signage for tourist attractions?

Morris, Fred: 
Since first elected in 2003, I have always been a strong supporter of any initiative that would help small businesses and tourism in Centre Wellington. I was the chair of the economic development committee that submitted a recommendation to the Council of the day to hire the first full time Manager of Economic Development for the township of Centre Wellington. I am in support of the recent submission by the current manager of Economic Development to establish a Community Improvement Plan that would assist small business owners in our urban centres to freshen up their building facades and improve the street view of their business. I believe small business ventures and tourism venues are vital to the economic well-being of our community.

Question from Tammy Rutherford for Mayoral and Township Candidates

The Township Of Centre Wellington web page has a Termite Management Area map for both Fergus & Elora, dated May 2012.  There are more than 1300 properties within the boundaries, and there is no doubt the numbers are higher now.  The City of Guelph has a termite management program which was recently presented to the City Of Kitchener in light of the recent termite activity involving just 23 properties.  Do you think our township should adopt a termite management program to prevent the spread of termites?

Morris, Fred: 
There is no doubt that termites are a very destructive insect and I would support any reasonable approach to controlling and eradicating these pests within our community. Currently, our building department is doing research on how to effectively manage and treat this very difficult problem.
 

2 Questions from Melanie Cooper, Mosaic Spa for Incumbent Township Councillors

Would you briefly provide us with what you consider to be your top three major achievements during this term of Council?

Morris, Fred: 
The top three accomplishments achieved during the last term of council would be in no particular order:

Taking $300,000 from the Operational Budget and putting it into the Capital Budget in order to accelerate work on the repair and replacement of our aging infrastructure.
Saving our taxpayers 5 million dollars over the next 25 years by creating a township owned Communication Company thus ending our dependence on a third party company for our fiber network services.
Reorganizing our corporate staffing placements and reducing the senior staff department heads from 13 to 5 resulting in better corporate efficiency and future cost saving.

What have you brought to council for approval, versus just voting on?

Morris, Fred:  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?

Morris, Fred:  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?

Morris, Fred:  No response yet.

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