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Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Questions and Answers

Town Hall Meeting : James D. Coffey

286 McCord Street,
Arthur

Biography

My name is James Coffey and I would like to introduce myself as a Candidate for “Trustee” for the Wellington County Catholic School Board.

My Wife, Shirley and I are lifetime residents of the Arthur area and I am the Father of 5 great children, Nick, Noah, Paige, Carter and Parker.

Our 4 youngest children are all currently attending St. John’s School in Arthur and we are active parishioners of St. John Church.

Our Family is very active in minor sports including hockey, baseball and soccer.

Having been a local businessman for more than 20 years, I have been actively involved in numerous community related projects, committees and functions, which confirms my commitment to helping to build a better community for the future.

Professionally, I am an experienced local Realtor in the area and actively involved in the Landlord and Land Development business.

I believe that my past business experience confirms that I am a high energy, results oriented individual who can and does make things happen, and I look forward to the challenge of becoming a Trustee within the Wellington County Catholic School Board.

Platform

Most Candidates running in our local elections have many concerns and issues with the way that their current Municipalities are handling their offices.

From the Catholic School Board perspective, I personally feel that our local education system here in Wellington County is second to none. Everyday, in excess of 8000 students take advantage of the quality educational system that our Catholic School Supporters have grown to experience.

Currently our school board has 6 Trustees that oversee the issues of the 21 Catholic Schools in Wellington County. One of my main concerns is that presently the 6 current Trustees all reside in the immediate Guelph area and we in the northern part of the County have no local Trustee representing our Ward/Riding area.

What’s Important: That the Teachers and Students from the elementary schools in our Riding Area ( St. Joseph’s, Fergus; St. Mary’s, Elora; St. John’s, Arthur; St. Mary’s, Mount Forest) are provided with the same programs, resources and opportunities that the larger schools in the Guelph area benefit from on a daily basis.

Future Consideration: That before the next new Catholic High School in Wellington County reaches the planning stage, that serious thought would be put into the construction of a Catholic High School North of the Guelph Area. This new school could help ease the current busing issue for high school students from the north end of the County and also satisfy the ever expanding Fergus/Elora population.

If elected, I will provide a strong voice for all Catholic Ratepayers, Teachers and Students. I will welcome the advice and suggestions for all Constituents from our Area.

Questions and Answers

Question submitted by garrett klassen on 26 October to all
The voters have spoken, and thanks should go to all the candidates who have participated in this election and given to the democratic process. Now that it's over, do you have any words of conciliation, advice or personal reflection to share with your community?
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 Coffey  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by Lloyd Bartholomew on 11 October to all
I have read with interest many of the questions and issues facing our community. My query might have been addressed but just to be certain, I will address my concern. (1) I have resided in Belwood 8725 Side Road 25 for the last 22 years and I have observed the scraping and respreading of the gravel on the roadway and left to passing vehicles to compact it. Would it not be more cost effective to pave these roads and have the maintenance cost be recouped by reducved maintenance. There has been new gravel spread but not rolled consequently most of it is either carried away in the undercarriage of vehicles or washed into the ditches. This condition create and recreates the pot holes which maked rerpair and maintenence of the vehicles of the residents an unneccessary/necessary expense and we have to pay our taxes on time or face penalties. I live East of the 7th. line, the bridge between Side Road 20 and 25. is a disaster waiting to happen being in a valley and has been there for my 22 years. The section between Side Road 15 and Wellington Road 19 has been repaved at least three times and seem to last only a short time. I beleive because the compacted foundation is being dug up and redone. Side Road 25 is the bypass when there is a need for East bound traffic detour due to disaster on Hwy 109. This road should be widened and paved. (2) I read with interest the plan to increase our police force for protection. What protection? When more police are driving around in new vehicles (Donated or not, in my opinion trying to recoup some of the unneccessary salary) and concentrating on giving unreasoonable speeding tickets; which is another unneccessary cost to tax payers. Go to the trafic court and listen to the charges. (3) I have suggested the planting of trees along roadways as a snow barrier especially to those propertied with open frontage of more than 100 feet at least. I have personally planted 5600 on my property (3000 along the roadway)doing my part as a conservationist. With all the tree planting, why is this not a priority as it is not only environmentally conscious but environmentally prudent. The trees can be given to property owners and let them plant them or the city can plant them at a minimal cost for those who are suppoesdly too busy to do it. We all win!!! (4) I would like to know the real reason why the Wind Farm is being so stringently opposed. We are advocating, Geothermal systems, Personal Wind Generastors to return power to the grid and Solar panels; why not wind farms? As I understand it the city councilors opposed it because the Province had the complete say in the matter. Why duplicate the process. Taxpayers pay too much for duplicate service already. Other countries are increasing their farm acerage and we are opposing it. Killing bats and birds are not the real reason neither is Property value decrease or Aestetics. (5) I have many more concerns but since most seem to fall on deaf ears, I will close with this, Many farmers seem to think that their farm boundaries end at the curb of the road. Why are the municipality not maintaining the ditch drainage systen. In my 22 years i have never seen a drainage systen maintanance procedure being carried out.
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 Coffey  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by Lloyd Bartholomew on 11 October to all
Why is our tax statement not designed to apply payment to the oldest arrears and any remaining amount to more recent payment due. The present system give the false appearance of of longer default period than is real. EG: I owe $3000.00 with penalty of $200.00 for 2010 and $1500.00 with penalty of $150.00 for 2009 and I pay $1650.00. The present system pays $350.00 to my arrears and $1300.00 to my 2009 arrears which shows I owe $200.00 taxes for 2009. When in reeality I owe $3200.00 for 2010. The penalty to the city does not change but the impression of arrears further back is different. I enquired as to this system of accounting and was told "The Province does it this way". That does not make it right!!!
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 Coffey  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by Arlene Saunders - Elora Centre for the Arts on 20 September to all
As the Township of Center Wellington has recognized the value of,and need to support arts and culture by adopting, in principal, the "Parks, Recreation and Cultural Plan"-(Monteith Brown - Spring 2009) and it has shown in its actions financial support for leisure and recreation for our seniors in the community (Victoria Park Senior Centre) - support for the theatrical performances (Own and Operate the Grand Theatre) and sports for all ages in the community (Sportsplex -Arenas, pools, parks, playing fields etc.) - Do you see additional financial support, beyond the minimal cultural grants, for organizations carrying on the very important business/service of providing arts and cultural programming,(especially with the youth), already operating and trying desperately to survive in this community? And if so, how? If not -- why not?
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 Coffey  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by CW Chamber on 11 September to AllSchool
What are the 3 most important issues for the incoming school board?
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 Coffey  No response yet.

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