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Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Questions and Answers

Town Hall Meeting : Lynda M. White

162 Conestoga Street North,
Arthur

Biography

I am an experienced, dedicated councilor with 16 years experience in municipal politics. I served for 6 years on Arthur Village Council (1992-95 as a councilor & Deputy Reeve for 1995-98). The last 10 years (2001-2010) I have representing the residents of Ward 4 on Wellington County Council. I was elected Warden in 2004 by my peers. As the Warden, I was a member of every committee that is responsible for the administration of services for the County. For almost 30 years Arthur has been my home where I reside with my husband George. I was born and raised in Fergus and attended Centre Wellington District High School. As the chairperson of the Wellington County Police Services Board for the last four years, I have been personally involved in the planning and building of the new police facility being constructed in Centre Wellington between Fergus and Elora. It will be completed and opened in the spring of 2011.

Platform

The responsibility of administering county services has been and important part of my job, and I will continue to ensure that these services are managed with fiscal responsibility. I am dedicated to this community and the people who live here.

I will continue to support the Green Legacy Program; now the largest municipal tree planting project in North America. There are many benefits to this program including the living snow fence project which helps to protect roads from blowing and drifting snow. Tree planning is an easy, extremely successful way to improve our environment and help reduce the effects of climate change.

Fiscal responsibility is a very important part of my job. I will continue to ensure capital projects remain within the means of Wellington County. The members of council and the staff do not count on financial support from the federal or provincial governments for our capital projects.

Wisely manage our resources for every county department. This is done as we prepare for the future through the annual budget process and the five year plan that is brought forward to council in the fall of the year.

The county’s roads and bridges provide a safe and efficient transportation network. I intend to continue to make good roads a priority. This is done through the good works of the Roads Department of Wellington County.

As residents of this beautiful county we also enjoy the benefits of strong social programs, health care, and safety. As an elected official my commitment to these areas is what continues to make Wellington County so appealing.

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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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by Curious on 20 October to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
I keep hearing mention of an individual by the name of Grant who keeps giving money towards many of our expensive projects. What is his last name, or is there more than one Grant, because I would like to thank him/them for all the gracious financial support towards the taxpayers of Centre Wellington. Where does he get all of this extra money as well?
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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by Eliza Crosland on 18 October to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
Considering that Centre Wellington is designated a 'growth' area by the Ontario Government and that by 2025, the majority of the population will have shifted to living in urban rather than rural areas, I would like to get from each of you your ideas around urban agriculture and ways of improving the sustainable and secure supply of local food to Centre Wellington and how to strengthen the ability of local producers to that end.
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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by Eliza Crosland on 18 October to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
As a non-driver, I would like to know your level of commitment to establishing a public transportation system in Centre Wellington (specifically Fergus and Elora). I would also like to get a sense of a timeline for implementing it.
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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by JR on 12 October to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
Industrial Wind Turbine projects are a significant threat to our community. This technology is proven to harm people, harm birds and bats, harm real estate values, harm tourism, and deface the beautiful pastoral landscape we have chosen to live in. Wind Turbines do not reduce CO2 because for every MW of potential wind generated electricity there is a MW of tradition fossil fuel generation burning fuel 7/24 just in case the wind doesn't blow. Because of the greed of a few landowners the balance of us are being put in harms way. If any other structure of such massive consequences was to be proposed the neighbouring land owners and residents would have the ability to contest and deny the loss of enjoyment and value of their homes. Since it is politically correct to support green initiatives, wind turbine companies have wrapped themselves in the Green label so as to avoid criticism. All that being said, I only know of two Candidates who have had the courage to speak against the imposition of Industrial Wind Projects on the people of Wellington. Would each candidate for the record please state simply if they support Industrial Wind Turbines in Wellington, or if they oppose Industrial Wind Turbines in Wellington.
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White

  

For many reasons, I do not support Industrial Wind Turbines in Wellington County. I would be glad to expand on my reasons if you require.

 
Question submitted by Jason Thompson on 12 October to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
re: Bike Lanes (Apologies if I've included you in the list and this is not in your jurisdiction...to be honest I'm not sure where the Municipal and Regional government lines cross when it comes to roads) There is much talk about transportation, road repair and maintenance. There is also much discussion of revitalization and enhancing tourism in Centre Wellington and Wellington County. Then of course the concerns of environmental stewardship also raise their green heads at times of elections. We all know addressing these issues will cost money, that is a given. What I am concerned about is the VISION you (as our representatives) have when spending said monies on said issues. Safety - a primary concern: I have noticed during the road repair/maintenance of both Centre Wellington and Wellington County that there has been little to no attention paid to bike lanes and/or safety. I am a cyclist - some might say avid. I have cycled many of these roads over the years and have experienced some very bumpy, uncomfortable roads...but more importantly a few too many near misses with vehicles than I'd care to remember. As a father of a 7 year old I don't fancy being a "road kill" headline in the local rags. - Safety is my primary concern truth be told. Question: Do you agree or disagree that the provision of bike lanes on many of our main interconnecting roads would be part of the answer to this question of safety? Tourism/Local Attraction: My rides range from anywhere between 1 hour - 4 hours (traveling at approx. 25-35 km/hr that's a fair bit of pavement). During those rides, while enjoying the grand country scenery (pun intended), I have said to myself, "would this not be totally awesome if you could do something like the "Wellington Rural Romp" by bike!?" (for more info about the rural romp check out http://www.guelphwellingtonlocalfood.ca/whats-going-on) Or I'd have the thought of a cycling network between Centre Wellington, Guelph, Hillsburgh and Erin, up through Mount Forest, over to Clifford and Drayton etc. -- now that would be a dream for cyclists seeking a rural country experience...the b & b owners would salivate at that idea. Question: Do you believe providing cycle lanes would have a positive impact on enhancing niche tourism in Centre Wellington/Wellington County? Why/Why not? Green Commuting: Okay, here's the green head thing. I commute by bike very often between Fergus and Elora - Cataract Trail with my 7 year old (thanks for not disrupting that too much with roads) and I do the commute by road when I'm by myself...Wellington Rd 18 is a great example of awesome shoulders for biking, walking etc. even at the busy times. But I also commute to Guelph by bike from time to time. For safety I have to take Jones Baseline then make my way down to York St etc. Wellington Rd 29 would be perfect IF ONLY it had more then 10 inches of asphalt on the right side of the white line. That's a prime example of not considering cyclist as it was just refurbished this past summer...an opportunity missed if you ask me. Question: When it comes to road planning, what are your thoughts on considering bike lanes during upgrades/repairs? How important is the provision of bike lanes to you? Thanks for your time. Ride on. Jason
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White

  

I believe that some County Roads could support bike lanes, but as the Chairperson of the Police Service Board, public safety on our roads is a very important priority of mine. Our county roads support a lot of traffic, as county roads are supposed to, and there needs to be good information available as to whether bike lanes would provide adequate safety to cyclists and motorists alike. I am in support of the initiative that the County is taking with the Wellington County Active Transportation Plan where biking, hiking, and walking are good for physical and mental well being.

 
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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 White  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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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by vinnie green on 04 October to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
Thank you for your comments, and Walter thank you for your candour, it was most refreshing that someone has some sort of handle on this, OK, I have read the comments from my previous question concerning the new hospital and from what I can digress, the project will be a least ten years before it's a go if we're lucky. The question I would like to ask is this, if the money raised is not being used, then maybe we could use some of it for a youth centre, the DOOR is poorly located and emergency services would like to see a better location, kids in sight. After all, there is $15 million out in limbo doing nothing for this project, maybe a temporary redirection is called for. Thank you Vinnie
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White

  

The funds that were raised for the hospital were from individuals and corporate citizens in many communities in Wellington County. Wellington County council itself has committed $5 million dollars for hospital funding under the “Hospital Grant Policy”. To redirect these funds would undermine the very core of fundraising for anything in the community. County Council has committed these funds and to redirect them to another cause whether worthwhile or not would probably end anything that the county would do for hospital funding in the future.

 
Question submitted by Vinnie on 02 October to AllTownship, AllCounty
This is one of the most important questions I will pose. I have been told by TWO Prominent politicians, one fed, one provincial, and ONE Prominent doctor that the new hospital project is a no go. Some candidates have used this in there PLATFORM. Do they have good information to back this up, and can anyone see the FED, PROVINCE, COUNTY, forking up $400 million to do this project? With infrastructure upgrades this would be the cost. Also I have noticed that the incumbents have been very quite on this issue, when all of them ran in the last election on this platform, please explain why. Vinnie Green
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White

  

Hi Vinnie, thanks for your question.

I cannot believe that all the hard work and fund raising is for naught and I believe that the new Groves Hospital will be a go, eventually. It is needed. I believe with all the committed growth for this area of the province that the new hospital will be a necessity. I can say that just because we have not mentioned much about the hospital this term it is still important. It is very important; so much so that the County has spent $$ to ensure that the land is available when the hospital is a go. The immediate issues seem to be what is requiring the immediate responses. For example the wind turbine farms, crumbling infrastructure.

 
Question submitted by Arlene Saunders on 29 September to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
Further to my question regarding arts and culture submitted on Sept 20 (and thank you all for the tremendous and varied responses) - As supporting arts and culture appears to be high on the priority of many of the candidates - and while increasing taxes is not a popular/necessary way of generating financial support for the anchor tenants of arts and culture -- Do you feel that financial support for arts and culture (outside of the small cultural granting process now in place)could come from the existing budget for Parks Rec and Culture? -- in other words - manage the budget differently - no increase in taxes, just manage our citizens tax dollars differently - more equitably?
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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by Michael Weinstein on 23 September to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
In 2 parts, can you please explain (briefly) your understanding of the concept of "sustainability" and then can you give an example of an initiative the township or county could implement with respect to sustainability.
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White

  

To me sustainability is the environmental, economic and social well-being of our community for today and tomorrow. There are many things that the County of Wellington is doing for sustainability. For example the planting of one million trees through the Green Legacy Program; the constant financial planning that we do as council and staff using the five year plan; and the proper land use designations and official plans that are in place to ensure proper but sustainable growth in our municipalities.

 
Question submitted by concerned on 07 October to Ross-Zuj, White, Innes, Wilson
Regarding construction of library in Puslinch...please advise if an expert was consulted and engaged to provided a detailed engineering report and cost estimate for renovation and addition to the existing building to satisfy current and future demands. Please also advise what the estimated renovation cost was and compare to what the new facility is going to cost? Was it simply the desire of some politicians and staff to replace the 30 year old building in a different location to satisfy a private political agenda? Please explain how the demolotion of this building and dsiposal of this building is environmentally acceptable? Remember Reduce, REUSE and Recycle. And all of this in the shadow of the green legacy!
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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by concerned on 22 September to Ross-Zuj, White, Innes, Wilson
Please explain the decision to demolish a 30 year old building in Puslinch in order to construct a new library? Was an assessment of the existing building done to determine the costs of renovating the curret facility? How will library services be enhanced by providing a new building? Is there a stragic plan in place for the provision of library services in the future and how will these services be provided, using historic methods,ie bricks, mortar, books shelves and staff or more advanced with greater use of available technology (both in the types of media available and distribution systems)
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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by concerned on 07 October to Ross-Zuj, White, Innes, Wilson
Regarding the OPP Station currently under construction on the Wellington Place lands. In your previous answers it was suggested this has long been a priority to replace the undersized and inaccessible downtown Fergus detachement. Please advise when the existing building was renovated to become an OPP Station and what government organization was responsible?. I beleive the answer will be the County of Wellington at the creation of Wellington County OPP in approximately 1998. Is it expected that this new detachment will have a similar service life?
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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by concerned on 22 September to Ross-Zuj, White, Innes, Wilson
Please explain what consultation occurred with the community before electing to construct a new OPP Station on County owned lands adjacent to the Musuem and Terrace. What consideration has been given to police vehicles travelling accross the trail on the North Access Road? Please also explain how Police Presence in downtown Fergus is going to be maintained. Please also indicate what plans are in place for the existing police builing in Fergus.
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White

  

The building of the new OPP Station was a decision made by the County of Wellington many years ago. It has been in the 5 year plan since I was Warden which was in 2004. The lands at Aboyne are owned by the County and are designated for public service. The current Fergus OPP office has many deficiencies and does not supply the space needed for adequate police administration. Current levels of service delivery in Centre Wellington will not be affected by the change in station location. Currently, the Police Service Board is discussing uses for the existing building.

 
Question submitted by concerned on 22 September to Ross-Zuj, White, Innes, Wilson
Could you explain your support for the negotiated settlement to road construction costs on Winston Churchill Boulevard with aggregate compaines. Why was the settlement not shared on a 50/50 basis with the Region of Peel and further why where the aggregate companies requested to contribute before proceeding with construction?
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White

  

The County of Wellington is very pleased to have come to an agreement with the Region of Peel allowing us to continue to have an excellent working relationship with our neighbour.

 
Question submitted by concerned on 22 September to Ross-Zuj, White, Innes, Wilson
Could you advise of the total costs to date of the legal action of Wilson and Whitecombe and explain how this expenditure is in the best interests of the taxpayers of Wellington County?
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White

  

This matter is in the courts.

 
Question submitted by Anthea Millikin on 21 September to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllCounty
Wellington County can have a large impact on the lives of low income people in this community. What would you do, as a member of County Council, to improve the lives of low income residents of Wellington County?
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 White  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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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by No More Potholes on 16 September to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
How will you keep taxes down and repair or replace infastructure?
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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by CW Chamber on 16 September to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
What's your idea on the Places To Grow Act?
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 White  No response yet.
 
Question submitted by CW Chamber on 11 September to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
What are the 3 most important issues for the incoming council?
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White

  

To work within the confines of the County’s five year plan to ensure fiscal responsibility.
To try and re-establish a relationship with the City of Guelph council.
To continue working on the Wellington County Active Transportation Plan

 
Question submitted by CW Chamber on 11 September to Foster, Ross-Zuj, AllTownship, AllCounty
If you're elected, what can you do to help local business?
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White

  

Local businesses will look at the county to ensure that all the services that the county administers continue to be efficient and resourceful. The county needs to ensure that good safe roads, excellent policing, proper planning etc. are administered economically and competently. The county is in the early stages of developing an Economic Development Committee that includes all of the municipalities in the county. This is a very positive step in assisting existing and future businesses.

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