1. You. I will listen to your concerns. I will advocate for you and your neighbours at City Hall.
2. Better public transit in Kanata South benefits us all. Almost everyone in Kanata South is being affected by the inadequate bus service - it means more cars are being used more often. It means two or three cars are being operated by many families living in townhouses that were envisioned to have one. The traffic infrastructure (roundabouts, traffic lights, stop signs and crosswalks) is now years behind the housing built in the newer neighbourhoods south of Bridlewood. This is resulting in residents not being able to turn out of their neighbourhoods without waiting 10 + minutes each morning at Hope Side Road or Old Richmond Road or Eagleson Road - which means more drivers are now speeding down older neighbourhood streets further north while they seek a way out. It means on-street parking problems in areas that don't have enough room for it, more calls to Bylaw Enforcement and more paved-over or "landscaped with concrete block" front lawns. No more trading off whatever was traded off, so that now every major suburb in the City has LRT funding except (smaller) Barrhaven and us. I will ensure your taxes go towards transit improvements that directly benefit our area. I will question why the City is planning to cut 385 transit jobs once Phase One of the LRT opens, instead of improving our bus service in Kanata South. All residents of Kanata South should be serviced by buses that go efficiently to the Terry Fox Park n Ride, the Eagleson Park n Ride or the Moodie station, and from there points East, West and North. Why should Kanata South students and shift workers not be able to access safer bus stops and reasonable daytime bus service? I will advocate for a publically-available standardization of bus stops (eg. concrete pad, dimensions, bus shelter justification, etc.) and a more consultative process for bus service improvements.
3. Get more for your tax dollars and invest in our future. Repair and upgrade our streetscapes utilizing City employees, volunteers and corporate donations. I will provide a public list of all such projects once a year, after input from our community associations. No more having to curry favour with your Councillor to get your projects done. I will implement a more collaborative, fair, and transparent approach to how neighbourhood improvements are planned and implemented. Every neighbourhood should see at least some small streetscape improvements each year, so that we don't find ourselves so far behind again. Please see the page "Fix This!" listed in the menu bar above to see examples of what I am talking about. I will speak out against contractors who leave a mess when they move on from a job, and it is left to City employees to clean it up (eg. grass left torn up, pylons left lying in ditches, dirt left in random piles). I will question why so many small repairs need to be contracted out, rather than be done by City employees. It is a false economy when the same potholes are filled over and over - at some point it is cheaper to just dig it up and repave it. I will actively pursue better snowplowing on our smaller streets in particular, because pedestrians shouldn't have to stumble over icy ruts for months.
4. Improve planning honesty. Too often I am hearing from residents that they were promised something by the City before they bought their house, but it was never delivered. Whether it was a final coat of asphalt that was paid for, but never applied to their street (Belleview Drive 30 years ago), or to have a traffic circle installed (at Crownridge Drive and Hope Side Road many years ago). In so many cases the work has never been done and the taxpayers are left feeling ripped off. There has been a complete failure of planning and/or honesty in some of the southern neighbourhoods where traffic lights, crosswalks and overflow parking remain desperately needed. Some residents have told me of their having to take the law into their own hands, after patiently waiting 15 minutes, to forceably stop traffic in order to walk their child across a road so they can get them to school - no sidewalks were ever built and no crosswalk, stop sign, traffic light or roundabout was ever installed. Not to mention the lack of a swimming pool or any recreation facilities south of old Bridlewood. So many have dogs, but nowhere to run them off-leash occasionally. Such areas would be a win-win for dog owners and others, and it wouldn't cost more than some fencing. This isn't a case of the infrastructure not keeping up with development, it is infrastructure requirements being permanently ignored by the City and our current elected officials. Where is the "vision" for Kanata South planning and the honesty and respect towards the people who have bought homes here?
5. Hire one new police officer specifically to target traffic violations in Kanata South. Did you know there isn't a single police officer dedicated specifically to traffic enforcement full-time in the large area stretching from the eastern side of Bells Corners out to the western edge of Stittsville? No wonder so many cars are speeding and so many drivers no longer stop at stop signs! The current approach is to put up more and more caution signs - well, there is a declining benefit to this. It seems more like a photo op for the politicians rather than actually doing something meaningful about the problem. What Kanata South needs is more "quality of life" policing, since our serious crime rate is actually very low. Our area is paying a lot for policing elsewhere in the City - it is time for us to get more of the service we are paying for.
6. Strengthen and empower our community associations. I plan to increase their importance in determining the relative priority of small streetscape projects in their respective areas. A forum to discuss and educate residents on cars needing to stop at stop signs so that children can cross streets, and that dogs need to be leashed so that seniors aren't afraid of being knocked over by "friendly" dogs. Our Community Associations will be encouraged when they try to do more than just hold social events. "Building communities to act collectively to improve resident's lives."
7. Form a Business Improvement Association in Kanata South. Too often the same businesses give and give to our community and are responsible for so many of the nice things that make people want to live here. It is past time for an organization that ensures that all their members contribute a fair minimum, as they do in Kanata North and the Centrum areas. This BIA can choose whether or not to collaborate with our community associations in order to improve our business areas and neighbourhoods.
8. Cut the taxpayer funding used by City Councillors for what looks a lot like self-promotion. Funding neighbourhood events with tax money without clearly acknowledging it, or putting your face on countless tax-funded advertisements may be legal, and it may get you votes, but it seems wrong to me. I would rather use the money to put in a park bench, repair something broken, or completely repave those parts of roads that are forever sprouting potholes.