Responses from Candidates for Mayor


RSVPs

With the aim of increasing voter turnout in the upcoming municipal election, candidates for Mayor and Ward Councilor in Prince Edward County were invited to share their thoughts on a wide range of issues once a week.

Responses from candidates for Mayor are here:

Respondents

 

Invitations
Candidates for Mayor 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Steve FERGUSON
Dianne O’BRIEN
Kyle MAYNE
Terry SHORTT

Responses to Invitation 8

Candidates received Invitation 8 on October 5, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by October 17, 2022. Candidates who wanted their responses to be published before advance voting started were to forward them by October 12, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook beginning October 13, 2022.

Respondents

Terry Shortt

1. Please share how you would enhance Council’s approach to public engagement.

Town hall meetings, social media and inclusion of stake holders on committees all great ways to be inclusive of public involvement.

2. Please share why you’re running and why voters should support you in the municipal election.

Family
Life-time County Resident. My wife and I will be celebrating our 46 year anniversary this month. We are very proud of our 3 children and our 4 grandchildren.

Business experience
33 years owner operator/president of Terry Shortt Electrical Services Ltd. I sold the company 2 years ago to 2 former employees who are carrying on its operation. Company specializes in power distribution and control system design, installation and servicing as well as commercial and residential wiring. Have had as many as 54 employees on large projects, averaged 12 to 20 for many years. Company was selected as the service provider and has completed many large projects for corporations such as the TCS Group, General mills, Hienz, Quaker Oats, GE Small Motors and many other business and industries in the Quinte area.


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Accountability & transparency

Three Invitations asked candidates to rate six proposals to enhance Council’s accountability and transparency:

We have categorized candidates’ ratings of these proposals [Not in favour | Neither | In favour] below. Candidates were also asked to explain their ratings and we encourage everyone to consider their ratings alongside their explanations.

Table 1. Candidates’ ratings of proposals to enhance Council’s accountability and transparency.
Steve Ferguson
Proposition Not in favour
Neither
In favour
1. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.
2. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.
3. A public register of requests for County records.
4. The routine disclosure of County records.
5. The active dissemination of County records.
6. A Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.
Diane O’Brien
Proposition Not in favour
Neither
In favour
1. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.
2. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.
3. A public register of requests for County records.
4. The routine disclosure of County records.
5. The active dissemination of County records.
6. A Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.
Kyle Mayne
Proposition Not in favour
Neither
In favour
1. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.
2. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.
3. A public register of requests for County records.
4. The routine disclosure of County records.
5. The active dissemination of County records.
6. A Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.
Terry Shortt
Proposition Not in favour
Neither
In favour
1. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.
2. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.
3. A public register of requests for County records.
4. The routine disclosure of County records.
5. The active dissemination of County records.
6. A Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.

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Responses to Invitation 7

Candidates received Invitation 7 on October 3, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by October 11, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on October 12, 2022.

Respondents

Terry Shortt

1. For any one of [the nine themes covered in the 2022 VitalSigns Report], please outline a course of action that Council should consider to reinforce successes and/or address challenges identified in the 2022 VitalSigns Report.

Sustainable community
Sustainable community requires initiatives which will attract youth back to the County. We must actively look to attract light industry as well as high tech jobs that pay a family sustainable wage. Tourism is important to the municipality but we cannot rely solely on tourism to provide employment. Our economic development commission should be actively looking for new employment opportunities. The recruitment of doctors, affordable housing and child daycare all fall into sustainable community.

2. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following proposal: “Council should adopt a Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.”

Agree.

3. Please explain your rating.

It would provide the public an opportunity to see how their representatives supported any issue which came before council.

4. Please share examples of how you’ve been trying to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion. What have been the biggest changes in your thinking? How are you applying what you’ve learned in your work in the County?

My children have been my biggest educator as far as equality and acceptance is concerned. They all have friends from many ethnic and social backgrounds. They have taught me that mutual respect is the key to inclusion.


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Responses to Invitation 6

Candidates received Invitation 6 on September 23, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by October 3, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on October 5, 2022.

Respondents

None.

Responses to Invitation 5

Candidates received Invitation 5 on September 20, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 26, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 28, 2022.

Respondents

Responses to Invitation 5

Candidates received Invitation 5 on September 20, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 26, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 28, 2022.

Respondents

Steve Ferguson

1. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following:

“Council should adopt a Strategic Initiative to respond to [the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s] Calls to Action 43, 47 and 57.”

Agree.

2. Please explain your rating.

[None]

3. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following statements:

“The cost of maintaining a public register of requests for County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

“The cost of the routine disclosure of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

“The cost of the active dissemination of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

4. For any one of your ratings above, please describe your analysis of the different costs and benefits that lead to your conclusion (max. 500 words).

If this is brought forward, Council will act upon a staff report outlining the benefits, cost implications, particularly related to staff time and/or the need to add staff, and other considerations. I have no problems with openness and transparency and as a small single-tier municipality we do a good job responding to FOI requests, and making information available to the public through various methods.


Terry Shortt

1. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following:

“Council should adopt a Strategic Initiative to respond to [the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s] Calls to Action 43, 47 and 57.”

Agree.

2. Please explain your rating.

There were great injustices done and any steps in communication to reconcile relations with indigenous peoples is important.

3. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following statements:

“The cost of maintaining a public register of requests for County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Disagree.

“The cost of the routine disclosure of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Disagree.

“The cost of the active dissemination of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Disagree.

4. For any one of your ratings above, please describe your analysis of the different costs and benefits that lead to your conclusion (max. 500 words).

It is important that council and the municipality be open and accessible therefore any costs related to public access to information is worth the expenditure. If however there becomes a point where the public is not taking advantage of this opportunity, the need for maintaining the policy would require review.


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Responses to Invitation 4

Candidates received Invitation 4 on September 14, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 19, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 20, 2022.

Respondents

Steve Ferguson

1. Please identify and describe the general nature of any conflict of pecuniary interest – real or apparent, direct or indirect – that you would foresee needing to declare, given the sort of conflicts that have been disclosed by your predecessors in 2020-2022. [We later clarified the reference to 2020-2022 here. As the preamble re: “Pecuniary Conflicts of Interest” notes, these three years are the ones reported in the County’s online Annual Registries of members’ disclosoure of conflicts of interest.]

I have had no conflicts during my 2018 to 2022 term, and I don’t anticipate any going forward.

2A & 3. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.” Please elaborate.

Strongly agree.

Each member of Council must hold themselves to the highest ethical standards, period.

2B & 4. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.” Please elaborate.

Strongly agree.

[As above]

5. In the voter’s own words, please identify the most difficult-to-answer question that you’ve been asked in your campaign.

Not applicable at this point in my campaign.

6. Please explain why this question was the most difficult-to-answer.

Not applicable at this point in my campaign.

7. On October 21, 2020, Council voted unanimously to deny a rezoning application from Picton Terminals to bring in container and cruise ships. If presented with a similar vote today, how would you vote (deny or approve)? Why?

My position to deny has not and will not change: the activity of container storage and/or transshipment and an increase in the number of vessels coming and going from the port – cruise ships and container ships – is not appropriate for our community. Infrastructure wear and tear (roads) is very much a concern as are pollutants and/or hazardous material that may be contained in the shipments with the potential to affect our important drinking water source.


Terry Shortt

1. Please identify and describe the general nature of any conflict of pecuniary interest – real or apparent, direct or indirect – that you would foresee needing to declare, given the sort of conflicts that have been disclosed by your predecessors in 2020-2022. [We later clarified the reference to 2020-2022 here. As the preamble re: “Pecuniary Conflicts of Interest” notes, these three years are the ones reported in the County’s online Annual Registries of members’ disclosoure of conflicts of interest.]

I am retired and own two long term rentals, I have no other pecuniary interests or have any business which would lead to any conflicts of interest.

2A & 3. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.” Please elaborate.

Agree

A code of conduct is necessary but if it becomes so restrictive as to make a councillor afraid to speak or act it takes away from the effectiveness of a council.

2B & 4. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.” Please elaborate.

Agree

As above.

5. In the voter’s own words, please identify the most difficult-to-answer question that you’ve been asked in your campaign.

Questions regarding water rates.

6. Please explain why this question was the most difficult-to-answer.

A review of water rates, cost of operation of the plants and water sources and amounts allowed for future expansion is necessary to give an appropriate answer.

7. On October 21, 2020, Council voted unanimously to deny a rezoning application from Picton Terminals to bring in container and cruise ships. If presented with a similar vote today, how would you vote (deny or approve)? Why?

I would have to have the information council had when they made their decision to answer that.


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Responses to Invitation 3

Candidates received Invitation 3 on September 7, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 12, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 14, 2022.

Respondents

Terry Shortt

1. Please rate your overall satisfaction with each of the following strategic initiatives:

Strategic Initiative Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither Satisfied Very satisfied
By-law and policy review
Downtown revitalization
Healthcare initiatives
Municipal Accommodation Tax
PEC Affordable Housing Corp.
Short-Term Accommodations
Tourism management
Understanding Growth and Water/wastewater infrastructure

These policies all have merit, it’s the application of these strategic initiatives which will determine their effectiveness and thus generate a level of satisfaction.

2. Please explain two of your ratings.

Having not been in effect long enough to judge, I can’t really rate their effectiveness.

3. Please outline one County-wide strategic initiative that is missing from the above and should be adopted by Council.

Economic/work environment
Creating a stable and sustainable work environment! This would be to address the need for daycare, affordable rental units and whatever can help bring workers to the County which we are lacking because of distance and fuel prices which make driving a distance to work uneconomical for those who like to work here.


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Responses to Invitation 2

Candidates received Invitation 2 on August 31, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 6, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 7, 2022.

Respondents

Dianne O’Brien

1. Please identify two internal and one external committee or board listed above whose areas of municipal responsibility would showcase your skills and interests in municipal government.

  1. Public Library Board
  2. Audit Committee
  3. Prince Edward Lennox & Addington Housing Advisory Committee

2. For these three committees or boards, please highlight your skills and experience (work, volunteer, life) in those areas of municipal responsibility.
3. For these three committees or boards, please describe the impact you’d hope to make in those areas of municipal responsibility.

Public Library Board
The knowledge I gained from sitting on the boards was invaluable. I feel maintaining all our library branches is important. I have the skills to work with the community to preserve our libraries. I see firsthand that our libraries are much more than book depositories. They are places of education, community gathering, play space and an alternative for those who need access to technology.

Impact: I hope to lobby for funding to maintain our current municipal library locations, and ensure the space is accessible to all. Library services are only possible because of responsible stewardship by Library Boards and the ongoing support of municipalities, aided by the Province of Ontario. I will continue to work with the Library Board and Municipal Council to provide responsive and innovative library service that meets the needs of our community.

Audit Committee
I have been actively involved in small business in the community for many years. I understand how vital it is to keep our community economically viable while providing the services the taxpayers need and pay for.

Impact: I will put forward a proposal to expand the Audit Committee to include a budget committee made up of community members and councillors and staff, so everyone has a better understanding of the financial implications of the budget.

Prince Edward Lennox & Addington Housing Advisory Committee
I have been a homeowner and lifelong resident of Prince Edward County. I see firsthand how the impact of lack of affordable housing has on our youth coming out of high school, families with young children and seniors on fixed incomes. I see friends and neighbours struggling and feel my grassroots connection to the County and its people made me qualified to advocate on their behalf.

Impact: We need to explore programs geared towards affordable housing. There is an announcement this week that a rent to own initiative is coming through CMHC. We need to tie in with surrounding communities to look at rent to own, tiny houses and affordable rental units. I will encourage the engaged community services to collaborate and contribute to a measurement process to demonstrate the progress being made by the community.

4. How would you account for these rates of voter turnout in the County in recent municipal elections?

We need to push out the get out and vote program., More voter education, commitment to contacting the voters through door knocking, flyers and other methods. Timing of the election may factor in as well, as some of our population has already left for the winter. Voter turnout might be better if it were held earlier in the year.

5. Please relate an occasion when you (nearly) decided not to vote in an election.

Not enough advance polls, had to be out of town, the municipality did not provide for vote by proxy.

6. How would you propose to work with other candidates to increase voter turnout in the County in the upcoming municipal election?

We need to work together to work on the “get out to vote” strategy. The voters have been through a difficult two years, and everyone is disillusioned. We need to help our voters understand that they are being heard at council level, and their vote DOES matter! I will end my debates with a call to get out and vote.


Terry Shortt

1. Please identify two internal and one external committee or board listed above whose areas of municipal responsibility would showcase your skills and interests in municipal government.

  1. Planning Committee
  2. Community & Economic Development
  3. Prince Edward County Affordable Housing Corporation

2. For these three committees or boards, please highlight your skills and experience (work, volunteer, life) in those areas of municipal responsibility.

Planning Committee
Spent 2 years Vice Chair and 4 years Chair of Planning on previous Councils.

Community & Economic Development
Spent 4 years Chair of Community & Economic Development on previous Council.

3. For these three committees or boards, please describe the impact you’d hope to make in those areas of municipal responsibility.

Help people navigate the planning process. Help support existing business and the agricultural community.

4. How would you account for these rates of voter turnout in the County in recent municipal elections?

Poor turnout due to frustration (my vote wont make a difference).

5. Please relate an occasion when you (nearly) decided not to vote in an election.

Never.

6. How would you propose to work with other candidates to increase voter turnout in the County in the upcoming municipal election?

Try to convince voters that there voice does matter and their vote can make a difference.


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Responses to Invitation 1

Candidates received Invitation 1 on August 24, 2022 and were asked to share their thoughts by August 29, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on August 31, 2022.

Respondents

Steve Ferguson

1. How long have you resided in the County?

14 years.

1b. (Additional question for candidates for Ward Councilor only): How long have you resided in the Ward in which you are running to be Councilor?

NA.

2. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the current term of Council (Fall 2018 – present).

Membership on the Police Services Board, the Community and Economic Development Commission, and the Audit Committee; an ex-officio member on the Cemetery, Agriculture, Traffic, Accessibility, Museum, Heritage, and Environmental Advisory Committees.

3. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the previous term of Council (Fall 2014 – Fall 2018).

Chamber of Commerce council rep; Heritage Advisory Committee council rep.

4. Please identify your membership or volunteering in a not-for-profit, non-governmental oganization associated with the County during the current term of Council (November 2018 – present).

NA.

5. How do you understand talk of tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County?

Talk about tension is not the same as tension.

My sense is that in Prince Edward County – like municipalities everywhere – people have been coming and going for longer than most of us can remember. We are all settlers here, and for the most part I would say that we have a remarkably vibrant and beautiful ‘community of communities’ where neighbours get along with a sense of purpose generosity and good humour. There will always be people who resist inevitable change, just as there will always be folks that have energy, entrepreneurial spirt, and who want to create and innovate. We can and do get along without agreeing on every point as we have much more in common than we have differences, starting with our love of this place.

Please indicate your agreement with the following statements:

6a. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s agenda. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

6b. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s decisions. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

7. Please identify any role you see yourself in addressing any tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County.

Beginning with my days publishing The South Marysburgh Mirror, and then sitting on dozens of committees as councillor and Mayor, I have always looked for paths forward, based on input from many residents and knowledgeable resources. My observation is that tensions in our discussions are not based on how long someone has lived in the County but on a host of other different points of view.


Terry Shortt

1. How long have you resided in the County?

Lifetime resident.

1b. (Additional question for candidates for Ward Councilor only): How long have you resided in the Ward in which you are running to be Councilor?

NA.

2. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the current term of Council (Fall 2018 – present).

Ran and lost.

3. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the previous term of Council (Fall 2014 – Fall 2018).

Ran and lost (served 1994-1997, 2000-2003, 2003-2006, 2010-2014).

4. Please identify your membership or volunteering in a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization associated with the County during the current term of Council (November 2018 – present).

None.

5. How do you understand talk of tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County?

I’m sorry but I find this to be a question aimed at restarting conversation over divisiveness. Newer residents came because they found something that attracted them to the county as a place to live. Long time residents are here because they still see a reason to stay. All are welcome in the community.

Please indicate your agreement with the following statements:

6a. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s agenda. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

6b. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s decisions. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

7. Please identify any role you see yourself in addressing any tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County.

Try to preserve as much as possible the attributes which brought new and retained old as we develop and move forward.


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