Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had the chance to knock on hundreds of doors across Ward 4 and had some great conversations with my ward neighbors who are often eager to share concerns with me. One of the surprises for me was the diversity of challenges which different neighborhoods are experiencing.
There are two common issues in the ward.
1. The negative impacts of the significant residential development on the green space, infrastructure and services such as street parking. The reality is that Welland’s growth is not going to stop, the targets for housing established by the province are very aggressive, and it will be quite a challenge to work with developers to ensure that quality of life is not impacted.
2. The reality that property taxes are going to increase coupled with the perception that Welland’s “cut” is not giving residents the best bang for the buck. There’s no question that property assessments will increase over time with a corresponding increase in property taxes. While there is recognition of the need to spend to maintain and improve our infrastructure, discretionary investments are often criticized as being unnecessary.
Other than these, I have heard concerns which are specific to certain neighborhoods.
For example, the residents within the Hunters Pointe community are very concerned that the significant number of new dwellings planned within that area will create a traffic congestion and safety issue on Daimler Parkway. There is currently just a single road in and out of that community and a major accident could prevent residents from leaving or returning home.
Residents in the area around Welland Stadium are concerned about illegal dumping in the city lands South-East of Towpath Road, the high amount of speeding along Towpath Road and Quaker Road, and the lack of a sidewalk on at least one side of Quaker Road. Having walked that stretch in the early evening, I can certainly echo the last concern as I had to keep an eye out for cars which were getting too close for comfort.
But if we take a look across Welland, I’ve no doubt other neighborhoods are experiencing similar challenges. And this is one of the advantages of a ward-based council. Elected representatives can bring such local concerns to the council where solutions can be discussed and implemented in a holistic manner, benefiting the city as a whole.
For more information on my campaign platform, please visit kiron4welland.com.
Authorized by the Official Agent for the Kiron Bondale Campaign.