Candidate Name: Steve Bartley
Position Sought: Councillor
I moved to Sydenham Township in 1997 with my wife Kim and our four beautiful children. We are part of six generations of family to have made a home here.
Upon graduating from O.S.C.V.I. in 1973, I moved to full time at Dominion Stores and started training as a meat cutter. Kim and I then went on as owners/operators in the grocery industry for 24 years. I received a Grocer of the Year award from Metro in 2016 upon greatly exceeding corporate expectations.
Over the years Kim and I have spent countless hours volunteering with various organizations focused around our children. I have also been a member of the Sydenham Sportsmen Association since 1967 and currently I am an executive for the Salmon Spectacular. I am also currently Treasurer and executive member of the Chatsworth Royal Canadian Legion.
I retired from the grocery industry in 2019 and love spending my extra time with my three adorable and energetic grand children. I also enjoy spending time “tinkering” around our family farm and anything outdoors such as camping, hunting, fishing, golfing, kayaking or singing around a campfire.
With eight years experience as a councillor I have found new interests and have met many amazing people. It would be an honour to continue to represent the wonderful residents of the Municipality of Meaford for the next term.
Explain your primary reasons for your decision to seek election to Meaford council:
With eight years of experience as a councillor, I believe that I will be a strong asset to the next sitting council for the Municipality of Meaford. I have developed an extensive understanding and working knowledge of the budget process and finances of the Municipality. I am eager to continue to provide leadership in this area to the Meaford council. The current council has brought the municipality from almost bankrupt to being in a very good financial position. I have guided tax increase projections of 6, 8 and 10% down to acceptable levels.
The current asset management plan displays a deficit on infrastructure in the millions. Instead of large tax increases now to cover the costs, I want to achieve our infrastructure needs in smaller acceptable steps. The municipality is on a good path to address our infrastructure and I want to continue making the municipality of Meaford a better place to live. I truly believe I have made a positive difference for the entire municipality over my past two terms.
Agriculture is very important in our municipality and employs more people than any other sector. I was instrumental in stopping bridge closures that would have been detrimental to farming. I will continue to pursue this direction moving forward if re-elected.
I truly believe that residents need to be involved in volunteering, whether it be municipal boards, special events or interest groups. I will continue to promote and support the volunteers that make our municipal unique.
In your view, what should be the top priorities for the council that is elected on October 24?
Whether I agree or disagree with TCE’s proposal, it will not make a difference to the outcome. I have remained well informed of all information around this proposal since the beginning. Input from staff, council, individuals and organized groups have made positive changes to TCE’s proposal. If the Federal government approves the project, I will be working diligently to negotiate the Municipal Benefit Agreement for the municipality.
We need attainable and affordable housing for both existing and future residents. We need to support development by cutting red tape and adjusting bylaws. Development must remain within the official plan, which aims to balance growth and keeping the charm of our quaint municipality.
Infrastructure continues to be a key priority. After years of ignoring infrastructure budgeting, I supported that tax increases be specifically earmarked for infrastructure spending. Our municipality has spent as much on infrastructure than any other comparable municipality in Grey County and should continue with this approach.
I will continue to be a strong voice for rural residents. Agriculture and Ecotourism are extremely valuable assets and is vital for the viability of our municipality.
We need to continue to build on improvements that we have made in fire protection over the past four years. It is essential that residents in every corner of the municipality have access to high quality and timely fire services.
Explain the role of councillor (or Mayor/Deputy Mayor) as you understand it.
I will explain my understanding of the role of councillor by highlighting my approach over the past two terms in the position.
I believe that participating in key community projects and initiatives is important. I have held many positions on Boards over the last eight years, such as Intertownship fire, Riverside Community Centre, North Grey Public Union Library, Parks Advisory Board, and Bognor Community Centre.
A councillor should be responsive to the concerns of their constituents. I have spent a lot of time meeting my constituents over the past eight years. It always gives me satisfaction and validation when I am successful with problem solving and trouble shooting with them. I have even made friends along this journey.
I believe that a councillor’s role is to listen to all sides of an argument and to be respectful towards others even if they do not agree with your view. I am here to promote a clean, safe, healthy, and affordable environment to reside in. This can be achieved with respectful communication between residents, municipal staff and elected members of council.
Finally, I believe that a councillor’s role is to be fiscally responsible while also meeting the immediate needs of the municipality. Residents, businesses and the municipality will have a tough time recuperating from the pandemic. In 2021, we worked hard to keep tax increases modest. With the rise of inflation, the budget this year will be very challenging. My in-depth knowledge and experience will be invaluable in this process.