Accursi Expands on his Platform
Some have said this election is about change; I believe this election is about electing someone who has a vision; A plan to execute this vision and the experience to carry out this plan.
I have been a citizen and business man in this community for 45 years. I’ve served on numerous committees as a member and as chair. I have been a Councillor for the last 8 years. I believe I have the experience and the commitment that is needed to be Mayor of this fine community.
I have a vision for this community that can be very easily stated:
- First, we need to Enhance citizen engagement
- Second,, we need to Ensure that we manage community assets and community growth and development
- Third, we need to Enhance the culture of the Town of Pelham for all citizens
Citizen engagement entails many things. Council and citizens often engage in formal meetings. It is very difficult to have true discourse and an exchange of ideas in this setting. As a member of the past Council, I have been a strong advocate for open public meetings, for the use of design charrettes and for the use of Advisory Committees. I think of such ADVISORY Committees as the Active transportation Committee, the Downtown Beautification Committee, The Seniors Advisory committee the Pelham Community Centre design Committee and the Community Centre Oversight Committee to name a few. All were made up of community members, all volunteers, working for the betterment of our community. All assisted Council in making better decisions for the community. The number and variety of Advisory Committees needs to be expanded.
I would go one step further with respect to citizen engagement. I will work to make that engagement as informal and comfortable as possible. I am committing that as mayor I will hold informal Town hall meetings throughout the community at least quarterly. These will be an opportunity to meet with your elected officials and senior staff. Some of these Town hall meetings will be informational while others will be highly informal, an opportunity for Council and citizens to sit and discuss the issues that are important to them.
The second part of my plan; Ensuring appropriate management of Town assets and Town Growth and Development is a critical part of my platform. We have invested heavily in the Town Assets in recent years to better the Town and to encourage growth and to attract new citizens. It is time to press the pause button. It is time to reap the benefits of the investments, to collect the new taxes, to replenish the reserves and to reduce debt. Secondly we need to manage the growth and development taking place in our community. Growth is inevitable in a vibrant community. We must insist that new development complements the existing neighbourhood; that we have stringent design guidelines that are reflective of the type of community that we would like to see built. We must ensure walkability and green spaces; and a variety of housing types to allow all citizens a place to live. Lastly; we must be proactive and engage with the province to inform them that small communities are significantly different than large metro centres and that rules for large metro centres do not apply to small centres like the Pelham.
Finally, I think it is important that we enhance the Cultural aspects of Pelham. There are many things within our Town that we can be proud of and that define us as unique in Niagara. I think of the signature events like Pelham Summerfest, Christmas in Pelham, Winter market, the Thursday Night Experience, the Art Show and the Kinsmen Home Show. All add greatly to the culture of the town and the image that Pelham is a vibrant, creative community. In short; Pelham is a great place to live, work and play. There’s more work to be done. We have a community Cultural masterplan and we need to complete its roll out. The Public Art Advisory Committee will help create public spaces that celebrate the beauty of our area and the culture of our community. The recently launched “Love my Hood” initiative will strengthen our neighborhoods. Both need to be supported and expanded. Talk about small town feel. It doesn’t get much better than knowing your neighbours.
Fellow citizens, elections are about vision, leadership and experience. I have shared my vision of enhanced citizen engagement, strong management of assets and growth and enhancement of Pelham’s cultural community with you in this article. I have been a business leader, a volunteer and an elected official in our community. I have the experience and the commitment to carry out this vision. I ask for your support on October 22.
Suite 201, 2 Pelham Town Square
Authorized by the Gary Accursi Campaign