My Thoughts on the Non-Tax Supported Operating Budget

One of the clearest messages I heard from residents during the election this fall was the desire to see elected officials strive for fiscal reform at City Hall and to look inward for efficiencies rather than constantly resorting to raising taxes and service rates.  To this end, after reviewing the proposed 2015 non-tax supported operating budget, I did not support the 4.1% increase to water/wastewater rates for 2015. Notwithstanding the need for investment in City reserve funds to service ageing infrastructure, my desire was to limit expansion of the water/waste water division by not approving the proposed full time equivalent (FTE) positions. The following explains my rationale. Continue reading

Ward 1 | Holiday eNewsletter

Season’s Greetings Ward 1;
With the Holiday Season upon us I wanted to pass along my warmest wishes to you and your family this year. This has been a truly blessed Holiday season thus far in Guelph and I’ve had the privilege of attending numerous local events including, the inaugural Guelph Gives fundraiser on Dec 2nd; the annual Secret Santa Guelph fundraiser in support of the Children’s Foundation on Dec 7th; The Royal City Church and Life Center on Dec 17th, and the Lakeside Christmas Hamper program on Dec 19th. Each event served to remind me of the wonderful and caring neighbors that make up our Guelph Community. Continue reading

144 Watson Planning Decision

I’d like to thank the many residents of East Guelph for your comments, phone calls and email messages received in the weeks leading up to the Council planning meeting last night (Dec 8, 2014). I have been listening to resident concerns related to the balance of residential and commercial growth on the subject properties at Starwood/Watson and believe these concerns have served a reminder to council and city staff just how important the East End Node (inclusive of commercial development and a grocery store) is to our community. I’m proud of the level of engagement this file has garnered in the East End as it demonstrates the level of ownership residents feel toward ensuring our community is developed in a sustainable/desirable way.

Watson Starwood Node

Based on the questions/answers provided below my decision to support the proposed development at 144 Watson was based on the following factors;

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Dan Gibson Ward 1 City Council Newsletter – Thank You

 
Ward 1 Residents;
 
I was truly humbled this past week to see our campaign (which began in May), culminate on election night across our wonderful Ward.  Ward 1 your collective voice was loud, clear and unmistakable…..No Longer Ignored! Continue reading

Downtown Renewal

Urban renewal is a means for municipalities to maximize built assets/infrastructure, increase tax productivity and strengthen a city’s fiscal standing. To this end I support the concept of downtown renewal in Guelph. Not to be lost in this however, are the growing concerns over the recent tone and direction of our downtown revitalization aspirations. While the vision has merit, the social/economic tradeoffs in terms of increased taxation, affordability, capital project deferral and gentrification need to be better understood. Continue reading

East End Commercial

For residents living east of Victoria Rd, the lack of commercial services and business amenities has been a long suffering issue.  The reasons are complex but the facts remain true, since the rescinded “Superstore” proposal in 2003/2004, commercial growth in East Guelph has stagnated and frustrations have risen. 

Despite the frustration however, there are (in fact) commercial projects working through the planning process for the envisioned East End mixed use node at the Watson/Starwood intersection. Street level commercial along Starwood is intended to create walkable storefronts (as per the 2014 Urban Design Plan), with the larger  commercial anchor being situated on the south side of Watson Parkway (i.e. Loblaws grocery store/pharmacy).  

144 Watson - Council Presentation[2]Urban Node

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Guelph District Energy

District Energy as it relates to Guelph fulfilling it’s economic/environmental and employment potential is a file I am supportive of.  I believe publicly owned, district energy is a positive step and one that should be leveraged to create a real competitive advantage in Guelph.   Notwithstanding the fact that we MUST be open and transparent to residents on financial matters related to Guelph Hydro. Continue reading

The Environment, IMICO and the Guelph Factor

A passion for the environment is part of what makes Guelph such a unique and wonderful place to live. In saying this however, an environmental conscious without the counterbalance of economic and societal demands/benefits can quickly spiral into misguided ideology, a dysfunctional planning process and a break down in sustainable development. In these scenarios, innovative solutions to development can be impeded and the City building process can break down. Continue reading

Two Way Communication

In addition to the traditional communication tools (email, phone), my commitment to building and maintaining the relationships between City Hall and residents will include all forms of social media such as Twitter (@dangibsonward1 and @Ward1Guelph), Facebook (Dan Gibson/Guelph) and a Ward 1 website (www.Ward1Guelph.ca). Continue reading

Campaign Newsletter #1

Setting the Foundation 
Greetings Ward 1 residents;

For those of you receiving this newsletter, requesting a lawn sign, following my campaign on Twitter/Facebook or are volunteering, I sincerely thank you for your support.  Collectively we are pushing forward with October 27th in our sights. 

Ward 1 | No Longer Ignored! 
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