Here are Five Questions with 2014 Cornwall Ontario City Council candidate Andre Rivette.
1 – Tell the voters a bit about yourself. What skills and experience would make you a good candidate?
I was first elected to Cornwall City Council in 1998 where I served two terms. I was then re-elected in 2006. In 2010, I was re-elected for a fourth term of Council and I presently sits on a number of Boards.
I have been married to my wife Susan for 45 years. We have two children, Rodney and Tracey, and two granddaughters named Alex and Anna
I think my experience serving our community with 17 years in municipal operation as Park Supervisor and the honour of serving the residents of Cornwall for 14 years as a City Councillor. I understand the needs and wants of the taxpayers in Cornwall. The taxpayers in Cornwall want more Transparency and Accountability on how their city tax dollars are spent.
2 – In what ways could we improve Economic Development and how can we make Cornwall a more friendly city for small businesses?
Economic Development should be more aggressive in the promotion the city in the Quebec Market where new companies are looking to move their businesses out of Quebec.
All departments must remember that we are in the customer service business. When taxpayers request answers in regards to municipal operations or request for service we should do everything in our power to assist them in getting the information or help fill documents required in regards to permits and or other documents that need to be completed.
3 – What is your vision for arts and culture? Would you support the building of an Arts and Culture Centre in Cornwall?
I fully support Cornwall should have it own Art and Culture Centre understanding that there is no money at all levels of government therefore I believe that Aultsville Hall including all areas in the east building is where we should be looking to put the Art and Culture Centre. The agreement between the city and St Lawrence College for Aultsville Hall is to be renewed shortly now is the time to get a long term lease for that portion of the building as St Lawrence College have no more use for that section. This area would be a great location to house the new Art and Culture Centre.
4 – Do you support freezing or lowering taxes? If so, where would the savings come from, and would you support reducing some services?
The top issue a new council must tackle in the next four years is to find inefficiencies to address high taxes. The only way to stabilize or reduce taxes in the next four years is to address the operating costs for Fire, Police and Ambulance which accounts for over 50 % of the city operating budget. The Provincial government must address the arbitrator’s awarding settlements without considering the municipality ability to pay. This in itself would go a long way to help in reducing taxes without cutting services.
5 – What has been the biggest accomplishment at City Hall over the past four years OR what has been the biggest issue of concern at City Hall over the past four years?
Biggest Accomplishments would be the Benson Centre and the new companies we were able to attract. Over the last four years my biggest concern was the lack of Transparency and accountability.