Here are Five Questions with 2014 Cornwall Ontario City Council candidate Roland Besner.
1 – Tell the voters a bit about yourself. What skills and experience would make you a good candidate for Council?
I was born and raised in Cornwall. I am married, and I am bilingual. I have the time, knowledge and experience to help bring us to a new level.
I would like to share my experience earned in Management Accounting positions, in matters such as Financial Statements, Budgeting and my proven years in business, operating a successful wholesale distribution network throughout the three United Counties. My involvement over the years in many charitable organizations has granted me capabilities to have foresight and insight to fast track possibilities.
2 – In what ways could we improve Economic Development and how can we make Cornwall a more friendly city for small businesses?
Economic development, is not only about finding jobs. It really is about recognizing your resources and using them to develop our city into being a positive, progressive, vibrant and profitable community for all. We all have ideas but the most important are to be able to recognize these resources and to capitalize on them with suggestions that will come to fruition profitably, and be of benefit to the business community all while creating revenues from tourism.
I would love to see Cornwall as the envy of Eastern Ontario for recreation and sports.
Now for small business.
I have been told that Cornwall seems to be anti small business with its rules and regulations. With my business experience I would be willing to participate in a group to iron out any problems and perhaps eliminate or at least clarify the rules and regulations.
3 – What is your vision for arts and culture? Would you support the building of an Arts and Culture Centre in Cornwall?
This encompasses music, visual arts, stage and film. I don’t know all the facts, but I do know that we have Aultsville Hall a facility currently leased by the city being used and managed by a group of dedicated volunteers. Perhaps, Aultsville Hall would consider sharing its facility with the arts council and this would benefit both financially.
4 – Do you support freezing or lowering taxes? If so, where would the savings come from, and would you support reducing some services? If you do not support freezing or lowering taxes explain why.
As much as I am in favor, I cannot promise freezing or lowering taxes. I need to be elected and sitting on Council to see what this current sitting council has left behind for the new members to deal with in the way of unnecessary spending and waste.
I can promise the citizens that with my accounting and business successes I will work diligently to recognize possible troubled areas cut them out and possibly use these savings towards tax levels.
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?
The biggest accomplishment is one not to be very proud of. The integrity Commissioner has been called in on several occasions either because of items that went on at meetings behind closed, and the motion at the public waterfront committee meeting to illegally go into a closed session, whereby spectators were ask to leave the meeting.
And, let us not forget we have the tanks issue on the waterfront, the whistle-blowers cases, the questionable payoffs and the extreme extravagant pay raise I was so vocal against.
I believe that the current Council have truly failed in accomplishing is transparency, integrity and accountability.