Here are Five Questions with 2014 Cornwall Ontario Mayoral candidate Bob Kilger.
1 – Tell the voters a bit about yourself. What skills and experience would make you a good candidate for Council?
I am a lifelong resident of Cornwall. I have enjoyed a variety of careers beginning at Domtar Fine Papers, 10 years as N.H.L. Linesman/Referee, Coach of the Cornwall Royals, and manager of St. Hubert Bar-B-Q.
Then I started my political career first as Member of Parliament for our region; and I am presently concluding my second term (8 years) as Mayor of the City of Cornwall.
All the skills and experiences accumulated over my working adult life, in addition to my passion for public life to serve, is what I offer to the residents of Cornwall as a candidate for Mayor.
2. In what ways could we improve Economic Development and how can we make Cornwall a more friendly city for small businesses?
We need to continue to provide economic development with a suitable inventory of fully serviced industrial lands. Furthermore, we need to update our Economic Development Strategic Plan.
The Cornwall Enterprise Centre plays a major role within the small business sector. It is a provincial program that is administered by the City where potential investors/entrepreneurs can access a great deal of important information, including coaching, assistance in finding the necessary start-up financing, and much more. Small grants can also be made available.
3. What is your vision for arts and culture? Would you support the building of an Arts and Culture Centre in Cornwall?
The Arts Centre is a cornerstone of my strategy! I look forward, in partnership with the Arts community, to bring the Arts Centre vision/dream to a reality.
In June 2011, the City of Cornwall participated with local regional partners to develop a regional culture plan now referred to as “Culturescape”.
Today, Culturescape is complete. The City of Cornwall has approved a $20,000.00 expenditure in its 2014 budget to undertake a Feasibility Study for an Arts & Culture Centre. The terms of reference for that work are well underway.
In the end, I look forward to the findings and recommendations of the Feasibility Study and I will support finding “a home” for the arts in our community.
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.
I do not support freezing or lowering taxes. We need to ensure that our municipal services are sustainable.
During my tenure as Mayor during these past eight years, we have maintained increases in property taxes within the rate of inflation.
During the next term of Council, I would like to have a full debate on “development charges”. Those charges, common in most urban communities, help cover the cost of new infrastructure and services such as roads and sewers.
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?
I want to highlight four significant projects that were completed during this term of Council. They are:
i) The Benson Centre
ii) The Wastewater Treatment Plant
iii) EMS Headquarters
iv) The Cornwall Blueprint/Flood Reduction
One big issue of concern at City Hall over the past four years has been related to personnel matters. These have taken up a great deal of our time and effort, and particularly on those most affected, and I look forward to their conclusion.