Cornwall, Ontario – Here are five questions (and answers) with 2018 Cornwall, Ontario Mayoral candidate David Murphy.
1 – Tell the voters a bit about yourself. What skills and experience would make you a good candidate for Mayor? Also, why are you running for Mayor?
“Cornwall is my hometown. I was born here, raised here most of my life (except 7 years in South Stormont) and have spent the majority of my adult life living and working in Cornwall. My strengths include my ability to communicate effectively with residents (in person, by e-mail or through social media), to relay and/or address their concerns and issues to the proper channels. I have proudly served the past two terms as a Councillor on Cornwall City Council which has allowed me to gain valuable insight into the operation of the city in every department. I have a very good, respectful working relationship with City staff (frontline, supervisors, and managers). I’ve had the opportunity to serve as Chairman of a number of events and with community groups which have honed my ability to lead a group in a responsible and respectful manner. All that experience has led me to my decision to run for Mayor.”
2 – In what ways could we improve Economic Development and how can we make Cornwall a friendlier city for small businesses?
“Economic Development is on the right path. We’ve been able to grow our logistics sector over the past several years which has delivered sustainable careers to the community. Our retail sector continues to diversify as well. We should continue to encourage infill (Downtown and Le Village) while at the same time encourage new property investment. I believe we’ve accomplished that with the extension of services on Brookdale North. We still have some work to do when it comes to streamlining the process for small business. Working with ED and our permits department, this next Council can assist in laying the framework to ensure a more efficient and timely permit process.”
3 – What is your vision for arts and culture? Would you support the building of an Arts and Culture Centre in Cornwall?
“My vision includes a sustainable arts centre that caters to the needs of the arts community. How we fund that model is still up for discussion. Would it be better suited to be funded and operated by an arts collective (similar to the successful model used by the Cornwall Curling Centre)? Would it be better if the City had control of the operation and its programming (similar to the Benson Centre and Civic Complex)? That is a conversation that must still be had with the arts community and City Council. My goal, if elected, is to have a functioning arts centre sooner rather than later.”
4 – Do you support keeping tax increases to a bare minimum? If so, where would the savings come from, and would you support reducing some services? If you do not support keeping tax increases to a minimum, explain why.
“I understand taxes are necessary to deliver the services that any municipality provides. But that does not mean we can or should be all things to all residents. This next term of Council will have new sources of revenue, which I believe will mitigate the tax burden on residents. I’m speaking of the hotel accommodation tax as well development charges. Since they’re being implemented, we should be able to free up funds for other areas of infrastructure while at the same time allow us to cap the tax rate. Those extra funds should allow us to keep any tax increase to a minimum.”
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?
“We’ve started the process towards a sustainable and effective arts centre. Working with the Waterfront Land Acquisition Committee, I’ve been able to bring the acquisition of the waterfront lands to the forefront to begin to the process to potentially securing those lands to ensure the City (our residents) have a say in what it will be used for.”