4-point Plan for the Next 4 Years
We have made a lot of progress in four short years. Today, North Dundas is a leading municipality known for thinking“outside the box”, partnering with the private sector to deliver the best value for taxpayers, and for embracing new ideas that reduce costs and enhance customer service.
We can be proud of what we have accomplished, but there is always more to do. Here are four goals I’ve set to, with your support, we can achieve by 2018 together.
1. Fully adopt the “Sigma Six” concept of continual improvement to realize efficiencies and improved services.
- Sigma Six is a leading private sector management practice that ensures employees are always looking for ways to reduce costs, increase productivity, and boost morale. This system has been used successfully in thousands of businesses, including Motorola and General Motors, and can be adapted to any business or government.
- With the input of staff, develop an in-house four year action plan (with no paid studies or consultants) that identifies areas for improvement and which includes a line-by-line review of operational expenses conducted to reduce annual costs.
“We need to have an honest conversation with residents about the continued costs of some of our services. We need to talk about what we charge for user fees and to identify and reduce duplication. It is sensitive, but we need to do a cost and usage analysis and let the facts guide the discussion. This approach will get us where we need to be professionally and quickly.”
2. More Accountability & Transparency in Government
- Effective January 2015, Council’s annual expense forms will include full receipts so taxpayers know the what, when and why of every expense claim.
“This level of accountability would be a first for local government. There is no reason to hide the expenses public officials claim for reimbursement – any member of the public should be able to examine these receipts and determine for themselves whether they think the claims are appropriate. My hope is that this will raise the bar on accountability to a new level.”
3. Better Communication & Customer Service
- Redesigning your tax bill to better explain where your municipal tax dollars go.
“Many ratepayers think their taxes go only to roads, garbage pickup, and snow plowing, but this barely scratches this service. Not included in this list are emergency services (EMS, fire, and OPP), social programs (social assistance, housing, child care, homelessness prevention and domiciliary care), and recreational spending, to name only a few. As a customer of the municipality, job number one is keeping you informed as to what exactly it is you are paying for. Your tax bill needs to be better designed to do just that.
4. Strong Voice for Municipal Government
- Encourage the Government of Ontario government to provide all municipalities with a stable, predictable, and permanent source of gas tax revenues to build and maintain our roads, bridges, and other key infrastructure.
“As both Mayor and in my capacity as Warden of SD&G, I have been a strong advocate for rural Ontario, which must receive its fair share of gas tax revenues. I have also pressured the provincial government for more local decision making-power with respect to green energy projects, and to absolve municipalities out of those responsibilities and costs t it should not bare. I am passionate about our issues and will continue to be a fierce advocate for North Dundas and Eastern Ontario.”