January 20, 2020
PuslinchToday contacted each registered candidate for Mayor and Councillor and asked them for a photograph and short write up. We did not ask them specific questions, we wanted them to have a chance to speak about what is important to them. We have provided each candidate with this unrestricted free space to speak directly to you because we think it’s important to get to know who we are voting for.
We’d like to thank each candidate who took the time to connect with the citizens of Puslinch by sending us their information. Remember to get out and vote on October 22nd!
Candidates for Mayor (One to be elected):
Candidates For Councillor (Four to be elected):
- Matthew Bulmer – Did not respond to requests to supply information
- Steve Dorgo
- Jessica Goyda
- Ken Roth
- John Sepulis
The Morriston Bypass was finally approved by the Province in 2016. Some bridge construction is scheduled to begin next year and completion is expected in 2023. This project had languished for decades on the province’s someday list.
The proposed Cambridge East Corridor is no longer going through Puslinch. I attended many meetings and fought for our interests.
There are now lights at Ellis Road and Townline. If you had ever tried to turn from Ellis onto Townline you know how critical this improvement was.
We have Railway Crossing signals on Watson in Arkell. An area of serious concern by many has now been fixed.
We have real long-range financial planning. This allows us to set aside money for large future expenses. No more outrageous tax increases.
We have Fire and Rescue, Recreation and Strategic master plans. All of these had a great deal of public input during creation. They clearly outline where we want to go.
As the Mayor I also supported the County’s extension of garbage and recycling pickup to all our rural residents.
As Chair of TAPMO (Top Aggregate Producing Municipalities of Ontario) I succeeded in winning a major increase in fees from aggregate producers. For Puslinch, it means an additional $250,000 per year.
And we have a user fee, grant and in-kind policy that treats everyone fairly. This includes significant facility discounts for local organizations offering programs focused on our Seniors and our Youth. This fee schedule was renewed unanimously by Council earlier this month.
What lies ahead?
Tax fairness. I am heavily involved in the County of Wellington’s appeal of the aggregate assessment valuations set by MPAC. We currently have homes paying more property tax than 100-acre operating gravel pits. Something is clearly wrong and we are addressing it.
We will continue the complex planning of our infrastructure maintenance. These are big ticket items and they require very careful consideration.
We will continue to monitor large water users. While there is often much discussion about Nestle, they are only one of the many in this area. All need to be monitored and the total impact measured.
We will continue to watch and offer comments on Guelph’s growth plans. The entry way from Puslinch into Guelph must be subject to careful and well thought out planning. So far, they have incorporated our requests into their concepts and we must now make sure they follow through.
We will continue ongoing reviews of all services provided by the township. We will make sure we are getting the best value for our money.
I want us to continue our investment in our parks and sports facilities based on use. We purchased additional property in 2012 for a soccer field and trail. The trail is finished. We are hoping to move ahead with the soccer field next year. I believe that that our youth should have an opportunity to participate in activities that get them outside and away from keyboards and controllers. And also, into social environments that teach them team work.
Our community based strategic plan is up for the 5-year renewal in 2020, just 2 years from now. I’m looking forward to all the supportive community input we had with the original.
The Mayor’s job is a very challenging one. The credentials I bring and the skills that are required are outlined on my website. Please visit and check out my blog to find out much more about Puslinch and me.
By James Seeley.
“ Our Puslinch community offers so much rich history, beauty and opportunity for those who are fortunate to live and work here. I believe the Township needs a fresh, inclusive and community-focused approach, listening to what’s at the heart of the people living here.
I want to focus on sustainable growth, protecting the environment and issues that are important to the health of our community.“
I am proud to have lived in Puslinch my entire life. I live in Morriston with my wife Carly and our two wonderful boys Patrick and Jacob.
Having grown up in Puslinch, I care and respect the heritage and beauty of this community and want to see it grow and develop in ways that still honours its past.
I have been an active community volunteer and sports coach, an activity through which I have learned the importance of leadership and team building.
Those community involvements, led to my decision to raise my family here. I wanted my family to enjoy the wonderful sense of community that I experienced growing up in Puslinch – like the friends who will help you at the drop of a hat, having nature on the doorstep and community groups to join and learn from throughout the year.
I am running for Mayor because I love Puslinch Township and want to bring a fresh leadership approach to our community. I want us all to have a voice in the future decisions for this grass roots community. A voice, I feel we have been denied in recent years.
After 13 years as a volunteer firefighter in Puslinch, I have built my career with the City of Guelph Fire Department. This means that I have flexible work schedules, which will allow me to attend meetings and engagements as required. Previous mayors have worked in business as well as being Mayor. This is not a new situation.
I believe it’s the Mayor’s job to set the tone and create a culture of welcome and inclusiveness as a priority in every aspect of the Township’s operations. I want to involve others in the decision-making process and build a Council where all views are heard and respected. As Mayor, I will listen.
Leadership isn’t just about the Mayor or Council, it’s about inviting everyone to the table to learn from each other and share expertise. It’s about seeking input, acknowledging other perspectives and building a strong community from the ground up.
I recognize the value of our residents’ input. As Mayor I will facilitate and invite discussion so together we build a vibrant Puslinch that is stronger as a result. The Council of 2019 will work as a team, drawing on our collective experience and expertise so our direction is more community-oriented.
I understand that residents are concerned about the finances of Puslinch. It should be remembered that one person does not determine the budget for the Township. The expertise of staff, and the experience of Councillors and committee members will be taken into consideration and together we develop, plan and approve a budget that is both efficient and effective.
As Mayor I will introduce a process whereby we involve the resources of Township staff to deliver and provide reports and secure public input, before we leap into hiring expensive, outside consultants.
I understand the job and the demands it will place on my time and my decision to run for mayor has not been one we have taken lightly.
As someone in my 40’s, I have the energy and determination to serve my community as Mayor, both now and into the future. In the long term I will be here, proudly representing families in Puslinch.
I am willing to make the commitment… because I can. I want to be your mayor. I need your support and you will get mine. Please vote for me on October 22. Remember,
• a vote for James Seeley is a vote for community involvement.
• a vote for James Seeley is a vote for sustainable growth and development.
• a vote for James Seeley gives YOU a voice in shaping the future of Puslinch Township.
The reasons I am running for councillor:
-Give back/get involved to the community
-Put my degree to use
-Plan for the future of the township
-Make sure the township’s money is spent efficiently
-Ensure growth of neighbouring municipalities does not negatively affect us
-Bring to attention any concerns residents have (no matter how big or small)
-Encourage entrepreneurship within the township
-Promote the small businesses in Puslinch
-Make sure our water and green spaces are maintained/protected
-Ensure our current way of life is respected
-Make sure the sewer/water project and other unnecessary capital projects don’t happen
-I will seek out faster and more reliable internet
Regarding the sewer mega project this is clearly done with the future intent of urban development (Milton) with an extraordinary cost to current residents. Both reasons are which why I’m against it.
This is Puslinch we are a rural community, we all choose to live out here and people are ok with driving into Guelph/Cambridge to use certain services, I have the level of self awareness to know we don’t need to spend to be everything to everyone.
We rely on our neighboring municipalities for a lot of things, but we have the space necessary to let entrepreneurs develop into quality rural destinations for our neighboring municipalities. Whether that’s kennels, dog training, riding centers, driving ranges, campgrounds, markets, or fruit farms. We promote our entrepreneurs and promote Puslinch we will all grow.
You have to decide who you want involved in the planning and future of this township, keep in mind when voting I’m a 27 year old who loves living the rural lifestyle, wanting put his degree to use, willing listen to you, and who’s ready to work for you!
The township has taught me from a very young age the meaning of community spirit and it is a place I love deeply. Growing up, it has always been a place where I was fortunate to be close to nature, history and rural life but most importantly a place where people care for and respect one another. It is a place that truly gives a sense of belonging.
It is this love for the community as well as a passion to make a positive difference that inspired me to run for council.
I have a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Guelph and I have worked in many management roles in the private sector. Today, my husband and I operate Union Market Square, a community focused bistro and market in the village of Arkell. My education along with management experience and now my experience as a business owner have allowed me to develop a broad skill set that I believe would be an asset to council.
The township will face challenges in the future, but I believe through my personal experience that if we collaborate with those who have expertise, be willing to modify plans to make them more cost effective or better for our residents, think outside the box, stay true to our vision and most importantly listen with ears wide open to the people who live and work in our community then great things can be achieved.
If elected, I would be committed to:
-Proactively seek public input on Township issues
-Ensure hard earned tax dollars are spent wisely and efficiently
-Promote youth participation in the community by actively engaging and communicating with youth
-Encourage entrepreneurship and small business
-Protect water quality, quantity and sustainability
-Promote recreational facilities and programs that meet the needs of residents now and for future generations
-Work collaboratively with all members of council and Township staff
-Actively communicate with residents through multiple media formats
-Have concern for what is right and sensible
I am running for council because I feel I have a contribution to make, ideas to share, a passion to make a positive difference and a commitment to do the right thing. I am running because I would like to be a positive role model and do my part to ensure a bright future for my children and future generations.
Ken has served on various committees affiliated with Puslinch Township and has actively attended County Council meetings which provided an understanding to implement a balanced approach to ensure fair tax increases, improving service levels for the betterment of our community.
Ken’s focus this term, is to continue working with council, staff and other elected officials, to reassure the best interests of the township are upheld.
Allow me to tell you a bit about myself, a few of my accomplishments on Council, and my thoughts for the future.
My wife, Anne and I have been residents of Puslinch for almost 30 years. We raised three children who still have cherished memories of living the rural lifestyle.
I am a retired professional engineer and I now have the time to step forward and give back to the community by being involved in meaningful community activities that makes use of my work experience.
I became involved 6 years ago as a member of the Puslinch Planning Advisory Committee and subsequently as a member of the Planning Development Advisory Committee and Committee of Adjustment. For the past four years I have been the Chair of these committees.
Last year, after nominated by Council, I was selected by the GRCA to be a member of the Lake Erie Source Protection Committee representing municipalities in Wellington, Dufferin, Grey and Halton counties.
I am also currently an active member of the Puslinch Optimist Club and of Friends of Mill Creek.
I would like to continue to serve on Council, if you the voters, believe and trust that I will continue to do a good job for you.
With my background as a professional engineer and as a former General Manager of Engineering and Construction at the Toronto Transit Commission I believe I have unique transferable skillset to bring to Council which include;
• Being comfortable with technical, financial, legal, policy and planning matters
• Being responsive in a courteous and professional manner to the public
• Working in a team environment
• Reporting to a Board
A few of the more noteworthy accomplishments on Council to date include;
– championing the review of Parkland Dedication fees for severances which led to a substantial increase in fees for recreational purposes
-championing moving forward on a long overdue soccer field
-championing to have a public meeting for our residents regarding The Cambridge East Water Study
-providing a critical review of gravel pit reports and Nestles including highlighting the need for consistent approach to precipitation data
My approach to matters important to us is to be proactive, understand the current processes and seek ways to reduce costs and increase revenues such as noted earlier.
I believe that we should be moving on a variety of fronts to keep our Township a desirable place to live and play.
Keeping property taxes down and keeping ahead of rising costs is paramount. The fact the Province has designated large areas of Puslinch as Prime Agricultural Areas and a Natural Heritage System means that relying on residential growth for tax revenue will no longer be possible. We need to look at other sources of revenue such as developing the industrial lands.
Actively seeking funding from upper levels of government including Wellington County will allow us to stretch our hard-earned tax dollars further.
Another issue important to us is the effect of climate change. Having adequate groundwater in the event of a drought is vital. Work is underway by the GRCA to develop policies regarding water taking. We will need to ensure that the policies will reflect our needs.
Further development of our recreation facilities and programs will provide more opportunities for all us especially our youth to stay active. You will be asked for your input next spring, on the proposed plan for the recreation facilities at the Puslinch Community Park. Once you have provided your opinions we should move on implementation by relying on funding primarily from Parkland Dedication fees, development charges, donations, and grants from the upper levels of government.
Other issues I will be championing is investigating natural gas and better internet services for all of us.
I’m sure you have some ideas as well and I would like to hear from you. Send your thoughts to [email protected] Please also visit my web site www.johnsepulis.com.
On election day Oct. 22, please vote for me. I look forward to representing you again.