CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE of the WEEK
BILL TEMPLEMAN ~ NORTHCREST WARD
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have lived the life I have been given; I’ve learned a good deal about leadership, teams and community. Now it is time to give back.”
Bill grew up living in Montreal but at 25 moved to Toronto seeking work he couldn’t find at home. He married, and settled in Milton; when his second child arrived, he and his wife sought a home with more space and a greater mix of outdoor/country and urban living. They moved to Peterborough in 2000 and have never looked back. With its ample green space, proximity to wilderness, thriving arts and cultural community, Peterborough has been a great place to raise a family. After leaving Royal Trust in 1992 where he was a management development consultant, he started his own business services practice -- Ascent Associates -- which focuses on leadership, team effectiveness, and the design of training and development initiatives for businesses, government and the non-profit sectors. He also does career counseling and freelance writing and editing. Bill taught high school earlier in his career and since moving to Peterborough, he has instructed courses for Trent Continuing Education and at Fleming College.
Having been involved in a few community advocacy campaigns such as the struggle to save PCVS and Parks Not Parkways, Bill has been impressed with the number of very talented and articulate local citizens who are willing to stand up and get involved in issues of civic importance. City council needs to respond to these voices, and not merely tolerate them in order to present a facade of democratic participation. He has grown tired of watching the city provide citizens with an apparent opportunity to give input, only to ignore the overwhelming majority of this opinion in favour of a predetermined decision. He sees getting a seat on council as a way to stop this destructive cycle.
“Our leading export is our young people. They love this city but there aren’t sufficient economic opportunities here for them to start their careers.”
Economic Development and Employment ~ Attracting manufacturing jobs to Peterborough can no longer be the only solution for Peterborough’s high unemployment. Manufacturing jobs are leaving at an alarming rate. The approach needs to be more entrepreneurial, working with the development of small businesses and the innovation of new ideas for the 21st century. Keeping strong public services that pay decent wages helps Peterborough maintain its attractiveness as a place to live and to do business.
As part of Bill’s business is career counseling for people who have lost their jobs through re-structuring, he knows that the job market has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Today, only 40% of the Ontario workforce currently has permanent, full- time jobs with benefits. There is still a lot of work to be done in all sectors, but that work is not longer being packaged in tidy little parcels called “jobs”. Instead, the future world of work is being built around “Portfolio Careers” -- project assignments, contracts, self-employment, entrepreneurial ventures, small business, temporary jobs, and part-time work. Peterborough’s young people need to be better prepared for these Portfolio Careers.
Transparency in Decision Making ~ Decisions that affect the community must be shared with the community. During the 2010 municipal election campaign, was there any mention of a casino, a huge parkway project or delays in implementing flood control projects?
More Civic Engagement ~ City council needs to truly listen to what citizens want and incorporate their ideas into their planning processes. This must include youth who will inherit the Peterborough of tomorrow.
Fiscal Responsibility ~ Tight control is needed over taxes, spending and debt. Spending priorities need to set based on what the city needs most while carrying a prudent amount of debt. Homeowners know that preventative maintenance is better done today than delayed until it is too late. “If your roof is leaking, get it repaired now before the boards rot and you need a whole new roof”, says Bill. “So rather than spending on a new megaproject, like the Parkway, let’s repair the infrastructure we have. You don’t have to look far. The road surface on Charlotte Street, for example, is an embarrassment and the flood control program has been sidetracked except for one project. We don’t want to be blindsided by the next ‘storm of the century’ as the climate is becoming increasingly unstable.”
One of his spending priorities would be a new recreational centre for the Northcrest Ward. This would include not only a new hockey arena but space for other community activities.
Sustainability ~ This city needs to be part of the future and not be left behind. Because Peterborough is a great place to live, there is a tendency to have a narrow view of what is going on elsewhere. Times are changing; the city needs to look at ways of conserving energy and resources.
Transportation ~ As part of that sustainability, public transit and other alternative forms of transit must be improved. Peterborough has one of the largest per-capita senior populations in Canada. As these seniors will not be able to drive forever, the city needs to be prepared. More sustainable and less expensive alternatives to the Parkway need to be built into the Official Plan.
Bill points out that the previous consulting reports have stated that Peterborough’s greatest congestion in the future will be east-west traffic crossing the Otonabee River, something that will not be lessened at all by a north-to-southwest parkway. He acknowledges that some residential streets in the north end are seeing too much traffic; improving the West Bypass and Brealey Road while exploring alternatives like smart traffic control systems would ease this congestion, as would improving existing roads like Chemong.
Housing ~ Bill wants to increase affordable housing for our citizens who live near or below the poverty line. Housing is a key strategy in fighting poverty. He also thinks urban redevelopment in the central core should take priority over building new sub-divisions in the north end in car-dependent communities that take up prime agricultural land. The city needs to explore ways to make the intensification of urban housing on the many unused brown fields downtown more attractive to developers.
“Do we want to have a future of suburban sprawl served by a Parkway which draws people away from the city’s decaying central core, so our downtown dies and our disillusioned youth are continually drawn away to seek opportunities elsewhere, leaving us with only an aging suburban population living in isolation from the services they need?”
Bill doesn’t want to see this future for Peterborough. We need some fresh perspectives at City Hall. To create the changes in his platform, he will need to win a seat on council. Campaigning is not cheap; it costs between $5,000 and $10,000 per candidate. To donate or get involved as a volunteer, visit his campaign web site at: http://billtempleman.ca/ . You can also follow his campaign on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BillTemplemanCampaign or call/text him at (705) 872 6634. You can support his crowdsourcing campaign at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bill-templeman-campaign/