30.55% of the over 108,000 eligible turned out October 25th to vote, up 5.45% from 25.1% in 2006. The voters sent a clear message to the newly elected Oshawa City Council after electing a new Mayor, John Henry. Voters want to see an end to the ever increasing taxes and the bitter disputes and divisive council. This is a new council and the citizens want to see it run like a business with a cohesive council that will work to keep our City’s Strategic and Financial Plan on track.
Six key issues of concern or major concern to the business community identified in a recent survey were Economic Development with 92% of respondents feeling this should be of concern or major concern, followed closely by Finance and Taxation, Hwy 407 Extension, Downtown Rejuvenation, Environment, and the sixth issue with a 55% rating was Business Property Taxes.
Also this past September businesses were invited to grade the municipal council on values, vision, communication, decision making and attitude. The results were compiled from a report card that was designed by consultants from Municipal World. Municipal World is the oldest continuously published monthly municipal magazine in the world. Founded in 1891, the magazine is devoted to promoting effective municipal government.
Overall 1% of respondents gave the former Council an A, while 29% gave them a C and 31% a D. 26% of respondents gave Council a D for communication – while 23% of respondents didn’t know if council used plain language in motions, by-laws, notices and debate, and prompt followed-up of complaints. 45% gave Council a D in decision-making which reflects evidence-based decision making, councillors’ support of best practices in issues like road maintenance and economic development and council’s delivery of defendable decisions in a timely fashion.
50% of respondents didn’t know if the City had a Vision which includes the strategic planning process and the City Official plan.
In the area of attitude Council earned a D from 29% of respondents. Attitude reflects such issues as treating staff with respect, making the public feel welcome at meetings, respectful attitude shown toward delegations and councillors communicating with business on a regular basis.
“The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce looks forward to working with newly elected Mayor John Henry and his new council team to develop a strong community plan”, stated John Walker, President, adding, “congratulation to every person who put their name forward to stand for election.”
Overall the City of Oshawa saw an over 70% change in council. The race for Mayor saw John Henry win with over 15,000 votes (46% of the vote) defeating incumbent John Gray by over 6,000 votes. His next closest rival was local Councillor Louise Parkes who received 3,941 votes.
At the regional level three of the former councillors are returning, Nester Pidwerbecki, John Neal and Tito-Dante Marimpietri. The remaining council members are made up of new and some not so new faces returning to the local and regional scene, Nancy Diamond, John Aker, and Mike Nicholson. New at the regional level are Bob Chapman, and Amy England and locally Roger Bouma and Bruce Wood. All of them campaigned on responsible government.
City & Regional Councilllors
Tito-Dante Marimpietri, John Neal and Nester Pidwerbecki