CORNWALL, Ontario – Mayor Bob Kilger officially kicked off his campaign for re-election in Cornwall Monday, issuing a six-point plan he wants voters to buy into before next month’s election.
Among a list of other proposals, Kilger said it’s time for Cornwall to introduce development charges that will be paid for any new construction in the city.
Cornwall is one of few municipalities in the province that doesn’t issue development charges, and Kilger wants city council to closely examine the idea.
“The time has come for council to have a full debate around the issue of development charges,” he said. “It’s only to be considered when new residents and new housing, and if a new commercial enterprise…so that as our community grows a certain amount from those buildings would go into a reserve.”
The money in that reserve could then offset the costs associated with introducing traffic lights, sewer lines and other infrastructure for a particular development.
Kilger also called for the creation of a new home for the arts and culture sector in Cornwall.
For several months there has been talk in and around the city about creating an arts centre in Cornwall, and Kilger suggests now is the time to move forward on that file.
“The time has come for the City of Cornwall to give itself and its residents a home for the arts. It’s long overdue, some would say,” he said. “I hope my colleagues will see this in the same (way).”
Kilger further suggested that if elected he would urge city council to adopt a code of conduct, similar to other boards, both public and from the private sector, that mandate such a practice.
“It’s a principle that is widespread,” he said. “You do not take a seat at the table without signing that code of conduct.
“What that does…is it establishes the code as it pertains to the culture and the ethics of the group.”
Kilger also made promises to toe the line on taxes, suggesting he wants to ensure tax rates in Cornwall keep pace with inflation over the course of the four-year term looming for the new city council.
His plan also includes what he jokingly referred to as “Bob Kilger’s pet project” which would see some kind of park or recreation area created in the city’s east end, perhaps in the area of Montreal Road, First Street East, St. Felix Avenue and McConnell Avenue.
“Before any talks about a splash pad anywhere, know that Mayor Kilger will want a park in that area of the city for those children and those families,” he said. “There isn’t even a sandbox in that entire area of our town. I find that shameful. That needs to change.”
Kilger also said greater efficiencies need to be found with how the city operates, including finding ways to further consolidate services and employees housed throughout Cornwall and move them to the civic complex where departments like financial services and planning are currently found.