Nina Bifolchi

News – February Opinions

CHANGES TO CODE OF CONDUCT:

At the January 26, 2016 Council meeting the majority of council approved changes to Council’s Code of Conduct. As I stated that evening, I had no issue with the proposed changes by the town’s integrity commissioner however could not support others proposed by a council member.

Council’s Code of Conduct already clearly stated: Members shall not display materials or transmit communications that are inappropriate, offensive, insulting or derogatory.

I think it’s pretty clear that we shall not behave this way in any situation. However, the councillor proposed to add additional words to this statement that included social media and websites.

I will note that I have a website and another councillor uses social media to connect with our constituents. I believe we are the only two on council.

I did not support this addition because I felt it was unnecessary wording. At the January 26th Council meeting I suggested that it was not appropriate to just add this to Council’s Code of Conduct, but that if the councillor wanted to put forward a motion to create a corporate wide social media policy I would be more than happy to second that motion. The councillor did not agree.

I have no intention of changing how I communicate with my constituents through my website. If anyone is insulted because I choose to share truthful events or comments in print form, that is their issue, not mine.

MAIN STREET MARKET:

Visitors to Wasaga Beach can expect a new excitement at our beachfront with our newly created Main Street Market. The majority of council has approved moving forward with a number of things such as kiosks, lifeguards and chairs, tables and umbrellas for rent.

Lots of great ideas however, I personally did not have the information I required to support moving forward at this time. On a couple of occasions I requested information such as the size of the kiosks, the materials they would be built from, liability to the town if we hired lifeguards, site plan details, all of which are still outstanding questions for me. I also shared my concerns with regard to the budget attached to this project.

Let’s hope for great weather this summer to support this new venture!

BEER GARDEN:

Another component being added to our Main Street Market area is a Beer Garden. I wish the owners of Wasaga Brewery all the best in this venture even though I was unable to support it for the following reasons which I stated at the January 26, 2016 Council meeting:

-I do not believe a percentage of sales should be used as a form of rent.

-I do not support using town money to build a brand new building for an individual and an untried business when we have empty town owned buildings that the business owner could rent to sell their product.

-I think we need to be clear with the community that while we keep talking about a brewery, that brewery is not located in Wasaga Beach, the owner is just looking for a venue to sell the product from.

-I am also concerned that the owner admitted to not wanting to take on the risk of renting the Dard so I have to ask why would the town take the risk and expense of constructing a new building?

-If it is felt that a beer garden is absolutely needed for tourism in this town then it should be done through a fair RFP process.

-This beer garden is being constructed in a location that goes totally against an in-depth public consultation with our residents (a few years ago) regarding our beachfront. That community vision in my opinion is being completely ignored in this process.

-I feel that we are favoring one individual at the expense of our residents and creating an unfair playing field for other businesses.

-I am also questioning the budget staff have attached to this item.

CLEARING UP INACURRATE INFORMATION:

Once again there are complete strangers who think they know me better than I do! I’ve heard things on the street and read it on social media.

A lady posted on social media that during the election I showed up at her door with my entourage and was very rude. For the record I have never gone door to door during an election because I don’t believe in bothering people in their homes … and I don’t have an entourage. But I’d be happy to have one! While I won’t just show up at your door and catch you relaxing in your PJ’s, at the dinner table or something else, I am always available to meet with you. I’m just a call away if you want me to pop by!

Apparently every move and decision I make, is part of my political campaign for the Mayor’s position in 2018. While some members of council may already be going public with their desire to run in the next election, I think it’s far too soon to be talking about it. We have a lot of work to do now so let’s focus and put our energies into that! I will announce my intentions for the next election when the time is appropriate!

People have said that I should get on board with the rest of council, stop voting against things and be part of the team. It would be great to be able to come to the council table, share my opinions and vote the way I want to without people taking it personally … and still be part of the team. That’s how it was during my first two terms on council. However, I refuse to blindly play follow the leader and vote with the majority because that’s the easy thing to do and so everyone can be friends. If I think something’s not right or I don’t have enough information I won’t support it.

While no council member can control what their supporters say in public or on social media, I do want to thank mine for their continuing support of myself without being derogatory to someone else.




CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO NEWSROOM