Speech – All Candidates October 5th and 8th – Chamber of Commerce at Wasaga Beach Rec Plex
My name is Nina Bifolchi and I have had the pleasure of serving the residents of Wasaga Beach for 8 years as your Town Councillor.
I am proud to be part of four generations living in Wasaga Beach. My goal is to meet the needs of all age groups to the best of my ability.
Over the past 8 years I have gained the knowledge required to be Deputy Mayor and to represent you at the county level. I have built relationships with Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Councillors all across Simcoe County and these are the people that I will work with at the county table. I am known for taking on challenges, giving it my all and following through to the end.
Nine years ago, I initiated a petition to gain support for a secondary school to be built in Wasaga Beach. Council has been relentless in speaking to the Ministry of Education and School Board trustees about this matter. We have presented a business case, offered to contribute financially and provided several locations of available land to build a school. All of this fell on deaf ears. But that doesn’t mean we stop trying as we need to continue to work in the best interest of this community now and into the future.
Healthcare is something that affects all age groups. Mental health seems to be a growing concern with anxiety and depression affecting our youth and dementia our elderly. Frail and isolated seniors needing assistance with not just healthcare but other areas of life as well. As a community we need to work together to ensure everyone is being looked after. As municipal leaders we need to ensure that our voice is heard so your needs are not ignored.
I was a member of the Youth Centre Support committee that looked at opportunities for a youth centre to be located in Wasaga Beach. The youth centre opened its doors for the first time in November of 2010 on a trial basis. After great success and amazing support from the community the centre was approved as a permanent facility in 2012. It is important to continue to reach out to our youth. If our community has empowered confident youth, Wasaga Beach will have strong future leaders.
During the last election I spoke about my concerns regarding the need to develop a sensible and affordable plan for property owners to prevent their river banks from eroding which contributes to the river filling in and properties to be lost. Since then the town has completed a shoreline protection strategy for the river that will assist property owners when installing or replacing a river bank wall through design standards. It will save the property owner time and money while contributing to the overall health of the river.
For the past four years I have been on the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority Board of Directors. Through my own experiences and others, I knew that improvements were needed at the NVCA. I initiated a third party efficiency audit which has provided the NVCA a go forward plan of action that will strengthen their service delivery, performance, and clarify the role and mandate of the NVCA, something that has been requested for years.
In my role at the Conservation Authority I have been part of a collaboration between large scale development, municipalities and other approval agencies to ensure that our water quality is NOT affected by development upstream of Wasaga Beach. Protecting the health of our river and water is crucial.
Attracting investment and experienced developers to our Beachfront is a challenge. In the 2010 election I stated that the town needed to be the leaders and do the background work to turn our town owned beachfront properties into construction ready parcels, as this would be a marketing strategy to entice new business to the area.
Preparing the land for a development of this type and size doesn’t happen overnight, but council has been working to complete the mandatory steps to move forward.
The path council has been taking will result in our beachfront being built in a sustainable fashion that our residents can be proud of and our visitors wishing they didn’t have to go home.
Regardless of the initiative, development proposal or community project, it is council’s job to look after the needs of the community. Moving forward, be it healthcare, recreation, public works, tourism or economic development, a common sense, balanced approach needs to be taken that is financially responsible. Wasaga Beach is in a great financial position and we need to stay that way.
The past 8 years as a councillor has provided me the skills necessary to best represent you and our community as Deputy Mayor.
It takes teamwork to be a productive council as no “one” member of council can accomplish anything on their own.
I offer you strong experienced proven leadership that is capable of moving Wasaga Beach forward into the future.
I encourage you to visit my website for more information but please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss anything further.
Thank you for taking the time to be here today and I ask that you vote for me, Nina Bifolchi, as your Deputy Mayor.