Election Expense Summary

Next week, the City Clerk’s office will release the details of election expense reports submitted by candidates in the 2010 municipal election.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my supporters for their donations. I am very fortunate to have friends and family who enabled me to run for office.

In the spirit of transparency, here is a summary of my donors and expenses:

Donors over $100:
John Caron: $600 (my father)
Darlene Caron: $600 (my mother)
Cathy Downer: $250 (friend/neighbour)
Heather Bryson: $200 (friend/neighbour)
Richard Chaloner: $200 (friend/neighbour)
Other contributions under $100 (from 7 friends/neighbours): $500 *
Contribution from self: $400
Value of inventory (signs) from previous election: $1175.
Total Income/Assets: $3925

* No union or corporate donations were accepted.

Advertising (Snap Guelph): $327.70
Bank charges: $19.80
Brochures: $892.70
Sign inventory from 2006: $1175
Filing Fee: $100
Office Supplies/Expenses: $175.17
Signs: $852.69
Photography: $67.50
Sign deposit: $200
Election day expense: $99
Total Expenses: $3909.56

The $15.44 remaining at the end of the campaign was returned to me when the account was closed.

If there are any questions…please feel free to contact me.

Leanne Piper

High? Low? Slim? Wide?

I had a call from a constituent today about one of the Environics survey questions re: highrise buildings in Guelph. For those who don’t know, the city is conducting a survey on the many issues that Guelph is currently facing to feed into the upcoming Strategic Plan, ranging from taxes to recreation and everyting in between.

The specific question of concern is worded as follows:

“As the city continues to grow we need to make choices about the budget we allow. Some people think taller buildings of 7 to 18 storeys that allow more green space are better. Others think we should only have low-rise buildings – 1 to 6 storeys – even though it would cover more ground area. Which of these views is closest to your own?”

The caller felt that the question was too black and white — that the answer had to be “either/or” — and did not leave enough room for a fullsome response.

I agree.

In some locations, highrises might work. In other locations, a highrise is undesirable. Same with lowrise. In some locations, a lowrise would fit nicely and have plenty of greenspace. In others, a lowrise surrounded by asphalt is undesirable. Planning a city is not an either/or exercise. Seven stories is very different than 18 stories, with different impacts at different locations.

I have been fairly consistent in my preference for lowrise forms of development, but why does it have to be at the expense of greenspace?

Guelph must grow, and our downtown core will accommodate a significant percentage of that growth, with approximately 9,000 new residents by 2030. Highrises are not the only form of development to accommodate this new growth. In fact, it is my understanding through the modeling that has been done to date, that Guelph can accommodate this new growth with buildings under eight stories, through adaptive re-use of underutilized existing buildings, brownfield redevelopment and new construction.

I look forward to the results.

Nature Called

I received an email this morning from a constituent asking how I would have voted (if I had been at the table) on the issue of cutting three part-time library clerks.    Answer: I would have voted to keep them in the budget.

In other words,  the outcome of the vote (6-6 tie motion defeated) would NOT have changed had I been present to press the button.

I must admit to being a bit surprised and amused by the media attention to my three minute absence. Apparently, the Guelph Mercury has even posted a cartoon musing whether I stepped out for a coffee.

Allow me to solve the mystery of what I was doing during those three minutes for the curious:   I used the bathroom, washed my hands, and returned to the horseshoe.

Obviously my timing was off.    I left the room when I thought there was plenty of debate still in play before the vote was called. When I returned, the vote results had just come on screen.   What a difference 30 seconds can make.