Dunn would focus on improving ‘core’ city services if elected mayor
If necessary, cost savings will come from libraries, parks, and recreation
If elected mayor, four-term councillor Pat Dunn says he has a plan for Kawartha Lakes that prioritizes core city services. He also wants to spearhead talks with the province to bring Metrolinx services to the city.
When asked why he wanted to be mayor in a telephone interview with The Advocate, Dunn said he likes “helping people out.”
“I still feeI I have a lot to offer. We as a council have gotten a lot done. We have many major developments in the works.”
When asked to comment on how council might operate differently under his leadership, the Lindsay-area councillor offered a couple of possibilities.
“As a council we will meet at least one more time a month. We need to better advance the agenda of our constituents. In the next four years, leadership will be required to achieve our goals. I hate that everything is a 5-4 vote. I want to see a council that looks for consensus and I am confident that with some of the people who are running for council that we can put together an awesome team.”
Dunn’s platform will focus on “core issues” for the first four years with priority given to roads, fire, policing, ambulance services, solid waste disposal and water/waste water improvements.
“I am concerned about tax increases,” Dunn said. “Our debt is very concerning. If necessary, we will have to find savings in ‘soft services’ like parks, recreation and libraries.”
“I also think it is time to take another shot at a GO train connection for the city,” Dunn added. “The premier told us at a meeting of municipal leaders that he wants to expand the service. I also want to see a second bridge in Fenelon Falls before we build a third one in Lindsay, and we need to move forward and complete the Coboconk Medical Centre.”
Dunn was asked as mayor how he would address the shortage of skilled city employees, like planners, that the city has been unable to recruit.
“We need to better sell to new staff a lifestyle they can’t find in the big cities,” Dunn said. “In some cases we are just going to have to pay more. We should also look to private industry to see how we can be more innovative in supplying services. We want to create a solid, committed workforce.”
When asked where he was in his campaign for mayor, Dunn suggested he is really just getting his team together, picking up his signs and printing his brochures.
“I have been trying to attend every function that I can,” Dunn said. “When I campaigned in Ward 5, I knocked on every door I could. That won’t happen this election. I will be mailing a copy of my platform to every voter. We will be focusing on the larger communities like Lindsay, Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon but I also have invitations from places like Sonya and Dalrymple where local folks have offered to campaign with me.”
Dunn was asked to comment on the changes he has seen in his almost two decades in municipal politics.
“When I was a Ward 10 councillor you used to get one to two calls a day from constituents. Mostly they were pretty nice calls. Now I get five to seven calls a day and 50 per cent are angry calls. If you disagree with the caller they get even angrier. Social media has made it even worse. People like to complain but have few solutions to fix the problems they call about.”
Dunn is very impressed with the quality of candidates running in his old ward.
“There is a really good list of people who have come forward. There are two to three of them that will do wonderful jobs. I won’t be campaigning for any of them because regardless of who wins I will have to work with everyone.”
When asked if he is concerned about both he and fellow conservative Bill Denby competing for the same voters, Dunn brushed this aside, saying he doesn’t think vote splitting on the political right will have much impact on the campaign.