Candidate Survey Results

General Info

Matt Alexander

Ward 1

Transportation


Transportation Survey Responses:

1. What does sustainable transportation mean to you?
Sustainable transportation means walking and cycling are safe and effective means of getting around the city without increasing congestion for residents who need their vehicles on a daily basis.

* 2. How are you going to support it in our community?
I’ll work with developers to ensure new subdivisions and commercial developments are designed to accommodate walking and cycling because it is more cost-effective and easier to include sidewalks, appropriate crossings and bike lanes when a neighbourhood is first built then to try to add them later. I’ll also encourage business-owners to install bike racks and pedestrian paths through parking lots in existing areas.
I’ll ensure new development includes accommodation for pedestrian and cycling facilities. I’ll support a transit ridership growth strategy and earmarking roads funds to achieve walking and cycling targets.
* Above includes answer to Top Public Question 3. What are you going to do to enhance walking, bicycling and transit usage in Greater Sudbury over the next 4 years?


Level of support for:

(a) Dedicated annual funding in the municipal budget for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure
I will champion that
(b) Adopting a Complete Streets Policy that details how to implement streets that are designed for all users
I will vote in favour
(c) Improvements in transit service and fares to meet the needs of citizens
I will champion that
(d) Implementation and coordination of Transportation Demand Management
I will vote in favour
Explanation:
A – Our roads budget should commit a percentage of funding for cycling and walking to match the percentage Sudburians we would like to see cycling to work every day. We need active transportation targets and a committed strategy to achieve those targets. B – Motor vehicle traffic is prioritized on our roads for a reason, but our major arterial roads are often the only way to get from one part of the city to another. For example, there is no way to get from the West End in Ward 1 to the Four Corners without travelling on Regent St, which is not a safe or comfortable route for pedestrians, cyclists or transit users. To focus primarily on motor vehicles we limit the economic potential of businesses along these routes and across the city. C – The city needs to devise and implement a ridership growth strategy for transit. This may result in schedule adjustments, new fare structures and route adjustments. This must happen with deep public consultation, including consultation with people who currently don’t use transit. D – A transportation demand management approach to new development and redevelopments will help ensure major traffic generators don’t have a negative impact on adjacent roads and neighbourhoods. It will also help ensure our transit lines are more cost-effective and attractive for residents.

Water Quality


Water Quality Survey Responses:

1. In your view, what are the most important steps the city needs to take to protect water quality?
The most important steps for protecting water quality is to reduce run-off into our stormdrains, renaturalize our shorelines and over time work towards replacing septic systems on Ramsay Lake with piped municipal services.

* 2. How are you going to support it in our community?
I’ll move these forward by working with residents in Ward 1 to build rain gardens on public and private property, support the creation of a development permit system similar to that in place in Lake of Bays to require shoreline rehabilitation as a condition for planning approvals, and support long-term infrastructure planning.
I’ll support increased public access to shorelines to encourage a broader sense of ownership of our lakes and increase “eyes on the water” so spills, contamination, blue-green algae or other risks are immediately reported. I’ll support programs for re-inspection of septic systems.
* Above includes answer to Top Public Question 1. What plan do you have to protect and sustain our many lakes? What actions will you take to support your plan? What resources will you devote?


Level of support for:

(a) Requiring larger shoreline buffers
I will champion that
(b) Dedicated annual funding in the municipal budget to complete priority watershed and subwatershed studies
I will vote in favour
(c) Rejecting development in floodplains and wetlands
I will champion that
(d) Adopting higher standards for storm water management, and expanded capacity in vulnerable areas
I will vote in favour
(e) Support for the Vermilion River Stewardship’s opposition of proposed modified run-of-river hydroelectric dams on the Vermilion River
Unsure
Explanation:
A – I would support wider shoreline buffers and policies to require shoreline rehabilitation as a condition of development on waterfront properties. I’d also work with developers to ensure public access to shorelines through parkland dedication to bring more “eyes on the lake” so blue-green algae or other threats to water quality are reported immediately. B – We’re proud of being a city of lakes, but without a comprehensive watershed study we don’t really know what we’ve got, or what the impacts of development are on our lakes. We need a coordinated strategy to get this done. We should pursue options for non-municipal funding for these studies, but we need to meet targets for moving towards this goal. C – There’s an old real estate scam involving Florida swamp land. We don’t need developers falling for that here in Sudbury. Development in floodplains and wetlands is more costly for developers and ultimately more costly for the city. We should explore options for acquiring privately held floodplains and wetlands or providing tax relief for lands that aren’t suitable for development. E – I do not know enough about this proposal, and its potential impacts to take a position.

Natural Environment


Natural Environment Survey Responses:

1. How will you balance development with protection of the natural environment?
I’ll work with developers prior to the submission of a development application to identify areas that are appropriate for recreation and conservation uses. We can use parkland dedication policies in collaboration with residents and stewardship groups to set aside sensitive lands from development.

2. How will you champion opportunities in your ward to fill gaps in parks service and to protect unique natural areas (identified by the Green Space Advisory Panel)?
Ward 1 is lucky to have several undeveloped hills in our neighbourhoods. These hills provide scenic lookouts, but they are not accessible to all residents. I’ll work with property owners to set aside areas for public enjoyment and install ramps or stairs to improve accessibility.


Level of support for:

(a) Dedicated annual funding in the municipal budget to implement the green space acquisition strategy
Unsure
(b) Policies in the Official Plan to recognize and protect important natural areas
I will champion that
(c) Removing the “Laurentian link” road from the Official Plan transportation schedule
I will vote in favour
(d) Re-assessing proposed roads on the Transportation Schedule that impact natural areas
I will vote in favour
Explanation:
A – There are instruments available to the city to require development proponents to protect or contribute funds towards the protection of green spaces. This means using municipal funds is not the only option, and I’d like to look at all opportunities to move forward with the strategy. B – The whole purpose of adopting an official plan is to identify the area that are most- and least-appropriate for development. We need to ensure we stick with the plan to achieve our objectives. C – The “Laurentian Link” would transform Loach’s Road from a residential street to a congested arterial road. For that reason alone I will not support punching a road through to Laurentien University. Instead, I would support improving Loach’s Road for cycling to provide a safe and effective alternative to Paris street for residents in the South End. I would also like to look at providing a bus-only roadway along this route to make transit a more viable option for students, workers and profs. D – New roads can only be justified where they support sustainable financial growth in the city. If a new road can’t pay for itself through increased assessment then it should not be built. Roads planned through wetlands, conservation areas or floodplains cannot be supported by development along those routes and should be removed from the transportation master plan.

Local Food


Local Food Survey Responses:

1. How do you see the city’s role in food system sustainability, access to local food, and the connection to health?
Sudbury is lucky to have as much agricultural land as we have. We should work harder to preserve our farmland, support our farmers and attract new farmers. I’ll support new community gardens and produce swaps in Ward 1’s urban neighbourhoods to support food education, community-building and place-making.

* 2. How would you develop local agriculture and fresh water and forest foods?
The Sudbury Market should explore the feasibility of waiving vendor fees for farmers within the municipality. Lost revenue might be recovered by opening the market retail units during the week for sale of prepared food and non-food items.
I’ll facilitate new community gardens, backyard gardens, neighbourhood produce swap, canning workshops and other community events to encourage food education. I’ll work towards a farmland match-maker program to keep rural land in food production and encourage new food entrepreneurs to establish in Sudbury.
* Above includes answer to Top Public Question 2. What is your commitment to encourage a local food economy?


Level of support for:

(a) A food action plan for the city
I will vote in favour
(b) Developing targets for procurement of local food in municipal institutions
Unsure
(c) Providing support for urban agriculture initiatives
I will champion that
(d) Expanding the amount of land preserved for agricultural use and avoiding incompatible use
I will champion that
(e) Designating the market as a Farmer’s Market
Unsure
Explanation:
A – Any food action plan must have achievable targets and a strategy for implementation B – I would support giving a priority to local food suppliers in procurement policies, however I would like to know the feasibility of targets considering the relatively limited selection of local food options in the area. C – Food brings communities together. I intend to host community dinners, outdoor pizza nights and other events to bring people together over food. I’ll support new community gardens and food sharing initiatives. D – Development in our rural areas has devalued established neighbourhoods in Ward 1 and other parts of the city. I’ll support match-maker programs to find purchasers for farmland so our farmers can retire without turning their land over to suburban sprawl. E – My concern is that our market may be too small to survive on local food alone. I support this as an ultimate goal, but at this point I don’t want to have to turn away vendor who may attract new patrons.

Citizen Engagement


Citizen Engagement Survey Responses:

1. How will you ensure that community consultation is done effectively and openly, with productive dialogue from start to finish for municipal projects and decisions?
’ll provide a bi-weekly newsletter to notify residents of upcoming city council agenda items, development applications, roadwork, community events and programs. I’ll host regular office-hours during which residents can drop in to discuss upcoming agenda items and move to release meeting agendas 5 days prior to meetings instead of the current three day schedule.

2. How will you ensure a consistent culture of openness and support for public input across all city departments?
I’ll support open government and open data programs, a website overhaul to make staff reports more accessible and I’ll take the lead in bringing staff to the community to discuss local issues.


Level of support for:

(a) Adopting an enhanced system for resolving all issues and complaints, including tracking numbers and prescribed timelines
I will champion that
(b) Requiring proactive engagement of citizens and stakeholder groups when forming policies and developing projects
I will champion that
(c) Requiring agendas and background material to be publicly posted two weeks in advance, and minutes to be posted one week after meetings of Council and Committees of Council
Unsure
(d) Providing timely, fair and transparent support to citizens and citizen groups for community projects that contribute to the community
I will vote in favour
(e) Ensuring easily accessible, complete and searchable information on the City website
I will champion that
Explanation:
A – We’ll review the effectiveness of 311. I’ll support a 311 email and twitter account, and a procedure for providing a reference number for all 311 calls. I’d like to explore the option of having 311 find the answer to questions or complaints and responding to residents rather than forwarding the staff to a staff answering machine. As councillor this is how I’ll respond to constituent’s questions and requests. B – I’ll move to require notice boards at the site of development applications and proposed roadwork. As councillor I’ll meet with owners of large parcels and encourage collaboration with neighbours to work towards appropriate development of these sites. C – Two weeks is too long a timeline and could force items to be bumped down too far down the queue, slowing progress. I will move to release agendas 5 days prior to meetings, with minutes to be posted in a timely manner.

Climate Change


Climate Change Survey Response:

What actions should the municipality take to reduce carbon emissions and improve community resilience in the face of climate change?
Implement a transit ridership growth strategy; protect wetlands and floodplains from development that will likely be affected by increased major storm events; support 30-year infrastructure planning and neighbourhood emergency preparedness plans for areas most susceptible to climate-related disasters.