OSAT member Grant Peters seeking a Town Council seat

June 14, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

Grant Peters wants to be the face of change he’d like to see in our community.

An engineer by trade, Mr. Peters was one of the first individuals to put their name forward ahead of October’s municipal election. Seeking a seat as a member of Council, Grant feels it’s time for change at Town Hall and he can’t think of anyone better than himself to help lead the charge.

“I’ve been pretty involved with Council over the past four years as a member of the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team (OSAT), while I’ve also worked closely with staff on a number of initiatives, specifically as they relate to the environment,” Mr. Peters told the Citizen. “Through those relationships and attending Council meetings, I think I have a feel for how things operate.”

And how things are currently operating just isn’t working, says Mr. Peters, who feels there needs to be a greater sense of cooperation and collaboration amongst members of Council. He feels there has been too much time spent this term discussing the interactions of our local politicians rather than the decisions they’ve made.

A native of Pickering, he is a graduate of the University of Waterloo who came to Orangeville nine years ago.

Acknowledging the town’s eye-watering residential tax rates and the debate over the future of the Orangeville Police Service, Mr. Peters intends to put the technical decision-making and problem-solving skills he has to good use and identify solutions to some of the municipality’s biggest issues.

“One of my biggest assets is my attention to detail. We don’t want to continue making decisions simply because they’re decisions that have always been made. We need to look for places where we can improve incrementally if we’re to get back on the right track,” Mr. Peters said. “I believe we need someone on Council who will scrutinize the numbers and processes with a fine tooth comb.”

When it comes to taxes, Grant accepts that it will be difficult to keep rates down while maintaining the amenities and programs local residents have grown accustomed to in Orangeville. But he believes there are areas where the Town can “tighten its belt” without impacting “all the things that make this community so great.”

“One of the things I really want to make clear is that I’m not coming in with a plan to chop amenities. Part of what makes this town so great is everything it offers from a community perspective. There are likely ways to keep the level of service, but to do is in a more practical way,” Mr. Peters said.

One simple idea could help out right away, says Grant – volunteering. He believes if more people in the community spend time helping with different municipal committees, organize community events and get to know Town staff and show a willingness to work around issues, that would be a big way to save money.

“I know this is incredibly idealistic, but if you have 30,000 people putting in even a few hours a year for different events, those are things staff doesn’t have to do, or that Council doesn’t have to outsource. It’s a great way to maintain or increase the level of community we have without hurting the dollar signs,” Mr. Peters said.

While he didn’t side one way or another on the OPP vs OPS issue, Mr. Peters believes the process needs to be reopened so that a more thorough examination can be conducted. He thinks some issues were “washed over” in the most recent costing proposal and wants the next Council to do a better job of analyzing the books.

With a little over four months to go before voters take to the polls, Mr. Peters is keen to press home the fact that he’s in this for the right reasons.

“In my eyes, Council should be made up of a variety of individuals and I think I fill a gap that is not there currently,” Mr. Peters said. “I have a strong skill set, I have insight, as a business owner in town, to the tax and monetary issues we’re facing and the fact I have a young family plays into things too. I won’t just be making decisions for myself and the current generation, I’ll be thinking of them, too.”

He added, “You’ll be seeing and hearing a lot of me. I intend to be out there getting to know every single area of town. There will be plenty of opportunities for people to approach me and discuss any issue they may have. I want to hear from the community, I could be completely off base with what I think needs changing. Everyone has their own concerns and they’re all valid points that need to be brought to the table.”

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