|Posted by Darryl Wolk on August 23, 2016 at 11:55 AM||comments (0)|
Monday August 15, I kicked off my campaign at the Goulash House and Unika Lounge at Botsford and Main in Newmarket. I would like to take the time to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedule to attend. I would also like to thank everyone who were not able to attend but sent their messages of support and encouragement. I look forward to meeting more residents, businesses and stakeholders over the next few weeks of this campaign.
This is an important election in Newmarket Ward 5. Our historic downtown is under threat with the current 7 storey Clock Tower proposal. My position has been clear from the beginning. I am opposed. I signed the petition along with over 1200 residents. I attended the public meetings. I have met with businesses and residents. Main Street has made major gains and is thriving because of those who have invested in our downtown. We cannot put that progress at risk by doing secret deals with developers opening the flood gates to intensification that will destroy our heritage district. My platform will build on the success of Main Street. It includes a big screen TV at Riverwalk Commons. On Saturday, thousands of Newmarket residents gathered in Ward 5 to watch the final Tragically Hip concert. A permanent screen will allow us to also gather for events such as the Olympics, World Cup, Blue Jays playoffs and other sporting and culture events. I have proposed a parking garage downtown to support our businesses and festivals. I would like to close Main Street between Park and Water on summer weekends. This will allow for street sales, patios, busker entertainment and maximize the potential of our downtown. I would like to see new festivals including New Years Eve, Newmarket Day, Fall Fair and more at Main Street, Riverwalk Commons and Fairy Lake. I would like to invest in an outdoor rink and splash pad within the Ward. I have put these ideas forward because I want to see the potential of our downtown unleashed and deliver results for residents in Ward 5 and across the Town of Newmarket. Ward 5 is the heart of Newmarket and all residents have an interest in its success. I support rental, condos and affordable housing in Newmarket, but I believe they should go on Davis and Yonge where hundreds of millions have been invested in transit. I do not support intensification in our historic downtown or existing neighbourhoods.
Many residents have told me that Newmarket is becoming unaffordable. Property taxes, hydro rates, water rates, sports user fees and the cost of living has skyrocketed in the last ten years. At the same time the housing market is in a bubble and assessments have increased for residents. At the doors I have heard seniors about seniors forced to make choices between food and medication. I have heard young from young families struggling to pay the bills. I have witnessed an increase in poverty and homelessness within our town. Taxes are necessary, but they must be fair. Newmarket residents are not getting value for their tax dollars. We are being ripped off and nobody on Council seems to have the courage or integrity to do anything about it! Services are being cut while salaries and perks are increasing. The Mayor of Newmarket in 2014 was the fourth highest paid Mayor in all of Canada according to the Toronto Star. The Mayor misled the public and has not been honest about how much money is going into his own pocket. He saw a massive pay increase in 2015 to $200,000 per year and is due another increase in 2016 that will put his salary above the Premier of Ontario. This is completely unacceptable and I will do something about it. My first motion will be to cut the Mayor’s outrageous salary 30%. I will freeze my own salary and not use expense accounts and slush funds that have been abused by Council in the past and present. I believe we can have a 0% tax increase for 2017 and 2018. To achieve this, the Mayor and Council must show leadership. We must work with staff to find savings where possible. We must review each budget item line by line to make sure every tax dollar is providing value for residents. I recognize that the middle class and those on fixed incomes are falling behind. I think it is time to give taxpayers a break. I want to cut waste and invest in the priorities of people, not perks for politicians and staff.
Traffic safety and speeding is an issue I hear about every day at the doors. I have seen no minutes, agendas or accomplishments that prove to me a “Ward 5 Traffic Committee” exists. Lawn signs are not the solution. A big part of the issues caused in Ward 5 has been the never ending construction on Davis Drive and now those same mistakes are being repeated on Yonge. Davis Drive is triple the budget. Construction has now lasted 7 years. There is no excuse for 2.6km of bus lanes to take longer to complete than the Hoover Dam, Burlington Skyway, Don Valley Parkway and CN Tower. The cost of $300,000,000 for 3 Davis bus stops is a complete disgrace. Subways have been done cheaper in some parts of the world. Despite the investment, buses have been empty. Part of this is because we pay the highest transit fares in Canada with YRT/VIVA. I believe we can fill those buses with $1 fares for seniors, students and low income residents. Davis and Yonge were expensive mistakes, but we must now move forward and make the best of the situation. As a slap in the face, the province has now decided to stop all day, two way 15 minute GO train service in Aurora. Metrolinx says all Newmarket transit funds were blown on empty bus lanes and there is no longer funding to upgrade our rail crossings. I will fight for GO Trains and put pressure on the province to fix the mess on Davis. I will provide the oversight lacking on Yonge to make sure the same Davis mistakes are not repeated that will cost us more jobs and close more businesses in town. People’s livelihoods are at stake and I take this seriously. I am tired of being told to be patient by Council. It is time for positive results right now.
The quality of representation we have been getting from Newmarket Council these past few terms has been terrible. Many Councillors have poor attendance records. Often times they do not show up prepared for discussions. They almost never communicate on issues. They are passionate for their perks and have become arrogant. Not a day goes by where I do not hear from someone that their phone, email or social media messages were never returned. I will make customer service a priority as Ward 5 Councillor. Your concerns about pot holes, speeding, snow removal, waste disposal and any other issue big or small is important to me. I believe without the effort, you do not get positive results. We have seen very little effort from most members of Newmarket Council and that is the reason why we are not seeing results for people in this town. I will represent the Ward with professionalism. I will be accessible and accountable. Frankly, this should be expected by residents. It is the most basic part of the job. I am not looking to make friends and become beer buddies with Council. I am running to get results for people. If a motion makes sense, I will vote for it. If it does not, I will vote against. I will work with my colleagues professionally and look for common ground. I will not be a part of any alliance and I will vote on the merits of a motion, not on the personality that puts it forward. All members of Council have an elected mandate to be there and I respect that. If I am elected, they should do the same with me should I be fortunate enough to be elected by the people of Ward 5.
I first got involved in politics at 14 years old. I am proud to have lived in Newmarket for over 30 years. I grew up here, played sports here and went to school in this beautiful town. In 2004 I graduated with an MBA with undergraduate degrees in Commerce and Political Science. I have served my community through Rotary, Lions, Newmarket Heritage Committee, Newmarket Museum Board, Community Living Newmarket-Aurora, York Region Children's Aid Society and United Way Peel Public Policy Committee.I am also a member of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and have financially supported many charities and events within the GTA. I have professional experience in the public, private and non-profit sector including as a Legislative Assistant at Queen's Park. I also have experience on local, provincial, federal and international political campaigns. I currently am self employed and started my own government relations company Advocacy Consulting. In 2014, I ran for Newmarket Deputy Mayor and earned over 5000+ votes learning about all 7 wards and regional issues. I believe my academic, professional, political and community service qualifications will prepare me for the role as Ward 5 Councillor. Currently I am the only Ward 5 candidate to have released a full detailed positive platform. A Councillor in Newmarket is part of the board of directors and is responsible for a budget over $100,000,000. Photo-ops and pretend philanthropy is not good enough. Tough decisions have to be made and qualifications matter.
Local democracy is alive and well in Newmarket. In this by-election, 7 candidates have come forward. Please take the time to review each candidates qualifications, platform and track record in the community. On October 17, please make an informed decision with your vote. Most important, regardless of who you vote for, please take the time to participate in local democracy. No level of government is closer to you than municipal government. Decisions made at local Council will have a direct impact on you.
Thank you very much for reading,
Candidate Newmarket Ward 5 Councillor
|Posted by Darryl Wolk on August 11, 2016 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
Please join me for my Ward 5 Campaign Kick-off. The event is inclusive to everyone and is an informal opportunity for a meet & greet to discuss issues and answer any questions from residents. Event Details:
Date: August 15
Location: Unika Lounge at 198 Main St S in Newmarket (Botsford and Main)
I look forward to meeting Ward 5 residents and please feel free to invite anyone who may be interested.
|Posted by Darryl Wolk on August 11, 2016 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Darryl Wolk on August 4, 2016 at 11:10 AM||comments (2)|
People have been asking me for a summary of my platform and priorities for Newmarket Ward 5. I believe Newmarket can lead in the GTA and thrive in the 905! My focus is POSITIVE results for a CHANGE.
Priorities For Ward 5
-More festivals for the downtown including New Years Eve, Hot Air Balloon Festival, Fall Fair, Newmarket Day and a community BBQ for Quaker Hill
-A parking garage at Riverwalk Commons to support Main Street businesses and festivals downtown.
-Close Main Street between Water and Park on summer weekends to encourage patios, street sales, busker entertainment and festivals.
-A large TV at Riverwalk Commons so the community can gather for events such as the Olympics, Blue Jays/Leafs/Raptors playoffs, World Cup and events such as the final Tragically Hip concert.
-Make sure the Old Town Hall is affordable for local artists, musicians and comedians.
-Newmarket Walk of Fame on Main Street to honour our famous residents such as Glass Tiger, John Candy, Jim Carrey and Connor McDavid.
-Splash pad near the site of the former Quaker Hill pool.
-Outdoor Hockey Rink at Lions Park.
-Increased investment at Haskett Park.
-Open Newmarket Library on Mondays.
-Support a legitimate crosswalk between Fairy Lake and Riverwalk Commons.
-Support YRP enforcement and investing in crossing guards in Ward 5 neighbourhoods, school zones and residential streets. The solution is not lawn signs.
-The Newmarket Mayor is currently paid $200k per year and in 2014 had a higher salary than Mayors in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. We live in Newmarket, not New York. I will ask the Mayor to cut his salary 30% so that it makes sense for a community our size.
-I will not use my expense account or “green slush fund”. Taxpayers should not be paying for my re-election campaign, Toronto hotels or partisan advertising.
-Poverty is growing in Newmarket and the Middle Class is falling behind. I believe the target tax increase should be 0% and that we must find savings to invest in the priorities, not the perks.
-Sports recreation fees are among the highest in the province and our facilities are not up to par with our neighbours. I believe we should focus on reducing user fees to make sure all kids can afford to play. It makes sense to invest in healthy living.
-We pay more for hydro than all of our neighbours with Newmarket Hydro. I believe we should sell or merge with the new utility covering Hamilton, Halton, Peel, York and Simcoe. This would result in lower rates and better service.
-I believe all sidewalks should be plowed in town and expect the best water quality for what we pay.
-I am opposed to any land swap or deal with the Clock Tower developer that is not consistent with our current heritage by-laws. I support redevelopment of the location if consistent with our bylaws.
-I support condos, rentals and affordable housing on Yonge Street and Davis where we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into public transit.
-I support protecting green space and using schools as community hubs.
-I believe Newmarket should get the same all day, two way GO Train service as Aurora and want to see the Mulock GO Station built now to address parking issues.
-I want to see an exclusive GO bus for Newmarket that serves the 404/Davis, Tannery and Eagle GO Station.
-I support $1 fares for low income residents, students and seniors to fill the empty buses in town.
Local Job Creation:
-Newmarket is dead last in job creation within the GTA and this has been the case for 10 years. We need to focus on economic development and the local economy in town.
-I will work with the Main Street BIA, not against them.
-I believe we need to focus on a local job zone along the 404. I also support annexing Woodbine Avenue.
-As a Councillor in Ward 5, I work for the people and will serve them. I give my cell phone (905.716.9655) to all residents in town. I respond to emails, social media messages and will meet anyone in person.
-I will attend Council meetings and make sure Ward 5 has a voice. I believe attendance records should be published. I will also come prepared and will make a contribution to the discussions.
-I believe in transparency and professionalism. I will work with my Council colleagues to find common ground and bring results for the town and ward.
Ward 5 is a beautiful ward and the heart of Newmarket. I will represent the ENTIRE ward, not just part of it. I want to give all residents of Newmarket a voice, not just those connected to Council. Our best days are ahead of us and our future is bright. With only half a term left, there is no time for a long learning curve. I am ready to immediately deliver POSITIVE results for Ward 5. I have the academic credentials, record of community service, political network and knowledge on the issues to get the job done. I love my hometown of Newmarket where I have lived for 30 years and am passionate about the people who call our town home. Together we can build a better community, ward and town. I am open to good ideas where every they come from and will never forget that it is my job to serve the people. On October 17, please vote DARRYL WOLK for Newmarket Ward 5 Councillor.
|Posted by Darryl Wolk on July 27, 2016 at 8:35 AM||comments (0)|
Today I filed my papers and paid my fees to register as an official candidate for the Newmarkt Ward 5 by-election on October 17, 2016. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to speak with me in Ward 5 and across Newmarket about the upcoming by-election. I appreciate the support and encouragement. I will do my absolute best to represent the ward to the best of my ability.
The first issue that any Ward candidate must focus on is customer service and communication. My cell phone number is 905.716.9655 and my email is email@example.com if anyone has an issue, idea or wants to contact me directly. I will return phone calls and emails. I will show up to work at Council meetings. I have taken the time to learn about the issues regionally, locally and in the ward. I will not pass the buck to staff on the issue. I will follow up and make sure any issue is resolved to the satisfaction of constituents. I have been visible at local events and am always willing to meet residents or businesses in person. I also see social media as a crucial communication tool. I am active and engaged on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIN, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube and other social media platforms. I will put in the full effort to make sure I am accessible to you and responsive to your issues.
In the 2014 race for Deputy Mayor and Regional Councillor, I put forward the most detailed platform for the town and region in the history of Newmarket. So far in this Ward 5 by-election, I am the only candidate who has offered a positive vision, positive ideas and a positive platform for Ward 5. I am proud of my positive ideas for Main Street, Riverwalk Commons and Fairy Lake. A positive campaign is a campaign offering positive results for a change. I have been active on issues such as Davis Drive, the Clock Tower and cost of living issues well before this unexpected election was called. I believe community service is an important qualification. It is not authentic when a candidate only supports the community when an election is called. Ward 5 should vote for the most qualified candidate in the race regardless of where they live. This is an important election in the ward. The current Clock Tower proposal at 7 stories of rental is a threat to our historic downtown. I noticed another candidate seems uninformed on this key issue refusing to take a public position. I stand firmly with the 1200+ who signed the petition opposing 7 stories currently before Council. I do not support any landswap with the developer that is not consistent with our current heritage by-laws. Beware of candidates that seem to be pushing the developer's agenda in the Ward.
Over the next 90 days, I hope Ward 5 residents get engaged in the upcoming election. Local government impacts you most and we need positive change focusing on issues such as fair taxes, quality services, local jobs, reducing gridlock and smart growth. With only two years remaining in the Council term and an election year in 2018, there is no time for an unqualified candidate to learn the job and make a contribution if they are not ready to take a position on the issues now. It is important for the Ward to consider academic, professional, community and political track record to determine the new Ward 5 Councillor. That candidate should be clear and transparent in their vision and positions impacting the Ward. They should have the work ethic, passion and roots in the community to serve you with integrity. Candidates have until September 2 to enter the race.
Election Day is October 17. I want to represent the entire Ward, not just part of it. I want to represent all constituents, not just those connected to Council. It is my goal to be a strong independent voice on Council that speaks for Ward 5. I am motivated by helping people, not collecting perks. Over the next few weeks, I look forward to meeting residents at their doors. I want to meet as many people as possible and listen to the issues impacting residents in the downtown, Quaker Hill and high rises. As we get closer to voting day, I hope people look at my platform, qualifications, roots in the community and consider supporting me as the next Ward 5 Councillor for the Town of Newmarket.
This election is an opportunity for the Ward to send a strong message to Council that change is needed and that we can do better. This time, please vote for POSITIVE RESULTS for a change!