Longest-Serving Pelham Mayor promotes Integrity, Prosperity and Compassion
Dave Augustyn, Mayor of Pelham for the last 12 years, officially filed his papers today to serve as the Niagara Region’s first directly-elected Chair.
“I am humbled by the hundreds of people that have encouraged me to run for Chair for a better Region,” said Augustyn. “I appreciate working together with Pelham Council, staff, volunteers, residents and businesses over the last 12 years to improve our community’s infrastructure, services, facilities, and overall quality of life.”
Augustyn’s campaign platform will focus on three main themes: Integrity, Prosperity and Compassion.
This term of Regional Council offered negative headlines of big projects with major cost overruns or cases of personal expense abuses by Councillors. Countless reports highlighted questionable hiring practices – like the Police-chief buy-out – and showed how attacks by some Councillors went unchecked. These and other issues point to a leadership void at Regional Council, which has led to a loss of public confidence and a lack of meaningful Council progress. Augustyn questioned these matters, standing up for the public and what is right.
With many fiscal challenges expected in the upcoming term, Augustyn’s experience will ensure Niagara remains an affordable place to live and create jobs. As chair of the Region’s $1 billion budget for 2011-14, Augustyn kept tax increases below inflation and lower than the current council term. Under Augustyn’s leadership, the average homeowner in Pelham pays less than they did 12 years ago, when adjusted for inflation, and the lowest water and sewer costs. Across Niagara, Augustyn has championed incentives for downtown and brownfield re-developments and industrial expansion, which have led to more vibrant communities and helped create hundreds of jobs. He continues to fight for the transportation network Niagara deserves, including GO Rail and Integrated Transit.
Since prosperity and compassion go hand-in-hand, as Chair, Augustyn will work to make the Niagara Peninsula a more caring community. Augustyn has committed to reducing ambulance back-ups at emergency rooms, and to working with the Province to build and renew hospital facilities in Niagara Falls, Welland and Grimsby. He will also focus on securing and building hundreds of long-term beds, and increasing mental health and addiction supports. Augustyn will also work to combat homelessness by encouraging more housing that’s affordable, more social and rental housing, “in-law” suites and micro-housing pilots.
During his announcement before a large crowd at a coffee shop in the centre of the peninsula, Augustyn presented a detailed blueprint for integrity, prosperity, and compassion. He will revise and improve the Blueprint for a Better Region based on listening to residents and businesses during the summer and for the fall election campaign.
“I look forward to going door-to-door and to events across Niagara and listening to residents and businesses about how we might achieve our hopes and dreams for a better Region,” said Augustyn. “Working together we can restore Niagara’s reputation, increase prosperity, encourage more livable communities while protecting the environment, and creating more care and compassion for you, your children and your grandchildren.”
Photo: Connecting Niagara files