Michael Di Mascolo: Ward 5

  1. If elected, what would be your top 2 priorities for King Township and how would you work to address them?

 

As mentioned in my opening statement, my top 2 priorities are to improve the safety of our residential streets and focus on building a strong sense of community that celebrates the diverse rural, agricultural and city core living and business opportunities that King Township has to offer.

 

First, when it comes to safety in our neighborhoods, York region has experienced a 43% increase in vehicle thefts over the past year.  Working with York Regional Police to find strategies to curb this issue is our first course of action.  But we must also push the issue on the provincial and federal levels to stop the exporting of these vehicles as they end up in shipping containers in Montreal & Halifax within days of being taken off of our driveways.

 

Secondly, when it comes to road safety, and what we have more influence over municipally, is implementing traffic calming measures on our residential streets.  Measures such as, “local traffic only”, speed bumps, speed cameras, actual speed display boards and working with law enforcement are some of the methods we can implement easily to change potentially hazardous driving behaviors.

 

And finally, building on a strong sense of community.  We do this through awareness and celebration. King Township has a rich farming and cultural history that we can capitalize on through fairs and festivals.  Also, beautification and decoration along the main business core and community facilities including our parks and schools, raises the vibration of all who live in King Township and attracts like minded visitors and tourism dollars to these events and our local business.

2. Do you support encouraging future employment growth within King Township and, if so, what kind of jobs would you like to see coming to King and how would you propose to attract them?

 

I whole heartedly support future employment growth within King Township of all types.  Businesses that provide part time employment for our young adults looking to support themselves through school and for seniors looking for a few extra dollars to make ends meet.  As well, new full time jobs to support growing families.

 

Encouraging local business and employment growth promotes buying local and also reduces the carbon footprint of commuting.

 

The last decade in King has seen an influx of economic prosperity primarily due to housing development, and it will continue to do so. But, we must also look at other means and opportunities to grow the local economy, not solely relying on residential tax dollars to fund public amenities and services.

 

King Township must look at attracting new local business growth, such as commercial retail and light industrial, which would allow our own residents opportunities to work closer to home while shifting the tax revenue burden away from residential property taxes and, in turn, keeping future property tax increases as low as possible.

 

Utilizing the close proximity of Hwy 400 as an amenity to attract new business growth, and utilizing the lands closer to the highway, away from the rural and settlement areas, are an opportunity to attract new business and these alternate sources of tax revenue.

 

Of course, we will continue to showcase and celebrate the natural beauty and rich cultural history of King Township through local events such as Fairs & Festivals, which will in turn attract more tourism dollars to our community.

 

3. What, if anything, do you think the Township of King could be doing to better serve and support our existing business community?

 

In speaking with local business owners, their feedback is that King Township is supportive of existing businesses, but there is room for improvement particularly in the core area of King Road & Keele Street.  While I will address the concerns of the core business area specifically, the general concepts are applicable throughout the Township.

 

  1. Parking along Keele Street. While there is limited parking along Keele Street, the parking spots are not clearly marked.  And while there is overflow municipal parking available at the park on the north-west corner of King & Keele, many visitors are not aware of it.  So better signage could be added here.
  2. The municipality should create awareness and encourage use of available government grants that landlords can utilize to make building improvements.
  3. Generally improve the appearance and attractiveness of the area similar to what has evolved in core business areas of Kleinburg or Unionville, as examples.
  4. King Township should assist to bring back and create new Events & Festivals! Events like Christmas in King create a greater sense of community and attract more dollars to our local businesses.