Nick Seretis: Ward 1

 

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

If elected, my top priorities for King Township would be to look into alleviating traffic congestion and expanding business opportunities.  We need to convince the Region and the Province that an additional highway off ramp on the 400 Hwy, north of King Road is required.  This will have several beneficial consequences.  First of all, it would re-route heavy traffic vehicles off of King Road and reduce residential traffic through what I refer to as the “Burton Grove-Patricia-Warren Bypass”.  Secondly, it would create an opportunity for industrial/commercial application along the 400 corridor between the King offramp and the new off ramp.  Highway access is an important factor for industrial/commercial applications and companies are willing to pay a premium in taxes for that benefit.  Nationally we are dealing with a crisis of affordable housing.  Allowing for the development of affordable housing in and around the newly created commercial/industrial district will help relieve some of housing shortage and is a much more efficient area to build as the residents will also be able to service the area with employment.  It does not make sense to build affordable housing in unaffordable areas.  Running for councilor in ward 1, my area of great concern is the stretch of King Rd between Keele and Dufferin.  There are multiple applications for additional condominium construction along that stretch, however the Township and Region have not invested properly in the road infrastructure to service this additional construction.  Sections of King Road need to be widened where possible to create left turn lanes.  Without this, potential customers will completely avoid the area as traffic will be very congested and at a standstill every time a vehicle needs to make a left turn.  We need to be encouraging retail and restaurant customers with proper road widths and traffic light placements for an overall enjoyable experience.  If the proper road infrastructure is in place, there is a much bigger potential for all sorts of new retail ventures and restaurants to open and thrive on Keele St and King Road.

  1. 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 definitely support encouraging future employment growth within King Township.  For economic sustainability and gains in real wages, we need to be looking at all options to increase the rate of jobs available compared to the influx of new residents through new housing developments.  King Township is uniquely positioned to accommodate all business sectors.  We are blessed with agricultural lands which we need to promote.  Farmers play the most essential role in society, and we need promote and subsidize farming and make it attractive as the demand for food increases with population growth and the availability of land decreases through development.  We need to expand our agricultural tourism and provide job opportunities at farms and promote fairs, festivals and farmer’s markets.  I would also like to see an increase of corporate and industrial jobs, which on average would bring higher tax dollars per capita, however that is not going to happen if we don’t open the opportunity for companies along the highway corridors.  We also need to look at further investments in leisure, sports and recreational activities.  This will benefit the community as whole as we are able to develop and mentor children and young adults and create coaching opportunities and create jobs running and servicing the facilities.  I believe in shop local and supporting our local businesses.  We have a rare opportunity to make our local businesses a destination point as well.  We need to be coming up with plans to attract customers from outside the immediate vicinity.  Running for Ward 1, the intersection of Keele St and King Rd and the adjacent properties are of the utmost importance.  Currently there are many small independent shops and restaurants in this area.  We must do everything we can to promote and grow this area for a retail and hospitality destination.  Allowing for large franchise chains to gain a foothold in this area will reduce the luster and rural appeal which makes King City an attractive place to live.  There are several properties slated for development along King Road and we need to ensure there is adequate retail, service and hospitality opportunities within these developments for employment.

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

To better serve and support our existing business community, the Township of King needs to be promoting and advertising.  This can be done through the organization of large fairs where local business vendors are afforded the opportunity to reach a larger clientele than they normally would be able to reach.  This will bring in “tourism” dollars and creates a sense of community as families across King Township gather for fun and festivities.

Specifically in Ward 1, the business community would be better served with ample and clearly allocated parking.  As new residential developments are being constructed on Keele St and King Road, this will undoubtedly cause traffic congestion and scarcity of parking.  If the roads cannot accommodate the traffic and there is nowhere to park, small businesses will face tougher challenges in attracting customers.  We do not want to create a situation where commuters avoid stopping in entire areas because of traffic mismanagement.  It is important that the township have a robust plan for traffic management and not only focus on the development fees.

Last, but not least, the Township of King is constituted by the electorate of the citizens of King.  In order to serve and support our existing business community, we need to elect public officials that will create and vote on policies that allow for growth within King Township and allow for the success of small business ventures without sacrificing the quality of life to the residents.