Simon Lloyd: Ward 4
Question 1: If elected, what would be your top 2 priorities for King Township and how would you work to address them?
My first priority will be to apply my business perspective to council matters to optimize our tax dollars, as well as attract new businesses to the area whenever possible to broaden our tax base; in current economic conditions where a dollar doesn’t go as far as it did just a short time ago, I’m adamant that we have to be very careful how Township funds are managed, and provide true value to the taxpayers. But I’m not only business-focused! Another of my top priorities once elected is to focus on amenities and infrastructure within our Ward to enhance residents’ active healthy lifestyles, especially for children and seniors, for instance new walkable areas such as pathways, sidewalks and trails as well as streets that are safe to cross. In that vein, I will also ensure that township assets are utilized to their highest and best use; this could be as simple as enhancing and encouraging utilization of existing facilities like the library and community hallh, or even rethinking township assets to create a higher utilization–for instance the Lions Hall in Pottageville or the old arena on Western Avenue in Schomberg. Another top priority for me will be to build strong relationships with the various community groups and service organizations of our area to ensure they have the Township support required to make our many community events as successful as possible.
Question 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?
Employment growth in our community is one of the planks of my platform, and with my background in business this will certainly be one of the main issues I will focus on once elected. Thanks to our geographic location and proximity to major transportation links, King Township is very uniquely suited to attract a variety of jobs to our area; from agribusiness and agritourism to retail, small corporate office space and even light manufacturing and technology, we have sufficient employment lands to expand within a variety of industries. To accomplish this, I believe we need to get the word out that King is a business-friendly environment. This could include marketing to the broader business community, hosting business events and contacting companies that have planned relocations to put them in contact with land owners. Additionally, incentives could be created such as offering concessions or extended amortization periods for development charges to attract employers who want to build here. I would also like to investigate a Township-sponsored business incubator that would attract smaller businesses and entrepreneurs. I believe that working collaboratively with community groups such as the fine folks here at the Chamber of Commerce and the Schomberg Village Association can only help to attract new businesses and grow existing businesses.
Question 3: What, if anything, do you think the Township of King could be doing to better serve and support our existing business community?
I believe there’s always more that could be done to better serve and support our business community. A rising tide lifts all boats as the saying goes, so I will do all I can at the Township level to ensure each business is as successful as possible, which will attract additional visitors to our business areas, which will make the businesses more successful..and so-on in a positive cycle. In speaking with business owners, I have heard that they would like to see Township spaces such as boulevards, streets and other public realms kept in the best condition possible to properly showcase our local businesses. I understand that Main Street Schomberg has a streetscape plan in the works, which would be welcome. However, this would be disruptive for the businesses so we have to make sure that proper planning is done and the end product will be suitable for years to come. On another front, a Township-sponsored business incubator could be a great concept to foster business development, encourage entrepreneurship, and portray that our municipal government is serious about business.
I have nearly 25 years of business experience, including a university degree in business development and marketing, so I’m confident I will be very well suited as a business-friendly member of council to act as a liaison between the Township and the business community.