Ward 5 Councillor Ed Sleiman Is Seeking Re-election
By Ed Sleiman
It has been an honour and privilege to serve and represent the residents of Ward 5 for most of the last 8 years. I have worked diligently with my colleagues on council, my constituents and City residents on numerous issues important to both my Ward 5 and the city of Windsor as a whole.
Representing my neighbours and Ward 5 constituents is my passion and wants to continue serving them with honesty and integrity, often working with my constituents one on one (many times personally visiting them at their homes) dealing with issues important to them, while helping set policies in place that benefit our residents.
We still have major issues to be addressed. Among these are: TAXES, JOBS, INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE for our residents. We need to create a healthy, vibrant and resilient city for our citizens to work, raise a family and enjoy the amenities Windsor provides. Windsor must continue on its path of being an age-friendly City to attract seniors from across the country while pursuing job opportunities for our young people.
I am pleased to say that I have been part of a fiscally responsible council for the last 8 years.
No tax increases from 2008 to 2015.
(2016, 1.0% increase hospital levy). (2017, 1.3% increase). (2018, 0.9% increase).
We have brought our debt down significantly, from $229.4M in 2002, down to $85.2M in 2017. This increased our ability to pay as we go for many projects, creating a tremendous benefit to our operating budget which translates saving to the taxpayers.
At one time, Windsor property taxes were high compared to other cities of similar size, but now we are lower than the median / Provincial average. We must continue this trend to make our city the most affordable city to live in and do business,
We need to continue to search diligently for best practices that will lead to increased efficiencies in all areas of our current operations to hold the bottom line on our expenses.
Far too many of our young people have been leaving the city because of the limited employment opportunity we have in Windsor. We must do more to create the business climate in our city in order to attract new industries while keeping the existing ones whether Chrysler of Canada or other small industries and businesses.
Lower taxes attract businesses and industries. That is part of what we need to create new jobs. We have lowered our industrial taxes to do just that… to attract business with an image as being business-friendly.
Municipalities all over North America have been aggressively competing to attract business by offering a variety of incentives. Our CIP initiative started in 2011 is definitely working.
We must continue to look outside the box, examining other opportunities as well to compete.
Skilled trades in machine, tool, die and mould, automotive and construction are complaining they can’t find enough skilled young people
As a community, we need to work together combining the resources of the public, private and trades sectors to ramp up the teaching of hard skills in our high schools and college. This will greatly assist students on a career path for those good paying jobs while enhancing our skilled labour pool to attract more new industry to Windsor.
We have been spending record amounts on infrastructure, while greatly reducing our debt, and increasing our reserves. This gives us the ability to now pay as we go for most projects without having to borrow money. We must continue on that path.
The average investment in Windsor on roads and sewers and sidewalk is $67 M annually.
I am proud to say that the infrastructure spending in Ward 5 from 2011 to 2014 was an impressive $17.4 Million on sewers, roads and sidewalks while spending from 2015 to 2018 is $19.3 million. There still remains more to do and will be addressed.
Spending on amenities needs to be a priority as well. Now, more than ever, amenities have become an integral part of the infrastructure to attract new companies with highly skilled jobs.
Highly skilled employees are attracted to cities that have a great quality of life with a wide spectrum of great amenities ranging from cultural venues to sports, entertainment and leisurely pursuits. New businesses will see Windsor as a great place to do business as not only offering business-friendly climate with our proximity to the U.S. border but because it offers attractive amenities for their employees.
For these very reasons, I am seeking re-election, to continue serving the residents of Ward 5 and the citizens of the City of Windsor.