Editor's note: MidlandToday has asked council candidates in Midland, Penetanguishene and Tiny Township to provide a synopsis of why they are running for public office. Municipal elections take place Oct. 24.
The following response is from David Sparrock, who is running for council in Tiny Township. For more election coverage, visit our 2022 municipal election page by clicking here, where you can find candidate profiles and other election news.
What is your name, what will be your age on election day, and who are your key immediate family members you rely on for support?
My name is David Sparrock and I am a retired police officer. I am supported by my family in this campaign.
In 10 words or less, why is your municipality the best in the province?
Tiny Township has a diverse community and the most scenic beaches in Ontario.
What prompted you to run as a municipal leader?
I was inspired to run for Council because I am passionate about Tiny Township and I believe I can help foster a solutions-based approach that will address the many issues facing Tiny’s taxpayers today.
Beach ownership doesn’t affect all residents, but is fiercely disputed by those who get involved. Before property owners took over their part of the shoreline, the municipality allowed seasonal cottagers to use the land, after signing the Indigenous treaty many years ago. Who owns Tiny beaches, and what is your stance on beach rights?
Tiny Beaches are comprised of Crown land, Provincial Park, First Nations, Public and Private. I believe that legal rights of all Tiny property owners must be respected. The public beaches in Tiny should be protected to make sure that the Tiny taxpayers and public have safe access to those beaches.
There is a difference between what is legally right and morally right, and the aggregate operations in Tiny appear to straddle that definition. What is your stance on aggregate operations in Tiny?
I believe the Township should aggressively oppose the proposed extension of the Teedon Pit aggregate operation into French’s Hill. This aggregate washing will contaminate the ground water which is the purest water in Ontario. This will be catastrophic to the delicate ecosystem and will destroy the water in Alliston Aquifer and surrounding area. I support a moratorium on gravel extraction on the existing site as this is an ecologically sensitive area and the pristine water will be contaminated. We stopped Site 41 twelve years ago and we must fight this with the same tenacity and vigilance to protect our water for future generations.
You will be asked to join committees and other municipal representations. Which are you eager to become involved in?
I am eager to become involved in any Committees who are committed to preserving our environment. Committees that address farmland and water preservation are two key priorities.
Voter apathy is always a concern, ranging between 25.7% to 42% of cast ballots across North Simcoe in the last municipal election. Knowing you could be elected without even half of possible voters turning out, what will you do to combat voter apathy so your municipality is best represented?
To combat voter apathy, I plan to recruit many members across the municipality to become involved in their community. This can be accomplished by having people in our community join committees regarding issues that they are passionate about.
There are many prominent concerns ongoing in the region, from affordable housing to the opioid epidemic to short-term rentals as well as others. What is one concern that you think the majority of residents are not aware of?
I believe that the majority of residents are not aware of the true scope of Ghost Hotels in Tiny Township and the impact that they have on our community. The current council has stated the number of short term rentals is around 400, which is far lower than the actual number. In reality, there are approximately 1,200 STRs in Tiny, with many of these identified as ghost hotels.
The province is planning for a population of 555,000 and 198,000 jobs by 2051. If now is the time to prepare for that influx, what will you proactively do as your part in the process?
I do not believe the population influx by 2051 will have a major impact on Tiny Township because that influx will be very limited in Tiny Township.
Recidivism isn’t just on the police and courts. As a municipal leader and crafter of bylaws, what initiatives will you undertake to address crime in your care?
I intend to expand upon neighbourhood watch programs in the towns and beach communities in Tiny Township. As a retired police officer, I have been involved in implementing successful neighbourhood watch programs.
Infrastructure projects require taxpayer dollars. What infrastructure project does the municipality desperately need, and does it justify a tax increase from the ratepayers to have it done as soon as possible?
If elected, my infrastructure project would involve building affordable housing for seniors so that they can remain within the community they love.
Times change. What is the most aged or obsolete bylaw in your municipality’s code?
In my opinion, the most obsolete bylaw is bylaw 1249A where Tiny Township appointed its own police officer on the 14th of January, 1956.
Once you complete your four-year term, what is the legacy you want residents to best remember for your time in office?
I would hope that the residents would best remember that I was beneficial at solving problems and that I worked with fairness and integrity. I would also want to be remembered for providing sound and honest advice and guidance, mediating with skill, and listening to the concerns of the Tiny Township community.
Municipal election information for Tiny Township is available on the elections page of the town website.
For Tiny Township residents:
The Township of Tiny will be using the Vote-By-Mail method in the 2022 Municipal Election. This voting method has been used in the last four elections and has proven to be effective in meeting the needs of our permanent and seasonal electors, as well as meeting accessibility requirements.
Eligible electors in the Township of Tiny shall receive their vote-by-mail kit the week of September 26, 2022. The proposed last recommended date to return the completed kit by mail is October 13, 2022.
During regular business hours from Thursday, September 1, 2022, to October 23, 2022 (9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and until 8:00 p.m. on October 24, 2022, eligible voters can register and make changes to their information on the Voters' List with the municipality.
Am I On The Voter's List is available on the Township's Election page at www.tiny.ca/voterlist.
If you are not currently on the Voters' List and are eligible to vote, please visit the municipal office during regular business hours with acceptable identification, or contact the Clerk's Department at 705-526-4204 ext 225 or 229.