Douro-Dummer mayoral hopeful Jim Coyle would run township as a business

·2 min read

Jim Coyle, who is running to become mayor of Douro-Dummer Township in the Oct. 24 municipal election, said he believes business experience should be a prerequisite for the position and that he’d run the township as the “CEO of the corporation.”

“Douro-Dummer Township is a business,” he said, in a text provided to The Examiner of his speech given at a meet and greet gathering at the Douro Community Centre on Wednesday.

“Douro-Dummer Township has approximately 7,000 eligible voters and they are the shareholders of the corporation. Every four years they elect five members of council to be their board of directors. You will be electing me as mayor which is essentially the chair of the board and CEO of the corporation.”

Coyle, who is up against current Coun. Heather Watson in the mayor’s race, spent 21 years in the public accounting profession, and then 22 years in the family business of Coyle Packaging Group.

He spoke about a number of issues in the township with which he is concerned: problems with the building permit process. road safety, high-speed internet access, and supply chain issues caused by COVID-19.

“Health Care is also a concern,” Coyle said. “Our local demographics suggest we will need to deal with care for the aging in our township. We need to look at home care options. We need to look at retirement residences and long-term care facility capacity. We need to look into transportation options to take seniors who can no longer drive to medical appointments, pharmacies and grocery stores.”

He said short-term rentals are a hot topic and many lakefront properties and farm properties have been purchased by individuals and corporations who want to convert them to income properties.

“Perhaps we should have a permit required to change the use of a property and the neighbouring properties should have input on whether to allow the change of use. Majority rules.”

Global warming is a huge problem, too, he said.

“We need to update our emergency response systems to plan for storm damage and power outages that we witnessed this past spring. We need to support the efforts to promote the circular economy. We need to do what we can to preserve the water quality of our lakes given the warming trends to lake water temperature.”

Watson will be holding a town-hall meeting Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Douro Community Centre.

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner