Jim Graff Municipal Election Candidate Profile
Jim Graff was first elected to council in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. He was appointed Chairman of Environmental Services in 2010, and has also worked as a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Parks and Recreation committees, as well as the Chairman of the Police Services Board.
Graff has volunteered with The Friends of the Tay Valley Watershed, The Rideau Ferry Regatta Committee, the Perth Communities in Bloom Committee and the Perth & District Sports Hall of Fame.
When asked about the three major issues facing Perth that Council can influence, these were his answers:
Budget Analysis: Typically, Perth’s town council approves funds for projects through the budget, however council has little exposure to the actual cost of these projects. As a result council is not typically made aware which projects have exceeded budget allotments and why these over-runs occurred.
I recommend we establish a method by which council can track and review the actual costs of projects. This review will reveal how efficiently council has been at spending tax payer funds, and will help council evaluate the performance of contractors for consideration for future projects.
Additionally, I feel there is a need to prioritize local suppliers and contractors in the bidding process. Such as step will ensure the town’s expenditures are re-invested into the local economy.
Managing Urban Growth: The recent rise in development activity has led to a notable increase in the number of multi-dwelling buildings around town, with many more expected in the coming years. Some of these projects have been executed in a less-than ideal manner.
To preserve the character of our existing neighborhoods I recommend we introduce a Design Review aspect to our planning process for all multi-dwelling buildings. While many other towns with less charm than Perth have adopted such policies, our current planning system has minimal aesthetic controls on development. As pleasing architectural design can be achieved at any price scale, this initiative would ensure our residents of all income ranges can exhibit pride in their home.
Traffic Management: Proper directional signage is necessary to direct trucks away from the busiest and most historic areas of downtown, specifically Foster and Gore Streets. This will help preserve our downtown streets, reduce deterioration of our historic buildings, and increase safety for downtown pedestrians.