John Gemmell Municipal Election Candidate Profile
John Gemmell was first elected to Perth Council in 2003 and was elected Deputy Mayor in 2009. He has represented Perth on the Lanark County Council since 2009 and was Warden of the County in 2012. He currently sits as a Director on both the Perth and District Hospital Foundation Board and the District Sports Hall of Fame. Other appointments include membership in the Perth Heritage Advisory Panel and Police Services Board.
When asked about the three major issues facing Perth that Council can influence, these were his answers:
Affordability – Perth like most small rural communities works hard to remain an affordable place to live and Council has adopted a policy of keeping our taxation increases within the annual CPI (Consumer Price Index) and after the last budget I tabled a motion that future Councils consider adopting the same approach to municipal taxes, which all of Council supported. Perth could be considered to be in a comfortable position financially as a result of some tough decisions made during the 2003-2006 term of office and the fiscal responsibility reforms undertaken over the last decade.
Health Care – I am a Director on the Perth and District Hospital Foundation Board which is the lead for fundraising to ensure that the Perth site has the best equipment available and I am extremely proud how generous our citizens are in donating to the Foundation. The Provincial Gov’t. does not provide any fund for equipment (beds, x-rays, scanners etc) and we (Perth and District) have to continue to support the services provided, our citizens should not have to travel elsewhere for health care.
Quality of Life – Our pool and arena, although older, are maintained well and are readily used by Perth and Area residents. The Conlon Farm recreational facility is a going concern and Stewart Park is a gem. Perth is blessed with a great volunteer spirit which makes the festivals and events successful. The County has completed a trail/boardwalk behind the County building to the Tay river. I would like to see the boardwalk extended along the Tay through town out towards Conlon Farm, which would require a feasibility study but it would be a great addition to Perth.