What does a Mayor do for the people of Stouffville?
What the Mayor SHOULD do, is to listen to the needs of the citizens of Stouffville, and then execute on those needs. I am often asked in my business life about how I would handle an issue, and what I would do to proceed forward. This is the role of a business owner and a consultant – to give advice. BUT, I feel it is often forgotten that a politician’s mandate is to understand the will of the people, and to execute on this will. For me, this is critical. In addition, the majority of our tax dollars, 45%, goes to the Region of York. That is where I plan to spend my time to lobby for positive outcomes on behalf of Whitchurch Stouffville. I will ask that our six Ward Councillors take responsibility for localized municipal issues and engage me when needed, but I plan to spend my time where most of our tax dollars go – with the Region of York, and beyond to the Provincial and Federal levels.
Why would you be good at this job?
I have been training for this job for decades. I have been Chair, Vice Chair, co-Chair, Treasurer, Board Member or Trustee for a vast number of local committees which reported to the municipal and provincial levels. I have 24 years of experience running large businesses that interact with billion dollar corporations. I have 47 years of experience in our community. I have the experience where it counts, and can provide stable and reliable vision and leadership.
Who is Anand DATÉ, past and present?
- Co-Founder, Organ Donation Advocacy Group
- Co-Chair, W-S Food Bank
- Treasurer, W-S Foodbank
- Chair, Vice Chair, W-S Special Events Advisory Committee
- Vice Chair, W-S Public Library
- Board Member, W-S Public Library
- Chair, W-S Public Library Human Resource Committee
- Trustee, Small and Medium Caucus, Federation of Ontario Public Libraries
- Co-Chair, Ontario Mid-Am Golf Tournament (charity), Spring Lakes
- Brock University Alumni of Distinction Award Winner
- Nominated to the Globe and Mail “Top 40 Under 40”
- Inaugural “Stouffville Reads” Champion
- Community Watch Street Captain – Walter Sangster Road
- President/Founder, RONIN Group of companies
- Brock University, Faculty of Business, Dean’s Honour List
- Founder and Vice President, Brock University Human Resource Management Association
- Founder and President, Brock University Karate Club
- Founder and Chair, Brock University Business Ambassadors
- Special Consultant, Brock University Student Union
- Team Member, Stouffville Clippers, Quebec International Peewee Tournament Champions
- Sensei, Godan, Goju Ryu Karate
What issues are you concerned about?
What I am concerned about is not as important to the position of Mayor as what our citizens are concerned about.
In taking to our citizens, I feel the concerns are in 3 broad areas:
1) Diversification of the tax base combined with sustainable growth
2) Bringing order and efficiency to the position of Mayor and Council
3) Increasing eh safety, wealth and prosperity for all in Whitchurch Stouffville
Why should the people of Stouffville share your concerns?
Their concerns are my concerns. This is the job of Mayor and Council.
Describe what a successful term with you as Mayor would accomplish?
Success will take 3 Terms.
Actions for First 4 Years
- Upgrade the Ward Councilor position to Fill-time expectations and remuneration.
- Focus on attending York Region meetings to understand and positively influence regional attention and spending to Stouffville.
- Attract larger and more diverse businesses to Stouffville in the areas of medical, education, and technology.
- Encourage expansion of present businesses through preferential business treatment for existing businesses including allowances for summer patio permits, additional parking, grants to upgrade business facades, and innovation to encourage changes in consumer spending habits (later openings for restaurants and bars and children/teen afterschool programs).
- Revision of the current Town Committee selection process to include feedback from existing Chairs and Vice-Chairs in the selection process.
- Creation and ratification of an Expense Policy
- Creation and ratification of an Attendance Policy
- Investigation into recent water billing issues.
- Return all past Council photos to the Council Chambers. We will remember our collective past as we look forward to the future
- Implementation of more structured Staff Performance Evaluation and Feedback Annual Reviews.
- Review of internal Town Staff hiring processes.
- Introduction and discussion of Online Voting for 2022. The internet is not a fad, and it can help those with mobility issues, or otherwise busy schedules to have their voices heard.
- Ensure Stouffville-based businesses are invited to compete for Town business with attention still given to quality and cost.
- Create a Town Economic Strategy Committee to look at 2-4 year plans for economic growth strategies. The committee will be made up of Town Staff, town business representatives, and representatives from the community-at-large. Their mandate will be to research and report on innovative ideas to help bring prosperity to Stouffville. They will be asked to report on “what can be done”.
- Compete for critical infrastructure upgrades
Actions for Years 4 to 8
- Seek land to expand medical facilities
- Break ground on higher education facility
- Put into motion strategies for economic growth
- Complete secondary infrastructure upgrades
Actions for Years 8 to 12
- Complete medical facility expansion
- Complete higher education facility expansion
Areas of Focus:Transit and Transportation:
- Go Services are treated as an after-thought until months before each election. Public transportation is a key part of the prosperity in our town. Recent changes in service levels have impacted Stouffville residents and left us wondering if additional advocacy could have seen the increase in all-day service stop in our town, instead of Markham. I will work to increase Go Transit Service to town with a focus on working with the province to decrease travel time to in-demand locations.
- I am eager to support the exploration of innovative transit options. Public awareness programs in conjunction with dedicated bicycle lanes, transit booking services (taxi’s, Uber, Lyft, etc) and other emerging options could provide mobility solutions to address a variety of unique user types in a cost-effective manner.
- I also wish to support signage on all two-lane thoroughfares to encourage slower moving vehicles to “stay right” where possible, and will work with Regional and Provincial representatives to that end. I am also in support of stronger programs that encourage enforcement of speed limits in areas around schools, parks and pedestrian areas.
Commitment to OPEX Methodologies:
We must strengthen our accountability and delivery of capital and operational projects. We must recognize that changes are needed from the way we approached projects decades ago. Operational Excellence (OPEX) is a well-recognized concept that all modern businesses utilize to contain costs, recognize innovation and drive successful results
Attract New Business Investment
Key to the financial health of our community is diversifying the tax base. We have seen examples within York Region of other municipalities attracting business investment, but it is clear that those opportunities are not making their way to Whitchurch-Stouffville. We need to be at the table and competing for investment opportunities. This means we must cast our attention outside of our borders to learn about opportunities on the horizon and to make a professional and determined effort to show the business world that Whitchurch-Stouffville is a rewarding place to locate.
Retain and Grow Existing Businesses
A heavy burden is being placed on existing businesses that are presently operating in Whitchurch-Stouffville. We need to understand the unique issues these businesses face, and develop strategies to better support their operational plans. With stronger ties to existing businesses, we can better design plans to assist improving their engagement with customers to the betterment of all parties.
Attract Investment from Medical and Educational Institutions
Having already spoken to representatives in the medical service community, as well as the educational community, I can see a time where Whitchurch-Stouffville will break ground on a medical facility and a facility for higher education. The ancillary benefits of having these types of institutions in our town would not only help with addressing service demands of young families, retirees and people of all ages, but the resulting investments from other business ventures closely associated with medical or education facilities and activities is well established.
Support Innovative Thinking – Green Energy, Energy Neutral, Energy
Whitchurch-Stouffville may be the “Country Close to the City”, but we can also be “green” as we grow. Several opportunities to construct energy neutral buildings have been pitched over the last eight years, but for some reason have not been well received, either due to lack of understanding, or lack of commitment to reduce our environmental impact. Business investment and facilities improvement can be achieved in an environmentally responsible way, but it takes foresight, effort and moreover, a commitment. Whether issuing RFP’s, or imbedding in an updated Master Plan, a commitment for environmental responsibility must be made in order to drive positive change
Affordable Housing, Safe Age Housing
An agenda item for York Region is to influence housing type and availability keeping in mind the demographics of each municipality, and York Region as a whole. Our community becomes less and less affordable for middle income or low income earners to comfortably reside, or for individuals and families from outside of Whitchurch-Stouffville to relocate here. Affordable housing options can be achieved without damaging the increasing value of existing housing. The benefits of “safe age” housing that can offer reduced use of stairs, main floor bedroom and personal hygiene areas (washrooms) is well known, but residential developers seem hesitant to construct as they see it as less profitable per lot. We need to understand the changing demographics of our town, and to work with developers to encourage the types of residential offerings that will benefit our population.
My parents arrived in the 1960’s from their home in India with nothing but their education, a small amount of money, and each other. They are Canadian By Choice. I was born at Scarborough Centenary in 1972. I am Canadian By Birth. Whether you are Canadian By Choice, or Canadian By Birth, I hope you feel the same pride in our country as I do. I was lucky enough to travel extensively from a pre-schooler to a teenager, and saw many interesting places and cultures around the world. I welcome all Canadians, I believe in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and I actively promote inclusiveness regardless of religion, ethnicity, race, gender or sexual orientation. I also support those fleeing from oppression or danger, and expect the treatment of all people to be uniform within our country’s borders.