Endoresments!

I’m really happy to have received endorsements from people I’ve worked with both in, and outside, Zorra.

I hope you’ll at least skim through them to see if there’s one relevant to you and your issues.

Some of them are friends, some are neighbours, some are local politicians, some are from around the Province that I’ve worked with lobbying the Province on issues important to Zorra, some are local agriculture people I’ve worked with, and some are local business people I’ve worked with.

They all have one thing in common: I thank them for their support!

 

 

Dirk Boogerd

Zorra township farmer                                             

I confidently recommend Marcus Ryan for the position of mayor for the township of Zorra. I truly admire the passion Marcus Ryan has put into our township as a councillor. Even though Mr. Ryan is not a farmer himself, he has put great effort into speaking and working for our agriculture community here in Zorra.

His position on the high speed rail proposal falls right in line with OFA’s opposition, as well as the county of Oxford. In speaking to Marcus at length about this proposal he agrees to look high performance rail alternative and a integrated regional transportation strategy. The half load season is another item in which he has indicated to explore to reduce.

As our rural township has many farmers in all industries of agriculture, there are farmers that do farm gate sales and farmers markets. Marcus has initiated the Oxford fresh farm gate signs , promoting local producers. In doing work like this he has gained respect from public and farmers around the township.

Marcus Ryan is honest, reliable and willing to work hard for every one in our township, and this includes farmers.
I believe Marcus Ryan is the person best qualified for the mayor of Zorra

Dirk Boogerd
Zorra township farmer

 

 

Josh Morgan

Councillor, City of London

I’ve come to know Marcus Ryan as a leader capable of seeing the big picture. He is an effective advocate for the residents of Zorra because he has the knowledge and skills needed to work with other communities and governments for our common benefit.

Josh Morgan

Councillor, City of London

 

 

Kelly Elliot

Councillor and candidate for Deputy Mayor, Thames Centre 

I have had the privilege of working with Marcus over the past three years as municipal Councillors. Although we are in separate municipalities, issues such as rural school closures, high speed rail and aggregate extraction have always brought us together.
Marcus’ passion for his community is admirable, and many municipalities across the province would benefit from someone like Marcus. His leadership to tackle issues head on should be commended. Marcus always has the best interests for Zorra residents at heart, and will always do what it takes.
In order to move forward, municipalities like Zorra and Thames Centre need municipal leaders who will work tirelessly with all levels of government to address the unique concerns of our rural and small urban areas. For Zorra Township’s choice of Mayor, there is absolutely no doubt that this person is Marcus Ryan.

 

Kelly Elliot

Councillor and candidate for Deputy Mayor, Thames Centre

 

 

Brian Petrie

Councillor, Town of Ingersoll

Residents of Zorra
I would like to give my full endorsement to Marcus Ryan for the office of mayor of Zorra. You as ratepayers will be well served with Marcus at that post.
While serving as a councillor in the neighbouring community of Ingersoll during the last four years I’ve had the opportunity to work with Marcus on a number of occasions and issues. He has always been open, honest and knowledgable. All things that will make him a great mayor of Zorra and county councillor. He has shown the same abilities on the Upper Thames conservation authority board, where we share the role of directors, his preparation along with a true caring for the issues are always welcomed there as they will be with him in the mayors chair.

Brian Petrie Councillor,
Town of Ingersoll

 

 

 

Jim Maudsley

Mayor of Thames Centre, Former Warden of Middlesex County 

I worked with Marcus for several years on issues important to Thames Centre, Zorra, and region. I was impressed when Marcus spoke as a representative for the Communities School’s Alliance at the Ontario Small Urban Conference earlier this year.

He has always been able to communicate Zorra’s interests in a way that gets the support of neighbouring communities and provincial politicians and advances those interests towards a solution. He will offer a leadership vision for Zorra, more importantly, will work hard to collaborate with Municipal and Provincial counterparts to achieve that vision.

Jim Maudsley

Mayor of Thames Centre, Former Warden of Middlesex County 

 

 

 

 

Gerry Marshall

former Mayor of the Town of Penetanguishene and Warden of Simcoe County, former Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus Vice Chair and former Chair of South Western Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT)

I’ve worked with Marcus for several years on the Executive of the Community Schools Alliance asking the Ministry of Education for a stronger voice for Municipalities in where our schools are, and how they are opened and closed.

Marcus has always been a strong voice for his community on this issue, and on many occasions offered help to other communities that found themselves faced with similar challenges.

He has been the voice of the Community Schools Alliance and all communities concerned about their schools by making several direct delegations to the Minister of Education to explain the policy issues and the needed changes. His efforts assisted in putting a moratorium on schools closure thereby reducing the incentive for school boards to consider the closure of rural and northern schools.
It has been a true pleasure to work with Marcus on big issues such as this that affect multiple Municipalities. When Municipalities join together they can have a stronger voice with the Province, and Marcus should be one of those voices.

Gerry Marshall

former Mayor of the Town of Penetanguishene and Warden of Simcoe County, former Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus Vice Chair and former Chair of South Western Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT)

 

 

 

Jim Collard
Councillor, Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake
Charter Member Community Schools Alliance

Over the past four years I’ve worked with Marcus to strengthen the Community Schools Alliance into an effective voice for small town and rural education in Ontario.
Marcus has been a positive advocate for Zorra on this issue, and for other communities in similar situations.
The Community Schools Alliance has achieved a provincial moratorium on school closures, and funding for Rural and Northern Education to help reduce the incentive for school boards to consider the closure of rural and northern schools.

One of the key aspects of achieving these results are the meetings Marcus had with the Minister of Education working successfully for change.

More importantly, is the working relationship he developed with the Education Minister’s staff. Marcus’s positive attitude has allowed him to find success with Ministry personnel and make a difference that has benefitted all.

Marcus understands the possibilities and knows that by working together communities can have a more effective voice, one that finds the changes their residents need.

Marcus will be an excellent mayor for the Township of Zorra. He is definitely ready.

Kindest regards
Jim Collard
Councillor, Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake
Charter Member Community Schools Alliance

 

 

Tanya Park, City of London Councillor, and candidate for Mayor:
Marcus has always demonstrated his tenacity and capabilities to bring real solutions to the table. The regional advocacy that he was a part of brought the high speed rail conversation to a much broader, and necessary audience.
As mayor, Marcus will represent Zorra township with professionalism and focus.
Tanya Park, City of London Councillor, and candidate for Mayor

Tanya Park, City of London Councillor, and candidate for Mayor

 

 

Don Weir and Kathleen Schaper-Weir, Zorra Residents, Zorra Recreation Advisory Committee, Water and Wheels Committee Chair:

Dear Marcus,

Upon learning that you had declared your candidacy for the position of Mayor of Zorra Township, Kathleen and I were absolutely delighted.  As you know, I have a background in municipal work and Kathleen has a long history of serving as an elected official, both at the municipal and the county levels.  We have worked with and for politicians who were exemplary in their fields as well as for some who seemed only to be there to take up a seat and collect a pay cheque.  You belong in the former group.

We understand that your involvement in politics began to take form when you helped to save A.J. Baker school in Kintore from being closed.  Subsequent to your being elected as a Councillor in Zorra Township you gave of your time and expertise to help the parent groups of Elgin County in their attempts to save four of their schools.  More recently you have been very active in researching and addressing your constituents’ concerns regarding the proposed dump in Oxford County, High Speed Rail and issues with the Ministry of Education such as the flawed funding formula.

At Council level we have observed a bright, well-informed member who researches every agenda item and strives to make decisions based upon fact and fiscal responsibility.  We recognize you to be a ward councillor who works equally hard for every resident of the township.

With Mayor Lupton’s retirement at the end of this council term, we can think of nobody else who would make a better Mayor for our community and representative for Zorra Township at County Council.  We wish you the best of luck in the upcoming election.

Don Weir and Kathleen Schaper-Weir

 

 

Rebecca Wallace, Thamesford Resident, Zorra Recreation Advisory Committee:

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Rebecca Wallace, Thamesford Resident, Zorra Recreation Advisory Committee

High Speed Rail – Crazy Train

I oppose the High Speed Rail Plan.
It’s a bad plan for Zorra, it’s a bad plan for Oxford, and it’s a bad plan for Ontario.
I’ve spent the last six months as a member of the intercity rail committee, that put up these big signs around the Township and the County, talking to municipal politicians in the region, provincial politicians in the last election, trying to convince them that it is bad plan.
I’m ready to keep fighting on this issue for you, and other issues that matter to Zorra.
#whyhsr
intercityrail.org

Harrington Area Community Association All Candidates Forum. September 13

Video of the night.

While I encourage you to watch all of it, the Mayoral portion begins at 2:29 and is about 30 minutes long.

Fantastic night.

The Harrington Area Community Association is to be commended for putting on this event.

My opening/closing comments are below.

Opening:

“I’ve listened to what our communities want for a long time.

The job of Mayor IS to listen…

But our communities’ issues aren’t going to get better on their own…

Mayor is a job of LEADERSHIP.

Leadership is having a vision, and plan…

AND the ability to EXECUTE that plan.

You know the expression “Everybody likes a sausage but nobody wants to know how it’s made.”?

Well a Mayor has to be able to make sausages.

A Mayor has to listen, understand the issues, turn that into effective policy, and have a plan to execute that policy.

A Mayor has to be able to build relationships and advocate with neighbouring Municipalities, Provincial politicians. Whoever it takes to get things done.

That is how you get the change people want.

I’ve fought for Zorra’s schools for six years.

I’ve fought for more effective project management at the Township that’ll save us money.

I’ve fought for innovative promotion of Zorra farm gate businesses, WITH NO NEW TAX MONEY.

I’ve fought for ag by protecting Prime Agricultural Land.

I’ve fought for better roads and better road safety my entire time on Council.

I’ve fought the proposed HSR for over a year.

I want to keep fighting for the issues that matter to Zorra.

I have a plan.

I’ve demonstrated I’m ABLE to get things done.

I want to get to work on that plan.”

Closing:

“Think about what you want for your community.

Think about what it takes to actually get that done.

And then vote.”

The Plan.

Achieving some of the goals I’ve identified based on my conversations with you isn’t going to be easy…
I previously posted about my platform, now I’m showing you the details of how I think we can get it done.
Below is a link to my detailed Strategic Plan Action Items I’m proposing for the next term of Council that will achieve our goals.
There’s a lot of detail here, because that’s what it takes to get things done.
This is my plan:

Proposed 2019-22 Strategic Plan Action Items – Marcus Ryan

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My Platform

 

I’ve listened to you guys for the last few years about what your issues are. I think when you’re running for Mayor, part of that is to offer a plan of how you’re going to get things done. Here’s a link to my platform, these are the things that I think you want done. Take a look at them, let’s talk about them. Because I can promise you, if elected, I’ll be working hard to get them done for you.

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My Platform

I’ve listened to you guys for the last few years about what your issues are.
I think when you’re running for Mayor, part of that is to offer a plan of how you’re going to get things done.
Here’s a link to my platform, these are the things that I think you want done.
Take a look at them, let’s talk about them.
Because I can promise you, if elected, I’ll be working hard to get them done for you.
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Rural communities shouldn’t bear the costs (reduced growth leads to reduced services and increased taxes) of protecting Prime Agricultural Land on their own.

 

Restructure the Budget Process to control expenses.  Start with a base and add inflation.

Get full cost recovery of gravel pit damage to roads, and improved enforcement from the Province.

An improved development plan to reduce pressure on current property tax payers.

Improve the safety of our roads.

Improve the functionality of our roads.

Promote alternatives to the existing High Speed Rail proposal.

Support Agriculture, the largest employer in the province.

Explore Surplus Farmhouse Severance opportunities within the Oxford Official Plan.

Implement the Recreation Arts and Culture Master Plan.

Commit to 100% use of Renewable Energy by 2040.

Oppose importation of waste to unwilling host municipalities.

 

 

e-mail: marcusryanzorra@gmail.com

Facebook: Marcus Ryan – Zorra

Twitter: @marcusryanzorra

Web: marcusryanzorra.ca

Instagram: marcusryanzorra

YouTube: Marcus Ryan Zorra

Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference, Ottawa August 19-22

The 2018 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference is over and I thought I’d write a blog to tell you what you got for the expense of sending me to Ottawa.

Over the four days we made Delegations to the Ministry of Transportation about the High Speed Rail Proposal, the Ministry of Natural Resources about gravel pit operations, the Ministry of Education about rural schools, and the Ministry of the Environment to talk about the proposed South West Landfill.

The delegation to the Ministry of Transportation arguing for alternatives to the High Speed Rail Proposal to be considered went well (I posted the full text of Mayor Lupton’s comments on Facebook).  Minister Yakabuski seems open to the idea that there may be better, more cost effective ways, to improve transit, but my sense is that the new government hasn’t “officially” decided to include alternatives in the Environmental Assessment…yet.  I am optimistic.

IMG_8144

Minister of Transportation John Yakabuski.

The Ministry of Natural Resources delegation was presented by Councillor Keasy and the main requests were better regulation of gravelpit operations to reduce the impacts on neighbours, and an increase in the royalty payed to the Township for the gravel extracted.  In Ontario we get 19.8c/tonne which does not come close to covering the damage done to roads by the gravel trucks, and makes it very difficult, and unfair, to simply tax residents to attempt to maintain roads damaged by industry.  In Alberta they get 30, and in Quebec 50 c/tonne.  The industry representative group the Ontario Sand, Stone, and Gravel Association (OSSGA) even supports the increased levy as it is a small increase compared to trucking costs and it is hoped it would help to pay for some rehabilitation and enforcement of haul routes.  Minister Yurek was concerned about our issues and is familiar with them as there are also many pits in his riding of Elgin/Middlesex/London (which is on the other side of Cobble Hills Road). But again, it is early days for the Minister and all we got so far was a commitment to keep talking to us and that they would look into some things.

I presented the Delegation to the Ministry of the Environment to talk about the proposed South West Landfill.  We made our two main concerns clear: drinking water, and the injustice of a community like Zorra and Oxford who have done so much to reduce our waste having another community’s waste forced upon us.  An unwilling host municipality is unacceptable for a project of this scale.

I presented the Ministry of Education delegation as the Deputy Mayor and Vice Chair of the Community Schools Alliance.  While we have a 19 point detailed list of requests for the Minister, we started off by simply introducing ourselves and requesting that they continue the existing moratorium on school closures while they consider policy changes, and that they support policy that recognizes the differences between rural/northern schools and urban/suburban schools.  The Minister was very forthright that “we cannot develop our rural communities without our schools”.  During the Ministers Forum at the conference I was also able to ask her another question.

And again later on I had a “hallway conversation” with her that was very promising.

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Education Minister Lisa Thompson

One of the best parts of these conferences is the “hallway conversations” you have with people, the unplanned meetings where you get to really talk about stuff in detail with a real expert.

I had several with different municipal politicians, and some Ministers as well, but the best, and longest (we’re both talkers…) was with OFA President Keith Currie.  We talked for over an hour about all kinds of agricultural issues and municipal government.  In particular about property tax policy and the need for municipal governments to keep the farm tax rate low.  We talked about how Oxford had recently lowered it’s rate, but agreed that it should have gone lower.  We also talked about enabling farms to add value to their product on farm before shipping it.

IMG_8130Ontario Federation of Agriculture President Keith Currie.   Great guy, great talk.

The Community Schools Alliance held our AGM at the conference.  Two new members were elected to the Executive, we are in good financial health, but most importantly we have been getting good work done.  As Chair Doug Reycraft said in his Annual Report “The past two years have been the most eventful, and I would humbly suggest, the most successful in the nine-year history of the Community Schools Alliance.”

I am really proud to be a part of this group and the work they’ve done:
– moratorium on school closures
– changes to accommodation review process
– $20M Rural & Northern Education Fund that ALL Zorra schools qualify for

IMG_8108The Community Schools Alliance Executive.

The formal education sessions at this conference weren’t as good this time I felt, but the informal learning with people more than made up for it.

I have a lot of homework to do after this conference to try to turn the things I’ve learned into good policy for Zorra.

 

Marcus

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