Paul Kyte has been living in the Quinte area his whole life. Outside of running for council he is a property manager and a licensed paralegal. He is currently a councillor in Quinte West . He believes his experience will be a benefit to Belleville council. Kyte is also an avid hockey fan and enjoys camping with his family.
Your Voice, Your Vote – The QNetNews Municipal Election Project sent out a questionnaire to all the candidates for mayor and council. Here are Paul Kyte’s unedited responses.
1. One concern we’ve heard from a number of people is about the future of jobs in Belleville, and where job growth will come from.
What role do you see city council playing to help bring new jobs to Belleville?
What kind of jobs do you envision in Belleville’s future?
How does council help make that happen?
Response – Council needs to develop a strategic corporate plan that will entice businesses and corporations to want to be part of the City of Belleville. We need to offer services and a lifestyle that many in the corporate world find as a “place to live” lifestyle. Many of these corporations are interested in the retention of employees over the long haul and when they locate to an area that they may deem as not having sufficient resources for their family and themselves, they will lose these employees. We a need a plan to make Belleville and attractive place to live and play.
2. We’ve also heard from a number of people who say, with regards to young people in Belleville, that there’s not enough for them to do here, and there’s not enough to keep them here after they graduate, whether that’s from high school or from Loyalist College. For the purposes of these questions, we’re defining young people as being between 12 and 24.
What role does the city play in providing interesting things for young people to do?
How does the city keep more of its young population here after they leave school?
How do you envision the city working with Loyalist College to do just that?
Response -The City of Belleville needs to leverage the college resources to develop a plan with input into my answer in Question #1 – we need to develop a community that creates a desire for companies, business therefore jobs to locate and stay in the City of Belleville.
3. We also heard a lot of concern about poverty in Belleville, especially child poverty. There are two main concerns tied to the discussion of poverty in this community – food and shelter.
One in three children in this community face food insecurity issues. What can council do to address that?
What role does council have in providing more affordable accommodation for more people in this city?
Does Belleville need a men’s shelter for those who are temporarily homeless?
Response – Poverty and homelessness is an issue throughout Ontario in fact, not just Belleville. We must continue to work with our community partners (Hastings County Social Services) and we MUST engage the province to provide more financial funding and resources for the impoverished and homeless in our City.
4. Council recently passed a Transportation Master Plan.
What are your thoughts on that plan?
How would you characterize the existing public transit system in Belleville?
What would you do to improve it?
What can the city do to improve cycling infrastructure in this city?
Response – While the City has a Transportation Master Plan, it is the same as any other plan. Failure to advance on any plan becomes stagnate and only creates more pressure on our City to dig deeper and deeper into debt or ratepayers pockets. Plans that are financially responsible and advance the needs of the City are paramount in seeing the Transportation Master Plan. When the City develops and promotes such a plan, it is key that we include the ratepayers ability to pay, something that is often overlooked in such plans.
5. Sometimes it seems the future of downtown Belleville is a more popular topic of conversation than the weather is.
How do you see downtown Belleville being revitalized?
Response –Downtown Belleville needs to be revitalized. Such revitalization requires vision by the City but it MUST also secure the investment of the people that are part of downtown. No plan for downtown will be successful without the input and willingness to invest by those that are there. Plans that reward investment and not create more financial hardships for those that try and re-invest in our downtown.
6. What role does council play in supporting a vibrant arts community in Belleville?
Response – A vibrant arts community is another aspect of what we need to showcase as a benefit in living in the City of Belleville. A vibrant arts community offers those in our community that seek this in their lifestyle to enjoy them locally and it is only another part of what we can offer to attract new business and jobs to our community.
7. Many people pointed to tourism as an important economic driver in this city. What role can the city play in both bringing more tourists to the city, and keeping them here longer?
Should there be a better connection between the Bay of Quinte waterfront and Belleville’s downtown?
How does the city make that happen?
Response – The City of Belleville needs to invest in tourism to attract tourist dollars to our area. When we offer Belleville as a tourist area, and the region, the benefits of dollars being invested and brought into this community and those dollars benefit our businesses and reduce the tax burden on our citizens. The City needs to partner with other community partners to promote and bring tax dollars to Belleville.
8. What are your thoughts on a casino in Belleville? Why/Why not?
Response – I am not opposed to a casino being brought to Belleville. A casino once again will bring tourist and other funds into the City and also create another revenue stream to offset taxes in our community. Whether we build a casino here in Belleville or not, I Belleville those that wish to use a casino, will travel to them regardless of where they are located.
9. Who should pay for upgrades to the Yardmen Arena?
How important do you think it is that the Bulls remain in Belleville?
Response – Any upgrades to the Belleville Yardmen arena are the responsibility of the City of Belleville. To be very very clear, it is wrong to use the statement, “the Belleville Bulls need a new facility.” The Belleville Bulls are an entity and a business located in the City of Belleville. They are a user of the Yardmen arena. Not unlike other corporate partners we have in the City of Belleville, corporations come and stay when we offer them the proper resources to remain in our City. If the City of Belleville does not offer the Belleville Bulls the tools they need to be a success here in the City of Belleville, then they will find a community that does. This is only one element of the requirements of securing the Belleville Bulls here in the City, but it is a large element that needs to be addressed. If we designed our industrial park so that we could only supply 10,000 gallons of water a day, but an industry requires 20,000 gallons of water each day, should we design the industrial park to supply 10 or 20 thousand gallons of water? This is no different than the Belleville Bulls, they state they need an arena that seats 5500 fans, we offer 3200, are we meeting their need as a corporation to stay here?
The benefit of having the Belleville Bulls brand here in our city cannot be measured in dollars and cents, but it is huge, it markets are name nationally and internationally and to lose them would be devastating to our economy and community. Ask any city that has lost an OHL franchise and they will tell you they would pay huge to have them back and in fact there are many many communities out there that will pay to have the Belleville Bulls relocate to their community.
10. We heard complaints from people in Thurlow that it’s the forgotten part of this city, especially when it comes to city services.
How do you respond to those complaints?
Response – I can only state that experience speaks for itself. If elected I will be a Belleville City Councillor and that includes Thurlow ward. As a Councillor, although elected by a single ward, it is my responsibility to represent the city as a whole, and I have and will continue to do so as a Councillor here in the City of Belleville if elected.