Bob Bell is an engineer and entrepreneur that owns and operates Wike Bicycle Trailers. Growing from a small basement operation to a thriving local manufacturer, Wike is the largest manufacturer of bicycle trailers in North America. Every trailer that Wike sells is made in Guelph. In 2006, Bell was first elected to Guelph City Council, and in his role as a councillor he’s served on the Solid Waste Master Plan Committee, the Composting Steering Committee, the Grand River Conservation Authority, Guelph Non-Profit Housing Corporation and the several Standing Committees. Before council wrapped before the election, he was Chair of the Planning, Engineering, Environment, and Building Committee. He also boasts the best attendance record of any city councillor, and Bell hopes that because of his track record of voting and acting independently, his constituents will return him to council for a third term.
1) Why did you decide to run for city council?
To improve the city
2) What makes your ward unique to Guelph?
Ward 1 is the most diverse ward; it contains the downtown, established neighbourhoods, a lot of new residential developments, and an industrial park.
3) Using a letter grade, how would you rank the performance of the current city council? Explain.
4) Some people say that Guelph is over-taxed, others believe that our taxes are inline with a community our size; where do you stand on taxation in Guelph?
I think we are wasting taxes on programs that have little in the way of deliverables to the community.
5) Do you believe that Guelph has a spending problem? If yes, then please cite specific examples of areas and/or programs that you would cut to save money?
I don’t think we should have cut funding for social housing
6) What’s the biggest priority for Guelph in terms of services needed? This could be something that’s provided by the government, ie: a library or rec centre, or it could be a commercial need, ie: a new grocery store in the east end.
East End Commercial Development, the municipal government does not build grocery stores. Commercial development can be enabled by reconstructing York Rd.
7) How would you propose to mend relations between the city and transit workers, and to improve the services of Guelph Transit?
Improve the routes to enable citizens to ride the bus to work and complete the transit hub.
8) What will you do to insure the best possible communication between yourself and your constituents if you’re elected to council?
Answer the phone and reply to emails in a timely fashion
9) Guelph is implementing online voting for the first time with this election, are you in favour of this development or against it? Explain.
No, it is not secure enough and the reason people aren’t voting is lack of faith in our democratic system, not the inconvenience of going to the poles
10) What issue, aside from any previously mentioned in this questionnaire, do you think should be a priority and why?
The construction of new social housing units
11) How can local government be a force for good in the lives of the people of Guelph?
I think it is admirable that the local government aspires to be a force of good in people’s lives, but the effort needs to be sustainable in the long term. We need to focus more on basic needs.
12) Where can voters get more information about you and your campaign?