Vote 2014

VOTE 2014: James Hoyes wants to leave Aurora a better place for future generations

August 13, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Brock Weir

You can’t sell away your future to pay for the present, according to Aurora resident James Hoyes, who is seeking a place at the Council table in this October’s Municipal election.

As a father of two sons, he has seen his boys thrive in the community and wants to make sure that they can thrive in the same way. In his view, the only way to do this is to get beyond partisanship, the “turmoil” which he says has been a hallmark of the last several Council terms, and keep an eye on the larger picture.

“The political process has always interested me,” he says. “It is just a passion for seeing this Town succeed and in the past few terms I just saw so much turmoil. One issue that has really concerned me is the Joint Operations Centre. I have a concern with the amount of money that is coming into it and I don’t deny the need is there. My biggest concern is we have assets in this Town that people are willing to sell off and I don’t believe that is the right way to go about getting money. It is selling away your future for the present.”

A key example of this type of discussion is that which has surrounded the former Aurora Hydro Building, which is now the Lt. Gov. John Graves Simcoe Armoury through a lease taken up by the Department of National Defence.

Mr. Hoyes, his wife, Lori, and their two sons are very active in the local cadets program which is based in the Armoury and certainly view the building as a true asset in Aurora. That being said, the building in question should be part of the discussion when looking at future growth needs.

“It is a great use,” he says. “The Federal Government is an incredibly reliable tenant. It is being used and it is being used well. You can either be a landlord or a tenant. If you are a landlord, you can make money while keeping the asset. Seeing that the tenant is a reliable source of income, I have no problem with that. It is a great use for the facility and it allows youth to have an opportunity.

“Aurora is still growing and my guess is it is going to have a lot more infrastructure with regards to properties and programming, use for any of the departments like Parks and Recreation, youth or anything. [The asset] is something that is very, very necessary when you look at the big picture and looking down the road to tomorrow.”

Looking backwards, however, Mr. Hoyes says he has seen this Council, and the handful of the previous Councils as being very “difficult” in reaching consensus and cooperation, particularly “when your Council members are in court against each other.” That, he says, makes it somewhat difficult to work together for what is best for the community as a whole.

“There are so many little things I watched on Council go south with regards to vision and it seemed to be that most of the votes went consistently the same way every time,” he says. “If that is how you feel politically, that’s great, but if it is done because there are sides being taken, it is not serving the public in the best way. The best way is to take the information you have been given, take the opinions you have been given, the experiences you have had, and make a choice based on what is best for the Town.”

A prime example of this is the Aurora Jazz+ Festival moving to Newmarket. It became a “very messy situation that really didn’t go in anybody’s favour”, he says, and although he is undecided on whether or not the Jazz Fest should have stayed in Aurora, it was a Council division “for all the wrong reasons.”

As a truck driver with a company serving Southern Ontario there are very few streets in York Region he has not travelled and this is an experience he says will serve him well, particularly when it comes to infrastructure needs. He knows how traffic flows and has firsthand knowledge about what works in other communities and what does not. His diagnosis with osteoarthritis has, he said, also given him perspective on mobility challenges faced by many members of the community.

“What I have to offer is a willingness to understand. You can’t spend what you don’t have, as much as you might want certain things,” he says.

“There is a difference between wants and needs and you have to put them in. I think I have the ability to see past the desires of what you want as opposed to what you need, and not spend that much and spend what you don’t have. It is not our money to do it, it’s the taxpayers’ money – it is my money, your money, and in the long run my kids are going to be paying the debt on things if we keep spending what we don’t have and that is the biggest thing I feel strongly about. We need to be spending our money wisely.”



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