Adam Veri enters race to represent Ward 6 on Norfolk County council

ADAM Veri is asking Ward 6 residents to elect him to Norfolk County council this October. The hopeful candidate said his experience working with organizations and businesses throughout Norfolk County, his extensive volunteer service, and demonstrated commitment to community improvement make him the right candidate to represent the interests of his ward.
Veri manages community development projects, special events, and promotional campaigns from his downtown Port Dover office. He is a successful grant writer, and frequently sources funding from all levels of government. His project management experience includes advocacy and fundraising initiatives that support individuals who have a developmental disability, elder abuse awareness and prevention, social engagement for seniors, services for abused women and children, suicide prevention, development of local arts and culture, and community celebrations.
Veri has been a director of the Port Dover Board of Trade since 2009, and has served as the organization’s president since 2014. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Simcoe since 2010. He is also the volunteer chair of the Lynn River Music & Arts Festival.
Last November, the Government of Canada awarded Veri a Canada 150 Medal for “exceptional leadership and initiative in developing commercial, cultural, and youth opportunities within his community.”
Veri said his top priority on council will be effective leadership.
“Most of the public discussion about the election, from both citizens and other candidates from every ward, is the need for change,” Veri added. “Change for its own sake won’t get us very far. To be meaningful, change requires effective, creative, strategic leadership.”
“Fiscal responsibility, customer service, developing policy that encourages growth and innovation – everything comes down to effective leaders making decisions for the betterment of Norfolk County.”
Veri cited his ability to meet the challenges he has faced as the president of the Port Dover Board of Trade as an example of his success in a collaborative leadership role.
During his presidency, Veri has represented the Board of Trade in meetings with county staff, consultants, and at Norfolk County council meetings regarding the removal of overhead wires in the downtown core, the three-year reconstruction of Main Street, solutions to parking issues, project funding requests, and the restoration of Silver Lake.
“The Board of Trade is one of the most impactful community organizations in Norfolk County,” Veri said. “Everyone on the board of directors shares a “high tide floats all boats” approach to making decisions, and it works extremely well. There’s no reason Norfolk County council can’t operate the same way.”
Veri said managing Port Dover’s rapid growth is the most important issue facing Ward 6.
“So many of Port Dover’s issues are related to being a desirable community,” he explained. “Growth is affecting parking, water and wastewater services, affordable housing, property tax increases, availability of rental properties, the need for a health centre, and recreation demands, especially for seniors.”
Preserving and celebrating Port Dover’s distinct identity is one of Veri’s priorities as growth continues.
“I understand the concerns many long-time residents have about how quickly their community is changing,” he said. “Port Dover needs leaders who are willing to keep traditions alive by sharing their history and welcoming newcomers into social activities, service clubs, and community projects.”
Veri’s specific first-term goals include:
1. Establish online voting by 2022 to increase voter participation, especially among individuals who have mobility issues or limited access to reliable transportation, and parents with young families.
2. Create a municipal cultural plan. Communities with strong cultural assets attract educated people, encourage investment, drive innovation, retain youth, and have increased tourism. In Ontario, 72 municipalities have a cultural plan. Veri has offered to oversee the creation of a cultural advisory board and serve as its council liaison.
3. Set a course for restoring Silver Lake, saving wetlands, and protecting wildlife in partnership with the LPRCA. The lake is an effective silt trap that protects the harbour and it needs to be restored.
4. Continue to pursue solutions to Port Dover’s parking challenges and traffic flow concerns, and investigate the feasibility of a traffic light at the corner of Main Street and Nelson Street.
5. Create a community enhancement plan that makes Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade eligible for up to $25,000 per year in matching funds to support grassroots revitalization and economic development projects, including public art, festival and event growth, collaborative projects, and new initiatives. Funding will be sourced from the existing Cultural Services Department budget and be an adjunct to the department’s existing Community Improvement Plan.
6. Investigate opportunities to purchase waterfront property in Wards 1, 4, and 6 for public use. Norfolk County’s Official Plan permits the county to acquire waterfront property for public access. This initiative should include all three wards located on Lake Erie’s north shore.
7. Advocate for wine and beer sales in corner stores throughout Ontario. Small wineries typically only earn a profit between two and four dollars on a $20 bottle of wine sold at the LCBO. Premier Doug Ford has stated that wine and beer should be available at corner stores as a matter of convenience, but for Norfolk County wineries and breweries it’s a matter of growth and prosperity.
8. Lobby council to divest itself from providing services that directly compete with or duplicate Norfolk County’s private sector, with the exception of health and safety.
9. Improve service and amenities at the Port Dover Harbour Marina.
10. Implement a community mediation strategy to encourage neighbours to settle differences constructively, instead of turning to by-law to resolve disputes. Many Ontario municipalities benefit from these programs, resulting in stronger bonds and more collaborative neighbourhoods.
11. Improve recreation and engagement opportunities for seniors in Port Dover by opening the community centre for subsidized programming.
12. Improve the county’s workplace culture by empowering staff to think creatively, feel supported when they take calculated risks, and encouraged to provide innovative solutions.
13. Offer regular office hours in downtown Port Dover to conduct council-related business in a private, professional environment.

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