Submission to Brampton City Council Feb 18 2015

To the City of Brampton

Feb 18, 2015 Brampton accepting input on 2015 Budget

To the Younger generations coming up

Thank you for accepting my submission to city council designed to help the younger generations of Brampton, and high school students. My focus here is to try to answer one of the key questions involved in any city budget: Can this city afford it? My submission if adopted can greatly reduce the need for city hall spe­nding while simultaneously revitalizing downtown. I will explain how Brampton can answer at least the affordability questions involved moving forward.

This submission will also reduce long distance travel to and from our city , thus eliminating the perceived need for transit expansion. My short proposal may also eliminate the need for BDDC and the BIA. These organizations greatly hinder business.

I will begin with immediate needs students are requesting then move to longer term solutions.

Where will Brampton council find the money to support free high school student transit? With a line by line effort at Brampton’s budget, money can be found if this council decides. However, much more than free rides are needed if independence is to be a virtue of the future. A rational, long term solution is needed to make Brampton and yes, high school transit affordable. My submission will focus on a permanent solution. Brampton will be, “revitalized” if these suggestions are adopted.

Specifically, previous council did not love people as much as they love cars. A quick look around and you will see there is limited parking or parking is prohibited.

There is nothing special about downtown that warrants these prohibitions and unwelcome signs; one hour parking, no stopping, rush hour tow away. One way to save millions of dollars and not dump these taxes on to future generations, right here, right now is to enable parking 24/7. Let us make it simple and easy for anybody to park anywhere on as many inside public road lanes as possible.

Downtown grass is just grass. Downtown buildings are normal buildings. The same with the asphalt, there is nothing special about it. There is nothing special about downtown except it is closed to people. People happily drive right on by.

Downtown is not “revitalized” simply because people are prohibited from revitalizing the place. There is no parking during rush hour. The streets are obviously designed to corridor people past downtown and not to park for the stores and shops. One lane on each side needs to be allowed for parking even during rush hour.

Pedestrian feel safer with a line of cars between him or her and moving vehicles so drivers need to feel welcome to stop anytime to fill up spots. Currently drivers do not think of stopping just to rush out of a variety store before a ticket is issued or are towed away. Brampton downtown is not people friendly at all. One might as well be driving by a ghetto area on an elevated over-pass. Removing all prohibitions on parking is what is needed to open downtown, not millions of dollars, and certainly not, “beautification” programs of selected businessmen.

Imagine a future with friendly, free parking, people will complain and swear at the slow vehicles but the purpose of parked cars is to slow and to park traffic. Downtown is not the 401, but a downtown. So let us in Brampton enjoy the benefit of parking at all hours, including “rush hour.” When this becomes known Brampton will become people friendly and citizens will add to the downtown economy by leaps and bounds.

Brampton certainly needs a strong local economy. Removing parking prohibitions will begin revitalization without millions of dollars in tax hikes. This is virtually a cost free way of attracting people and thus business. Freedom of action and choice revitalizes. I would even argue transit expansion is not necessary, not if people no longer need to travel many kilometers to get what they want here in the city.

This brings me to another bigger complicated prohibitions that gut Brampton of economic vitality.

To solve the economic problem of variety of needs, I propose Brampton look within, to its prohibitions that are costing energy, time, money and a productive future. The core problem gutting downtown Brampton are its codes of prohibitions. Brampton’s layers of codes separate and divide the city into single use segments, with many building codes that prohibit creative building. The city is politically and practically frozen from developing. By creative building, I mean private sector developers offering their own styles and designs that can enhance Brampton with a self generated beauty.

With zoning today, retail goes with with retail for example. The many codes that prohibit small developers from mixed use building causes unemployment, stops market progress, and creates lack of vision for better.

Mixed use development would go a long way to have developers build according to what they envision. New buildings and ideas is their market, their property and their right according to Canada’s constitution of security of the person. Lack of vision hinders Brampton from reaching its potential for greatness. Let developers build as high and creative as their vision reaches.

The City of Brampton needs to be friendly to builders. What developers propose is what is right. They are citizens. Developers should not have their proposals whittled down to loss due to height requirements, or anything else that requires a complicated process of what results in a costly or prohibitive barrier.

Urban design peer review committees, should not work to drive a development proposal to bankruptcy, but to scrutinize, and otherwise, not interfere with developers initial ideas. So-called beautification like-wise must not become a political tool to bind Brampton’s internal ability. Here, “red tape” are building committees, and red tape must be eliminated despite favor of the committee’s wishes. Its our citizen’s sovereignty that must be respected.

I have heard many builders have made proposals for down towns that were rejected or had so many prohibitions or alterations placed on their ideas, they gave up their proposal.

Thus they gave up employing others and establishing an achievement. I have heard and seen developers from other cities complain their ideas have been turned into a disfigured monstrosity that could only lose money. Given the rigid and oddly spaced down town design, Brampton is no different with infill proposals. My submission is to have people welcome downtown and to build without politics. Let us let private business in Brampton build, profit and save. Thus we can be an attractive place to come to. Business will want to build greater and bigger buildings here and we will quickly grow UP.

Let us change.

Currently, taxes multitude of codes, and a regulatory burden await those who will be the most productive as they reach early working age. Let us now save the city of Brampton millions of dollars in wasted energy through unnecessary public expenditures and unnecessary prohibitions, political sprawl, or other combinations of governmental interference that stops us, the market from building a great city – our way. Let us reduce or stop arbitrary decision making of back room committees.

The youth of this city in particular will greatly benefit from the wisdom of reduction of red tape and reduced taxes we still seem so willing to kick to the future. Most important with this direction I propose, our younger generations will not have have a life bound to debt servitude. The younger generation deserve to have a life of their own. Taxes should not be down-loaded for the next generation to burden under.

The recession we are now in is a testament to the wholesale effects of previous regulatory and tax burdens. The combination of government interventions at all levels of government, in all sectors, in North America is the recession. By contrast, “revitalization” is capital development and this requires freedom of movement by every individual. This is the only lasting and sustainable future we can afford.

As a new council we put in office, I hope you will do better in letting people have choice and a chance to utterly reject Brampton’s previous strategic planning designs which I have heard are simply make work projects for the public sector. Let the private sector develop and you will see majestic development and an affordable life for our youth. Enough freedom was bequeathed us, so we can enlarge on that so high school students can easily afford to get to school and back.

May my submission offer a way towards a financially healthy municipality with our younger generations in mind. Today’s students deserve no less than the best from us. With this submission I cannot tell what the decision will be on free transit for students, but I offer a road out of politics into building a city we can all prosper in.

Thank you for your time.

Ted Harlson

About Ted Harlson

Born in lower Central B.C., I grew up in the lakes and mountains of the Okanagan. I've traveled in many Canadian cities, settling in Toronto mid 1980's where I married my lovely wife, Rose. Thanks to Ayn Rand's books and ideas, we have a happy and productive life, both with careers we enjoy! Life is a joy!