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Short, long-term thinking key to the future of Guelph

Peter Zess (Tribune letters, June 30) lauds common sense, citing some recent issues. I feel Guelph has also benefited from a rarer sense – the wisdom to balance short- and long-term thinking.
Short-term thinking dominates many boardrooms and council chambers.  Decisions based solely on quarterly profits and the next election can be easy but often at the cost of long-term sustainability.  Shareholders and voters focused on their wallets share responsibility.
Guelph is very fortunate – our leaders have considered both time scales.  Evidence of short-term success is the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management rating of Guelph among the most livable and creative cities in Canada.  That has been accomplished with the fourth lowest tax rate for 26 Ontario cities and an AA+ credit rating. Long-term success includes the Well-Being Initiative, the Community Energy Initiative, modern waste facilities and water conservation efforts – all praised by experts.
The Canadian Urban Institute has recognized Mayor Karen Farbridge’s leadership with its City Builder Award. Visionary thinking helps ensure Guelph’s enviable current rankings will also apply to our children’s lives and wallets.
The achievements depend on strong citizen involvement. And of course there is always room for improvement. But looking at the big picture, Guelph is profiting from a rare and top-notch balancing act by our civic leaders.
Elizabeth Snell

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