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First directors appointed to County’s new Affordable Housing Corporation

County council has appointed nine members of the public and two councillors to serve as directors for the Prince Edward County Affordable Housing Corporation.

“I congratulate the highly qualified people selected to serve on the board. This group of directors has the skills and experience necessary to address the issue of affordable and attainable housing in our community,” said Mayor Steve Ferguson. “This was a highly competitive selection process, which speaks to the enthusiasm and passion for this issue in our community. I encourage the applicants who were not selected to stay involved and consider other ways to make a difference.”

The inaugural board of directors includes Diana Cooper, Treat Hull, Kevin Kelly, Peter Landry, Debbie MacDonald Moynes, Blair Martin, Greg Sorbara, Shirley Van Steen and Elis K. Ziegler, as well as councillors Stewart Bailey and Ernie Margetson. (Biographical details below).

“I am pleased to have this opportunity to contribute to the corporation and to learn from the other members on this talented and enthusiastic team,” said councillor Bailey. “I look forward to getting started and looking at tangible ways that we can tackle arguably the biggest challenge facing our community today.”

County council established the independent not-for-profit corporation in 2018 with a mandate to increase the supply of affordable housing in the municipality. It is structured as a single-member, non-share capital corporation with the municipality as the sole member.

“Affordable and attainable housing is a complex issue. The not-for-profit corporation gives us an innovative way to make a lasting impact across the County,” said councillor Margetson.

In the coming weeks, the board will hold its first meeting where it will review the draft by-laws for the corporation. Visit the County website for more information about the corporation (http://bit.ly/PECAffordableHousing).

PEC Affordable Housing Corporation Director Biographies

Stewart Bailey is recently retired as a manager at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. In his 33 years with the Crown Corporation, his training in facilitation, mentoring, and adult education contributed to the creation, development, execution, and management of various projects on subjects including product knowledge, customer service, and health and safety. Relatively new to Prince Edward County, Stewart and his wife moved to Lake on the Mountain just over six years ago.

Diana Cooper is a past private sector executive and consultant in the fields of organizational effectiveness, corporate training, and board governance. She has a master’s degree in leadership and training from Royal Roads University. She has operated a successful small business in Bloomfield since 2013.

Treat Hull is broker/owner of Treat Hull & Associates Ltd., a boutique County brokerage which takes no listings and serves only buyers. Before moving to the County and taking up real estate, he spent three decades as a management consultant and marketing executive. He holds a master’s degree in management science and was the founding chair of the board for 99.3 County FM.

Kevin Kelly holds the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation and spent nearly 10 years as an analyst and portfolio manager in the financial sector where he evaluated business cases, analyzed financial statements, and oversaw investment decisions for global investment funds. Since relocating to the County in 2015, he has volunteered with a PEC Syria family and has pursued his interest in agriculture through volunteer work at local farms.

Peter Landry is an accomplished public affairs professional specializing in public relations, research, policy development, and government relations. He has spent time in the private sector as a managing principal and vice president of leading firms, while also serving in senior roles within various ministries of the Government of Ontario. He has extensive governance experience including serving as chair of the board for Margaret’s, which provides a variety of accommodation options for women experiencing mental health issues.

Debbie MacDonald Moynes is executive director of the Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association. She served on the board of the Ontario Community Support Association for close to 10 years and as adjunct professor, Bachelor of Applied Arts in Human Services Management at Loyalist College for six years. She has a master’s degree in public administration from Queen’s University, is a graduate of the advanced health leadership program from the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management, and has volunteered with numerous local service clubs and not-for-profits.

Ernie Margetson is a professional engineer, with more than 35 years of experience in land development, building design, and project management working within both the private and public sectors. His experience includes infrastructure, site planning, subdivision, land use planning, building construction and regulatory compliance in both design and approval capacities. He is a County native with intimate knowledge and perspective on the working environment and landscape of the local area.

Blair Martin is an accomplished real estate executive with experience in asset management, development, and finance. He has served in executive roles for a variety of consumer-oriented companies, obtaining experience in the areas of marketing consulting, project management, and commercial loan evaluation. He has volunteered for various not-for-profits with involvement in daycares, business improvement areas, housing, athletics, and as a donor mentor and spokesperson for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Greg Sorbara is a long time/part-time resident of Prince Edward County (Edwin County Farm) and developer of the Royal Hotel in Picton. He spent 27 years as a legislator and cabinet minister in the Ontario Government where he applied his legal and private sector background in the areas of transit, health care, finance, education and other community-building initiatives. He is also a partner in the Sorbara Group of Companies, which has a 75-year history in commercial, low-rise, and high-rise development.

Shirley Van Steen is a former director of housing services for the Regional Municipality of Durham and former regional manager with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. As a volunteer she has served as chair of the Pickering Library Board, vice chair of the Pickering Committee of Adjustments, member of the Ontario Trillium Grant Review Committee, and board trustee of the United Way Ajax Pickering Uxbridge. Since relocating to The County in 2016, Shirley has continued to volunteer with the Ontario Trillium Foundation and with Food to Share.

Elis K. Ziegler has 30 years of experience at the executive level working for and with community-based non-profit boards in the areas of housing, homelessness, and social justice. Elis has served as chair of the Northumberland Access to Permanent Housing Committee, manager of housing programs and services at East York East Toronto Family Resources, manager of the Toronto Drop-in Network, and has served in various other professional and volunteer roles related to mental health and wellbeing, social justice, and local arts and culture initiatives.

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  1. sue says:

    Please don’t minimize the concerns by referring to them as mere complaints. I’m not complaining. I have followed this issue from early on. I have raised a valid concern. I support this endeavor fully and completely. My concern is the obvious elephant in the room. Contentious issues, including the perception of a conflict of interest need to be identified now. There’s no harm in raising the subject and fielding responses, given the serious impact the corporation’s decisions will have on our community. Yes I want to see this become successful and it is absolutely essential to address issues of this nature.

  2. Fred says:

    As long as it isn’t more tax dollars. We have worked hard and are maxed out.

  3. Mark says:

    I think there are more questions than crticism. How, when, and costs. Why hasn’t PEC received any funding in comparison to neighbouring munipcipalities. Are there protections for conflict. All reasonable inquiries.

  4. Snowman says:

    These folks have been appointed by Council. Have any of the complainers on here directed their thoughts to their Councillors?
    I am, at least going to allow this group to have a meeting or two before I pass judgement on their abilities and ethics.
    Wow! Some people will complain ,no matter what.

  5. Susan says:

    It certainly appears conflicting. What are the terms of reference? Who directs the course? How are they developing afordable housing with no dollars?

  6. Janice says:

    Sue, I agree with your observations here. Conflict of interest appears to be certainly possible. Why are we having property developers and real estate specialists on this board? Could you not find more than 2 “local” residents to sit on this board?

  7. W.B. says:

    TThe County is building and developing properties exponentially, and is in a housing shortage. How and who is responsible for that? And – we’re broke. Go figure. What exactly do you think the developers and realtors really want? I agree Sue – this is a conflict of interest. Find someone who has nothing to gain.

  8. Mark says:

    No issue with the Directors. Just find a way to access the millions in funding like Hastings County has accomplished.

  9. Elis Ziegler says:

    I eould be glad to explain why I applied for appointment to this board. Feel free to email me at elis.k.ziegler@gmail.com.

  10. Gary Mooney says:

    Sue, let me see if I understand you well. You think that the Affordable Housing Network should have no real estate developers or realtors on the Board — i.e. that this organization can operate successfully with nobody on the Board having real estate experience (except for buying / selling their own home.)

    In my view, it’s the exact opposite. The Board needs directors with a wide range of experience, especially real estate development, and that’s what we’ve got.

  11. Chris Keen says:

    Sue, you can’t have a conflict of interest until a decision is made. This board hasn’t even met yet. These are talented people who want to give back to the County. With their skills they can get the job done. Why not give them a chance?

  12. sue says:

    I agree with most of your comments Chris, although understandably, my concerns lay with developers and realtors presiding on this board/corporation. Does anyone have concerns about conflicts of interest, or even the sheer perception of a conflict of interest? I’m sure there are other duly qualified folks with diverse experience and background who are NOT developers and realtors. We need complete transparency, and integrity. Members may be at liberty to exercise influence for personal financial gain. I’m sorry but this smells funky and it’s not even off the ground yet. I wonder what the checks and balances in place look like.

  13. Chris Keen says:

    It seems to me that Council has selected eleven qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds – including community housing and community outreach/consultation – who can advise on every aspect that is going to be required to get this corporation on its feet. You cannot run it with amateurs, no matter how well-intentioned.

  14. sue says:

    Instead of displaying the detailed CVs of each member, I’d rather know specifically why each of these individuals is interested in participating on this Board, or Corporation. … Will there be an effort to engage COMMUNITY – the real people who pay taxes, live in this community and call it home? The same people who are affected by this crisis?

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