Questions for Candidates for Councillor:
What are your top three priorities for the coming our years of council? How have municipal priorities changed since the last term of council?
Infrastructure is top of the list for me. A water source is one issue. Sewer line upgrades is the other issue. We have to find another source of water. Those will be forefront for years to come, not just this term of council and the next one.
What would you bring to council this term that hasn’t been there previously?
I’ve been on Council four years, and Al Armstrong has been there 24 and John Thompson has been there, I think 16. We’re going to miss that experience at the table. So I will be the only one other than the Mayor from the previous council, although Theresa has come back. She was only there for about six months. So I’m going to be the only one other than the Mayor that can bring some history as to what’s gone on in the past four years. I think the continuity from one transition to the other is important.
Do you think more can be done to involve the community in the affairs of council and being part of the decision making process?
Yes, I do. I think more people should be attending Council meetings. We go meeting after meeting after meeting with a vacant gallery. It can be watched on YouTube. I’m not a gadget guy, but I understand there are maybe some nights only 8, 10, 12 people are watching. They’ve got to be more aware of the processes that we go through to make decisions for them. It’s the first level of government you see in the morning because it passes right by your door. And I believe people don’t take enough interest as to what’s going on. They only want to complain. But you’ve got to understand the process behind the decisions that we make. And people don’t come to the meetings often enough to see what has to be done. We give public notice on the township’s website of when the meetings are. Perhaps more in paper print – I’m still of the generation that reads the paper. Not so much virtual. And then take advantage also – I would have to be tutored somewhat on it – but using social media more to make people aware of the meetings and what goes on at the meetings.
How do you think future development in North Dundas – infrastructure, economic, environmental – should be directed?
We have to think of the future. We have to be in a constant search of water. And we have to be aware that the lagoon has to be upgraded. We need help from the federal and provincial government for infrastructure. I attended a meeting with Calvin Pol several weeks ago and we met with the Infrastructure Minister for the province and there were five area townships that went and we were given 10 minutes total. That was 2 minutes per township to plead our case. The province is waiting for a collaboration with the federal government, hoping that the federal government will kick in a substantial amount of money. And that’s the only way any of the townships, meaning ours and neighbours, are going to be able to advance this with some government help. 11,800 people cannot pay for what has to be done. In 1968, when there was no amalgamation and the Winchester Village had its own Council, my dad was the Clerk starting in 1968, and it was a problem then and has been a problem ever since. Like 50, 60 years.