The Times is committed to fair and equal opportunities for all candidates, and in this issue we have published the first selection of articles by candidates for both Mayor and Councillor positions. To ensure fairness, we had Mary-Anne Leang, of the law firm of Jansen Law, to arrange the order in which the articles would appear and to vet the contents.
In the interests of fair play, we have not edited this in any way.
Questions for Candidates for Councillor:
What are your top three priorities for the coming four years of Council? How do they differ from the last four years?
The Community and Strategic Plan will help balance a strong rate of growth and preserve a high quality of life that many of us have come to enjoy.
During my seven months as an appointed councillor, I have witnessed how effective this is with senior management and staff at the municipality. In the four years of current council and the four years prior, I have been a member of the Economic Development Advisory Committee, now the Community and Economic Development Advisory Committee. I was selected in 2019 to be the recipient of the Bill Thake Memorial Award for Economic Development Leadership in Leeds Grenville.
What do you bring to Council that hasn’t been there previously?
Economic Development is paramount, we need to provide the conditions to provide serviced land to attract shovel ready industries and businesses to help sustain a consistent tax base. This means we need to make these investments as a municipality. Kemptville has been known as a bedroom community commuter town. We have to be able to keep our residents living and working here.
We can champion many events that we currently have to bring tourists to North Grenville. Recently, the International Plowing Match was held here. Although businesses may not have seen an uptick during the event, I hope that in the future the people who attended will come back to North Grenville. The Kemptville College Campus was obtained by North Grenville after the closure by the University of Guelph. This is being successfully run by a board at arms length from the Municipality. There is more to come for the Campus.
Social media has become toxic locally, especially over the past year. Do you think Council has a role in creating a more civil atmosphere generally? If so, how would you go about it?
I like to think that engaging with the public face to face or by phone conversations is more effective than sitting behind a keyboard on social media. It is very easy to get caught up in the negativity, bullying, and hate on social media, there is no place for it. Social media is your own to manage, we can choose not to engage and ignore. The people who really know me, know that I’m compassionate, giving and bring people up.
Do you think more can be done to involve the community in the affairs of Council and being part of the decision-making process?
The municipality is launching a new website in November, 2022, with more information and easier to navigate. Council meetings are recorded, with agendas and material available prior to the meeting. All meetings are public, including the many Advisory Committee meetings. The BIA minutes are available also, as this is a committee of Council. Each advisory committee is staffed, the Mayor and a councillor sit on each committee, or at least two concillors. Each councillor is appointed to sit on other community committees, and boards,to act in a liaison capacity.
The municipality’s transparency has been extremely good, given the conditions of what we went through in the past two and a half years.
How do you think the future development in North Grenville – infrastructure, economic, environmental – should be directed? What new initiatives need to be undertaken in those areas?
Looking to the future, the CR43 upgrade is behind schedule, but happening, and the County will be working with businesses to mitigate the impact of loss of of business due to construction.
The wastewater treatment plant is on schedule to be upgraded, this will enable North Grenville to expand and sustain growth, through housing and industry. Riverside Park upgrades have started, a project that has been needed for many years.
Roads need to be upgraded. As many are county roads, we need to be cognizant of the fact that we as a municipality can only control our roads, and need the county to do their part. Broadband in the area is being expanded and updated. North Grenville is very secure in its finances, with reserves.
As a councillor I am/ will be fully committed to understanding and seeking information regarding the proposed Correctional Facility to share to the public when available, and legally premitted.
I bring to council the experience of owning and operating a successful small business that has been part of the history of Kemptville since 1885.