The Times is committed to fair and equal opportunities for all candidates, and in this issue we have published the final 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?
In the next four years, the municipality faces many challenges maintaining our way of life while growing at a remarkable pace. As a new councillor, the main portfolios I would like to champion are ecological and sustainable urban development, infrastructure growth and the expansion of our recreational facilities. With this, we need to balance the needs of urban areas with those of the hamlets and rural regions.
What do you bring to Council that hasn’t been there previously?
I bring experience in three areas: 1) Business acumen from working in a corporate environment, running my own companies and my MBA education 2) Worldliness from travelling extensively through Canada, the United States and Europe while having lived in four provinces and 3) Experience from my former community in dealing with a municipal issue similar in nature to the proposed provincial jail construction.
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?
The toxic online environment is a modern phenomena which needs to be dealt with at a much higher level. We can contribute to actions by denouncing these actions and support anyone who has been victimized by such posts. We can support initiatives while encouraging citizens to use their influence to monitor these outcries, identify the posters and petition for the removal of disparaging comments.
Do you think more can be done to involve the community in the affairs of Council and being part of the decision-making process?
Today, online surveys can be used to get feedback on issues directly from the community. We need to involve users of facilities and services in the design of upgrades so they meet needs. Another way to involve the community is to bring council meetings to locations throughout the county and allow time for questions from the floor. This can be extended to town hall meetings with open agendas.
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?
It has already become obvious that vehicle traffic and especially farm and commercial truck traffic has increased substantially. There is a need now to start planning for ring roads to allow heavy traffic to bypass Kemptville town center. This should take advantage of both the Hwy 416 County Road 19 and Exit 28 off ramps.
The second area which I would like to see expanded is continuous improvements to the recreational capabilities of the south branch waterway both for summer and winter usage.
Next, I would like to see expansion of high speed internet coverage and the upgrade of the telecom matrix, the electricity grid and internet services to be capable of handling extreme weather events.