Candidate for South Stormont Councillor
Procurement Adviser, Global Affairs Canada (Formerly DFAIT)
1. What prompted your decision to run for council this time?
This is my first run at council. I decided to run for council to make changes in our local government representation. As a resident and active member in our community, I find accessibility to our local representation limited. I believe there should be strong, unbiased, equal representation in government (Council and Administration)
2. What are the key strengths you would bring to the job if elected?
My professional experience is a key strength I will bring to the job, if elected. I carry good judgement and analytical skills when it comes to people vs process. Government is in place to support and provide common services to the residents: garbage collection, waste water, building standards, roads, etc. With 15 years Corporate Management experience in Federal Departments, I can analyse risk and weigh decisions by considering the mandate of the government organization. I am also well-versed with interactions between different levels of government (federal, provincial, municipal) and know how to navigate them to achieve a desired outcome. My concurrent five years experience as a licensed Realtor® provides a solid base knowledge of GIS mapping, land-titles, property values, disposition and acquisition of property, property life cycle, zoning, permits, and other knowledge related to municipal functions. My non-professional experience, I also consider a key strength I bring to the job. As a former: local hockey & baseball Coach; School Council Chair; Volunteer Firefighter; OPP Auxiliary; UCDSB ARC LSPS Representative; homeowner, landlord, small business, I can contribute my first hand experiences to the decision making process at Council.
3. What are the top few issues that you see facing the Township?
1. One issue I see is that the rules and bylaws are in place to help the administration process, and not necessarily the residents. I think we need to get back to the understanding that rules and bylaws cover 99 percent of scenarios, the other 1 percent is subject to consideration and interpretation. 2. Another issue I see is that our township is growing faster than any other in SD&G. As a government, we need to match the need & speed of our growth. One way we can accomplish this is by leveraging technology. An example can be council meetings. Residents should be able to participate in council online – eliminating the need for things like transportation or childcare. A second way to mitigate this is by delegating responsibilities to committees to perform the research and make recommendations on issues.
4. Is there anything you hope to change in the Township?
I hope to change the mentality of our council. Instead of being satisfied with minimum requirements, we should be analyzing the need and risk and action adequately. For example, instead of posting a notice on the website as required by ‘minimum standard’, we can evaluate the affected population and take a step further by posting on social media, distribute mail-outs & door hangers, direct emails, newspaper advertisement, etc.
5. How is your message being received during this campaign?
My message is being well received thus far. Most residents I encounter are open to the more proactive approach. I am not advocating for any tax increases – but to stay competitive, we need leaner processes that are more adaptive to residents’ lifestyles.
6. Voting begins on Oct. 17 — ironically the day of marijuana legalization. The new council will have to decide soon if your municipality will permit storefront cannabis sales, or opt out altogether. Should your municipality allow pot shops or ‘just say no’?
I refuse to directly comment on this issue, as there are many factors to consider. I think there should be an open forum for resident’s input on the matter and an evaluation of pros vs cons, also a comparative analysis of other municipal decisions and their outcome, if possible. I acknowledge we will never satisfy 100 percent of residents, but I think they will be satisfied that we take the time to consider all factors and include them in the process.