Candidate for Russell Township Councillor
43 years old
1. What prompted your decision to run for council this time?
This is something I have been considering for several years. In the coming years it is going to be critical that we not just promote and manage the continued growth of our community, but that it is accomplished in a manner which protects and supports the fabric and integrity of our township. This will require a council that is willing to take a stand for its citizens and which understands and can handle the types of pressures with which our community will be faced.
2. What are the key strengths you would bring to the job if elected?
I have 17 years of experience in dealing with the types of negotiations, terminologies and pressures approaching our community in the coming years. With how quickly this is happening, we don’t have time to wait and hope that someone can get up to speed to protect our interests. I am involved in my community on many levels and have a vested interest in ensuring that decisions are made in an effective manner.
3. What are the top few issues that you see facing the Township?
I have noted previously that anyone who doesn’t mention infrastructure is not paying attention. We need to invest funds in the existing ball diamonds and arenas and there are a number of areas where people require sidewalks and street lights – things which should have happened already without the need to ask. On a larger level, I have been talking for a few years now about the need for an indoor pool and am happy that there are other now who have joined me in this idea.
4. Is there anything you hope to change in the Township?
There are a number of policies and other practices which I will work to change. How the time for the dome is allocated, increased funding for the fire departments and also new business permits are easier changes that can be affected in an easier manner. Changes regarding an increase for reserve funding allocation for road and sidewalk maintenance, ensuring the libraries are funded and new housing by-law amendment applications will require more effort but are changes to which I am committed.
5. How is your message being received during this campaign?
The support has been overwhelming. I am fortunate that I live in a community where people are comfortable approaching me anywhere to discuss the issues. I am encouraged that so many people share my beliefs regarding the future of our community.
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 am in favour of public consultation on this matter as it is of significance to many people in our community. Of primary importance is whether such shops could be regulated in a manner which ensures their operation has the safety of all members of the community in mind.