All these pretty signs are pointing to an election

voteI think elections should be treated like job interviews. If I were interviewing a candidate for a potential spot on my municipal council I would likely ask the following questions.

Please tell me about the moment when you decided to run for council?

So far, any regrets with throwing your name into the competition?

Let’s cover some broad themes.

1. Quality of life:
What will you do to keep this part of the world liveable?
How will you make this a place that can sustain jobs?
How can you make this a place that can support the needs of an aging community?
How will you balance the needs of tourists with the needs of seasonal residents?

2. Policing:
If we have no say in how much we pay for policing will you at least advocate for the kind of policing we might want? Things like trail patrols and foot patrols?
Will you advocate for officers to get out from behind the tinted windows and walk through our communities, building trust and relationships?

(admittedly this is a leading question)

3. Communications:
How will you communicate with your constituents?
How will you encourage more input and community engagement?
What do you think about social media? Do you think you should always be professional in what you publish – even when you’re not in a council meeting?

4. Municipal staff:
How will you ensure that you have a great team working to represent our community? How will you ensure that your municipal staff delivers exceptional customer service?

5. Industry:
What are you doing to support the efforts of those who are working towards developing a biomass project in the area?

(again leading – but so important).

6. Partnerships:
What will you do to ensure that we reduce duplication of services across the region? How can we ensure that we work well with Hastings County – but always in a way that meets our needs?

7. Animal welfare:
What are you willing to do to stop animals being chained outside? What are you willing to do to ensure that our cat population is controlled? How will you stop puppy mills and how can you help to stop the abuse caused by backyard breeders?

(the most leading but come on, have you been paying attention to this on-going crisis in the region?)

8. For the incumbents:
What is the most awesome thing that you achieved during your last term?

9. Challenges:
What is the biggest challenge for your municipality and what do you plan on doing about it?

10. Team work:
Give an example of how you work well as part of a team?

11. Reality checks:
Have you read the municipal asset management plan? Have you read the comprehensive zoning by-laws? How do you fact check?

12. My wants….
In Wollaston Township I want investment in roads crews to keep our roads safe so I can get to work.

I would like to see more kids walk to school. This means working harder on driving at the posted speeds which might mean some help from the police to deal with this on-going challenge. Sit on my porch for a few hours on a weekend and watch the vehicles fly by hitting awesome speeds in a 40kmh zone.

Would you be willing to turn off the street lights in the Hamlet at 11pm? I just don’t think we need lights on all night and no doubt it costs quite a bit.

Please do some work to ensure that our beautiful trails are shared between motorized and non-motorized users.

Please ensure that everyone will receive fair and courteous treatment from municipal representatives.

Get good at recognizing conflicts of interest and declare at the slightest hint of concern.

 

And hey, if you’re a candidate in Wollaston Township and you want to answer any of these questions I will publish your responses.

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2 thoughts on “All these pretty signs are pointing to an election

  1. Michael Fuerth

    I decided to run for Council, when I moved to the Township of Wollaston in January 2009. While working, I always had in the back of my mind to become involved in Municipal Politics when I retire., My 37 years of Management dealings were very similar to running a Municipality just in a different arena. I waited for the 2014 election to run for Council as we were building a new home and improving property in 2010.

    I have absolutely no regrets, my campaign is a personal one, going out to meeting people, after all it is all about the people. You do not see my signs, because not a lot can be said about a person on a sign.

    Quality of Life: The health of safety of the residents of the Municipality need to be taken into consideration, and all decision making. No compromising in maintenance of roads, emergency services, and library services, engage individuals in physical activity.

    Policing cost are a major issue, Municipalities at least at the County need to have some say in the numbers and the union negotiated contracts.

    My preference of communication is personal, social media has a place but not everyone is engaged in social media. I believe in being professional at all times, as a potential Councillor, I would be representing the Township, therefore no deviations.

    I am very pleased with the present Municipal Staff, they are helpful and professional at all times with any dealings I have had with the Staff.

    Biomass project, utilizing waste in a positive manner is a great idea. Over and above, there needs to be an investigation regarding the pelleting of hardwood shavings.

    Municipalities can share services, and over and above they can bulk buy,items as small as stationary and as large as equipment purchases. This will give the Township leverage when purchasing.

    I am a responsible pet owner, I believe in neutering and spaying.

    Biggest challenge for our Municipality is taking the cost out of doing business, without compromising the health and safety, quality of life and education of the residents of Wollaston.

    Team Work: As a member of two Township Committees our team work very well in decision making process. I respect and listen to all my colleagues and willing to compromise in decision making. Remember, there is no “I” in Team.

    Yes, I have read the Municipal Asset Management Plan, however, I am not thoroughly versed in it. I have a hard copy of the by-laws and am fairy well versed. I use the internet to acquire as much supporting documentation as possible when an issue arises.

    Thank You for Your Time

    Michael Fuerth

  2. Dave Naulls

    Hello,

    I started thinking about running for council well over a year ago, I flip flopped a little as I wanted to make sure I was ready to make a firm commitment to the community and be fair to my family and myself. My family assured me they would support me and after assessing my business/personal commitments I knew I was ready at the end of August. Friday morning before the Labour Day Weekend I would have been acclaimed as there were only 2 people signed up. That afternoon I went to submit the nomination papers and there were 5, then 7 finally stopping at 11 people running for one of 3 positions. After the initial shock wore off I realized this was a good thing and I was more determined to become a councillor.

    Quality of life is precious and personal. One person wants to eat all the wrong foods after a stroke because they are willing to take the chance of losing a few months for the enjoyment of each meal. Others follow strict diets, exercise and make sacrifices to gain a little more time. Coe Hill has it all, fast foods to fine dining, motor sports to fitness classes, hunting/fishing to quilt club. With continued support and nurturing of new ideas we can engage people of all ages in community events. Let’s get some youth into quilting and seniors on a bike. Fun is contagious and I believe that we should spread it around so the Locals, Seasonal Residents and Tourists want to come here to be a part of the fun. More people means more business opportunities, more jobs, with proper planning and forward thinking we will be able to create a thriving hub that will enhance the quality of living for the entire township.

    How???
    We have to pay for Policing at a set rate whether we like it or not so let’s partner with the O.P.P. so we understand each other’s needs. Don’t fine someone for not wearing a helmet on a four-wheeler in a Christmas parade but enforce speed limits, safety laws and help make trails and roads safer. Open up communications with the Police and educate the public so they understand the difference between a Police issue and By-law enforcement. If we call the township rather than the O.P.P. for By-law issues it will save us money.

    I would like to bring the public and council together through scheduled Town Hall Meetings where it would be mandatory for representatives from council attend. Issues, concerns and ideas would then be answered, and if necessary, be discussed at subsequent meetings in a timely manner. Communication and education will create a more efficient process so everyone will be heard.

    Even though it costs money to send staff and council members to training and conferences our money is well spent. The wealth of knowledge that comes back has, and will continue to, benefit Wollaston Township. Higher levels of government must understand that we are unique and willing to work with them to enhance our municipality. We will get better results if we understand the processes and language when working with the County or Province as well as other potential partners.
    I am not opposed to industry in the Township, I would want to make sure any project would help enhance the quality of life without having any negative impact on the environment or cottage/country living as we know it.

    By-law enforcement seems to be an issue. I need to do more research before making a statement. It seems like animal welfare, sign by-laws, property appearance, etc., need some attention. Working with the proper authorities and public education will help improve animal welfare. Let’s make sure people understand we will not tolerate animal cruelty of any sort, and penalties will be stiff.
    By partnering with other municipalities we can reduce the costs for improved services. Sharing resources and ideas won’t interfere with our progress as long as it benefits everyone involved.
    My vision of Wollaston Township includes an active, engaged community. With a thriving economy based on Heritage, Culture and Outdoor Recreation, the quality of life in the Township will attract positive people for continued growth.

    I’m sure I could write a small book on all of the issues. I will do my best to prioritize issues and to resolve as many as possible, while continuing to work towards building the economy and fostering ideas that will lead to a vibrant, healthy community.

    Dave Naulls

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