As a lifelong and third-generation resident of Grimsby, it goes without saying that we are fortunate to live in a place with a rich vibrant history, friendly residents and most importantly that “small town” charm and sensibility.
Many have expressed their concerns however that Grimsby is slowly losing that small town charm and feel. With recent terms of Council welcoming unrestrained big-city development, an unwillingness to protect our natural heritage and a lack of transparency from those elected officials, as a direct witness to these, I share those concerns.
Our municipal election in October represents the opportunity for residents to determine which direction they want Grimsby to take. With my fellow candidate committed to maintaining the precarious status quo, I pledge to fix what is broken about Town Hall and bring forth the change the community is asking for.
With 30 years of experience as a local businessperson and my previous tenure on Council as an Alderman, I am well prepared with the unique combination of leadership, political and business skills that the role of Mayor requires. I will bring the much-needed transparency, accountability and openness back to Town Hall.
Residents feel they are being intentionally left out on what happens at Council and are frustrated that their voice is largely unwelcome. That lack of transparency and accountability is evident in our tangled web of hydro companies whose finances remain secret. Have the Town’s greatest assets been mismanaged? Only a select few, including my fellow candidate, know and they are not talking.
As Mayor I will ensure that Council operates openly, encourages residents to address Council and that there is an ongoing dialogue with the community. It is imperative that all Council and Committee meetings be made available online for the convenience and benefit of residents.
The haphazard approach to development is the most important issue to arise from the last term of Council. We have seen Council approve projects incompatible with surrounding neighbourhoods, buildings exceeding the limits of our Official Plan and adoption of a “let’s-make-a-deal” approach to planning. Despite the rise of citizen awareness in planning matters, most of Council refuse to defend the Official Plan, make too many concessions to developers and for the most part rubber-stamp project approvals.
A proper growth plan is not just about building homes, it is about attracting new commerce to offset the residential tax base, protecting our waterfront and building responsible infrastructure to accommodate growth. Spending millions of taxpayer dollars on an unnecessary road through the woodlot while other roads fall into disrepair is not sensible or sustainable development.
Our residents deserve a Mayor and Council that is accessible, respects our citizens and provides them a greater say in Town decisions. Quite simply, I hope to bring common sense back to Town Hall and lead a Council that consults with our community and follows that shared vision in moving forward.
Respectfully, I ask for your consideration for Mayor and sincerely appreciate your support.