Brantford Sports Council Questionnaire
1. Why did you choose to run in this election?
Although I am an incumbent Councilor, I feel I still have more to offer to the citizens of Brantford. I hope that my efforts to make difficult choices and decisions in my past terms as a municipal Councilor, have helped in some way to improve our municipality.
2. How would you describe yourself to the voters?
I have a deep and abiding concern and care for the city, both the current issues and the issues going forward. I am well known for being a fiscally responsible person in my position as a past Councilor, being involved as a past Chair and Vice-Chair of both the Finance Committee annually, and for the Estimates Committee during annual budgets. I have been described by some people as being “tough but fair”, and I try to bring this balance to all of the work I do and the decisions I make as a Councilor.
3. What would you like the voters to know about you?
Born and raised in Brantford, I consider Brantford my home in all aspects of my life. When my employment situation required me to work out of town, I wanted to raise my children in my home town, and commuted so that my children could be raised in the community I grew up in. For a number of years, I have been a member of the Board of Directors of Rosewood House, a not for profit shelter that had it beginnings as a shelter for vulnerable persons dealing with mental health issues, and has been recently repurposed as a homeless shelter in the City of Brantford.
4. What is your number one priority if you are elected?
Balancing the demands of investment and growth in our community with accountable financial oversight.
5. If elected, what are 3 steps that you would take to ensure our community is on a firm financial footing?
I will continue to support Program Reviews as required to source out efficiencies in our city’s efforts to provide better, more cost effective services.
I will continue to be a proponent of the “line by line” budget process, in my efforts to be financially accountable as a Councilor.
I will be open to innovative ideas to create new “revenue streams” which could help to offset increased municipal expenses due to inflation and growth.
6. If someone came up to you with a proposal to build a new public infrastructure in our city (i.e. bridge, road, facility, park etc.), how would you evaluate whether the project was worth implementing?
The question is quite broad as items like roads and bridges are required for different reasons than facilities and parks. That being said, I would use the process of a “cost/ benefit” analysis to weigh the benefits to the community in comparison to the costs, both in building and the ongoing operations and/or maintenance of the infrastructure project in question.
7. If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with the funds?
My experience as a Councilor, has provided me with the grounding to know that no grant we have ever received, has ever come without conditions tied to it. Ideally, if we did receive such a “non-traditional” grant such as this, I would like to see the full amount go to the item at the top of the Council Priority List.
8. Where are your favourite places to spend time in your neighbourhood and in the community?
Most of the year, I like to cycle the local trails with friends. I like to try new restaurants in my neighbourhood and throughout the city. I prefer to shop locally when I need items for my home, my family or myself. I am looking at attending more local events again, now that we are past the worst of the COVID pandemic.
9. The Pandemic has been with us for the past three years and no one has been left untouched, what are the 3 key things you would do to overcome the impact of the Pandemic as we move forward in 2023 and 2024?
Going forward, I would like to have an Emergency Preparedness Committee established with key community stakeholders involved, dealing first with a set protocol to respond to any future health crisis. Once there is a consensus on a Local Health Emergency Protocol, the Committee could expand its skills to developing Protocols for various Environmental Emergencies. Stakeholders could or would include, some municipal staff, members of the health community, representatives from police, fire and paramedics and our local military Reserve regiment. Because we cannot depend on federal or provincial solutions, we should use our initiative to find a “made in Brantford” solution.
The city has already been working on a Tax Fairness Initiative, brought forward by the Brantford/Brant Chamber of Commerce, to provide tax fairness adjustments to the industrial, commercial and multi-family tax class properties. This will hopefully help with future property tax costs for these property classes.
We need to continue to encourage both the federal and provincial governments to provide a larger financial investment in expanding our local hospital to meet the needs of our growing population, and effectively respond to any future health pandemics.