In the past, my detailed election platforms have addressed problems and proposed many fresh ideas. Seven years later, many issues are still unresolved. However, a number of my initiatives have been discussed and/or implemented. In fact, more of my plans have been on the table than both incumbent mayoral candidates combined.
- I helped put green energy on the agenda in 2003, and emphasized the need for the components to be manufactured in Chatham-Kent (the part they forgot).
- I encouraged a greater Economic Development focus on business retention, and proposed the establishment of a business-tip hotline.
- I advocated for a rear entrance to St. Clair Estates, and advised the municipality when suitable property came up for sale.
- I exposed the illegal interference Chatham-Kent Hydro’s smart meters are causing to wireless consumer equipment, forcing them to take mitigating action (which they punished by making excessive deposit demands under threat of disconnection).
- I first proposed and pushed for council meetings to be made available online and streamed live.
- I volunteer as a severe weather spotter trained by Environment Canada, and have reported observations that resulted in timely weather warnings.
- I’ve provided supplementary emergency communications service in Chatham-Kent, volunteering closely with Emergency Management Ontario and the OPP Amber Alert program as a Certified Emergency Coordinator.
- The formation of a Compliance Audit Committee is a direct result of my work to reform loopholes in the electoral process (the rest of the reform process backfired spectacularly due to abuse of the legal system and perjury).
- Changes have been made to the municipal Freedom of Information process to address some compliance deficiencies I recently discovered during several Privacy Commissioner Appeals. There are still serious secrecy, obstruction, and abuse problems with municipal information and the mayor’s office that I’m actively working to solve – the fastest way is to become elected as our new mayor.
- I volunteered aerial photography of every Chatham-Kent school and many public spaces, in support of Chatham-Kent Health Unit skin cancer reduction strategies through “Where’s the Shade” presentations.
- I discovered a foreign company interested in locating a manufacturing plant in Ontario, and passed details to mayor Randy Hope. He “mailed them a letter,” but Economic Development officials sent a proper package and discussed opportunities in Chatham-Kent.
- My information probes uncovered incidents where confidential council correspondence was unethically provided by several council members to third parties, who used the information to forge documents, invade privacy, threaten lawsuits and interfere with the employment of people who expressed concerns to council that were critical of mayor Hope. I proved this in Superior Court of Justice documents. You can bet there’s more to this story that nobody knows.
In addition, a number of observations and recommendations in the Corporate Review Final Report and Community Governance Task Force mandate were first outlined in my election platforms. (My Task Force volunteer application was rejected for some reason but I tried.)
- Establish a network of community councils to place some decision-making back in our local communities, and remove disconnect and alienation. My plan called for a voluntary structure with delegates to liaise closely with mayor and ward councillors, loosely based on the Wallaceburg.ca model, which is now the Wallaceburg Community Task Force.
- Reduce the size of council. I favoured 12 members, plus mayor and deputy-mayor. Part and parcel had to be better representation using the community council model, and realigned wards.
- Secure an independent full-time Medical Officer of Health.
- Form effective working relationships between mayor, council, and administration.
- Improve citizen access to council.
- Improve access to information and transparency.
- Adjust ward boundaries so they make better sense and population representation, balanced with respect for historical community geography.
- Stop referring to pre-amalgamation communities as “former” to retain unique community identity and flavour.
- Streamline multiple master plans into a comprehensive policy direction.
- Improve sensitivity to individual community identity, and refrain from centering all activity and identity around Chatham.
- Clearly define the role and responsibility of each council member to ensure maximum responsiveness.
- Ensure council correspondence is forwarded to council intact.
- Resolve organizational deficiencies to improve staff morale.
- Establish community and labour liaisons.
- Update the municipal website with more images and video, plus resident-generated content about local communities, and make it user-friendly (and accessible to those with disabilities).
Imagine what I will get done if actually elected!
These are all issues that, with appropriate public input and modifications, I’ll continue to champion. Any permanent changes in council structure must be put on a ballot.
I believe this record positions me as a serious, responsible candidate with a list of accomplishments despite being “unsuccessful” in previous elections. Once again, this site will be devoted to expressing positive new ideas for our community, based on our present circumstances. It differs from the other candidates in that I listened to our citizens all along, analyzed the problems, and formulated a plan to hit the ground running.
I won’t hesitate to challenge my opponents, and examine their records on council. An election is the proper time and place to expose what has and hasn’t been done.
In 4 years, Mayor Hope introduced one single (failed) motion, besides a failed attempt to reward his campaign manager with an $85,000 job.
Despite this leadership vacuum, Councillor McGregor only brought forward four motions. His sole economic development effort was to ask administration for a strategy on Lambton’s proposed Shell refinery for council to rubber-stamp.
More of my plans were discussed and/or accomplished, even though the media had me muzzled off the opinion page for the past 4 years, and mayor Hope devoted considerable effort to chill my public participation. I’ve been working quietly getting things done, and now I ask for your support to formally put me to work for you as our new mayor.