We conclude our series with the nine contenders for Ward 2. The by-election to replace Terry Sheehan will be held February 1st.
There’s a lot of interest in this by-election being that there is 9 people running for the seat, what was your deciding factor to make a run for the ward 2 seat?
When I ran in the last Municipal Election in 2014, the response was very good. Out of all the new candidates, I ran against the most incumbent councillors and I was still the closest to being successful. As I’ve stayed involved, sitting on a couple of City boards, I’ve seen that the need for energetic, hard-working councillors is still there. I think that some of the new blood on Council has created some positive momentum and I want to make sure that it keeps going.
My deciding factor in deciding to run was that I want Sault Ste Marie to grow into a thriving and successful city. I chose to come back here 7 years ago because the Soo is where many of my family and friends are. I love the lifestyle here and I don’t want to see those that I love have to move away because our economy dwindles. In order to have a strong City, we need the involvement of qualified, energetic people on our boards, committees and Council.
I decided to run for the Ward Two seat for the same reason as I chose to run for the Ward Three seat in 2006; it has been an ongoing passion of mine, to see Council improve public consultation on issues that affect the community as a whole. I believe it is also important that all Council business be conducted with transparency, accountability, and integrity.
I have been the lead volunteer organizer of the Sault Association of Ratepayers, and have worked cooperatively with other ratepayers for change.
A simple formula was used when approaching any topic. First, identify the issue; next, study all information; then, decide upon a course of action, and then after a period of time, review.
No matter what issue the Association dealt with, we followed with a Continuous Improvement Model that consulted ratepayers and communicated with stakeholders on community issues.
I believe what we did lead to positive changes, and I plan to continue with this model as a city Councillor.
A City Council representative is not meant to act alone. Often you will hear the term “municipal leader”. Leadership comes from the community from which the elected serve as representatives.
Entering into my third decade as the owner operator of Northern Jewellery/ Luraygems.com but also for over a decade as an organizer of the Sault Association of Ratepayers has prepared me the importance and potentials and long term benefits that community partnerships can achieve.
The only promise that I can make is to the do my utmost to work with all ward 2 constituents and of Sault Ste Marie.
I invite you to “Act for Change” on Thursday January 21st, Time: 7-8:30
As a lifelong resident of Ward 2, it is a natural succession to the work I have been doing in our community for the last 30 plus years. My honesty, integrity and commitment to our community can be seen in the long list of volunteer, education and employment accomplishments I have achieved: The following is a sample:
· Hold an Honours B.A. in Community Economic Development
· Currently employed at the Sault Ste. Marie Community Development Corporation as the Self Employment Benefit Coordinator providing business counselling/supports to new entrepreneurs
· Member of City of SSM Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) for more than 15 years
· Chairperson of a variety of PRAC subcommittees, i.e. Skatepark, Dog Park, Communities in Bloom
· Member Board of Directors Pauline’s Place (Our local women, family and youth shelter)
· Fundraising activities for a variety of local not for profits, i.e. ARCH, Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke, Canadian Diabetes Ass. Kidney Foundation, Algoma University Food Bank, Art Gallery of Algoma
· Co-Chair Algoma Master Gardeners
· 2015 Athena Award winner
· One of 2012 BPW’s Women of the Week
· 2015 Pan Am Torch bearer
· City beautification
All of this has helped our residents and our community as well as helped me realize how much more I want to do for our community.
I want Sault Ste. Marie to thrive, to be a strong and vibrant community. I know I have a lot to offer and am ready to contribute to the solutions that we as a community all desire and deserve.
The main reason that I am running for the vacant Ward 2 seat in this byelection is because the city is in a tough financial situation. With the experience of my past three terms on council, I feel I can make a difference by bringing a common-sense approach to city council decision-making at this troublesome time. I’m known to have the ability to work with others to solve problems.
As well as financial issues there are many other reasons that I decided to become a candidate for Ward 2 councillor. I am a lifelong resident of Ward 2 and as such I have a vested interest in seeing that problems here are addressed. Ward 2 is one of the older wards in the city and so the roads and infrastructure need special attention. I have worked with many residents in the past to address their individual concerns.
But the deciding factor in running this time for Ward 2 councillor is to address the tough times the city is facing. I am the only one of the nine candidates that has previous City Council experience. As never before the city needs councillors with proven leadership ability to move the city forward.
I firmly believe we have untapped potential in becoming a community that families and youth will want to either return to or re-locate to. It seems that individuals and families are moving away from large urban cities because of high living costs, safety, and crowding; with the right stakeholders and leaders in place, I am confident Sault Ste. Marie has the potential to attract these groups. Also it is important to eliminate barriers to help foster business growth. It is for these reasons that I am running.
I am running for the Ward 2 seat again, as the only candidate that ran in Ward 2 last election. I want more transparency between council and residents, and more consultation when major decisions need to be made. I’ve heard it many times over the past two years that councillors don’t return phone calls, or make themselves unavailable for comment when pressed on hard issues. Residents may not always agree with the stance I take on an issue, but I will always defend my position and give the reasoning behind why I feel how I do.
This is not my first rodeo. I ran in 2003,2006 and in 2010.I decided to run in this election for the reason that I was tired of seeing my property taxes go up year after year.The career politicians on council have been telling us that a zero percent increases are not possible and they have to raise within the rate of inflation neither of these things make any sense.
Over the last term council voted to raise property taxes by a total of 8.62%
while increasing spending and helping to balloon the city’s operating budget to its highest figure in Sault Ste Marie history.The City’s budget was $168,008,864 in 2010.Without of control spending and tax hikes,the city’s budget was raised to $183,509,351 in 2014 an increase of $9.23%.
The annual public sector salary disclosure act reveals that tax hike have added more members to The Sunshine Club .In 2006 there were only 16 employees of the city who made public salaries of over $100,000,By 2014 there were 124 employees making that.
The SUNSHINE CLUB has expanded by 1290% in eight years due to many budgets that were supported by tax and spenders.It is time to put a stop to the gravy train.It is time to respect the taxpayer.These are the reasons I am seeking the ward 2 council seat.
When Terry Sheehan became the Member of Parliament for Sault Ste Marie, I presumed council would fill the vacancy by way of an appointment, which would have saved the city some $50,000. Subsequent to the call of this by-election, I was approached by a few people in the community who asked me to consider running. I gave the matter serious thought and also ran it by my children, who have been encouraging me to contribute to the community in this manner for quite some time. One of them finally said “If you don’t do it now, when are you going to do it?” Well, here I am.
Deciding factor for me to run in the by-election was fact that want to serve the residents of Ward 2 and help this community move forward, am thinker outside the box, we need a change in thinking process at city hall, status quo is not good enough in 2016.