Running for RM of Alexander Council in Ward 1
- What do you cherish most about this community?
The sense of community.. people helping people. You know.. if a bear comes wandering around – and this is their natural migration path so we see a few- you’ll hear 3 short whistles from all over the community.. that’s people telling people to look out and be safe! This is a community that changed an empty green space into a playground for children and a place to hold soccer camp and to bring your family for a picnic. What’s not to cherish?. It’s an ideal place to live.
- Help us understand the type of leader you will be?
I listen. I work with people to accomplish things. For instance, I wish to set up a Citizens’ Advisory Committee to meet with me on a regular basis to help me understand what is needed in the community. I have a proven past performance of leadership, from chair of the Winnipeg Centennial early on in my life to President of my community group to Councillor of Ward 1 just four years ago.
- What are your highest priorities for change in our municipality,
a) in the short term?
Transparency: setting up a proper communication system where the Councillor talks to the community to keep them informed about Council’s decisions.. where people can come to their Councillor and expect a dialogue not just a referral to administration. How can Council make informed decisions and policies if they are not aware of what their community needs?
b) in the long term?
Long term I have three goals. First I want to have a public building built in Ward 1. We are a growing community. We are cut off from the RM quite significantly, and have to rely on other municipalities for public services. We have nowhere to go for meetings, events or the things that other communities enjoy like a place for classes, events and recreation. We don’t even have a place to vote here. Secondly, we live on the shores of Traverse Bay. It is a world-renowned fishing destination and people come from all over to fish in our waters, but we cannot even offer an ability to access the bay with a boat. One has to go all the way to Pine Falls to launch their boat. We need a proper facility here in Alexander and Ward 1 is the ideal place. When I was in office four years ago, I spearheaded a move to have a proper boat launch established at Harry Craig Road. With the help of our community the support of our business leaders we were able to build that launch at no cost to RM taxpayers! Our administration wrote a successful grant application to the Federal Government and that is how it was paid for.. and there is no reason why we could not do that again. In spite of the fiasco that occurred last year, I am positive we can follow the same process and develop a proper facility on the shores of Traverse Bay right here in Ward 1. And thirdly, because we in the East Beaches are cut off from the rest of the RM we have no security or police presence up here. The RCMP is understaffed and overworked and although they do come out when there are break-ins, mostly it’s long after the fact and a formality. The Bylaw Officers come from Selkirk, check in at St. Georges and wend their way up to the Beaches once or twice a week in the afternoon. This is totally a waste of taxpayer dollars. They accomplish nothing and I believe we need our own Security. This can be accomplished through an agreement with Victoria Beach Police Department by redirecting funds from this municipality to go to pay a Police Officer to work out of VB Station. So those are my three long-term goals.
- What are the biggest fiscal challenges in our municipality, and what do you envision as the best way(s) to address them?
I hear people say so often that Ward 1 pays the most in taxes and doesn’t get the most in services. Sometimes it may seem that way depending on what your needs are.. what services you require. We have around 100km in roads in the East Beaches area.. that’s the distance to Winnipeg.. and they all need to be maintained winter and summer. Many of those roads are eroded by artesian wells.. such is the nature of the area. So that has always been a priority for the RM and I do understand it is costly to bring equipment up here for snow removal and repair work, but I think if we check out the roads that seem to require constant repair and properly sealcoat them once and for all, we would save money in the long run. If we lived in a smaller community like St. Georges, our output wouldn’t be so great in Public Works and we would have money left over to build buildings, get a proper security force and a boat launch in Traverse Bay. Earlier I mentioned transparency: I also want to implement an open and fair bidding system for RM tendered projects. I want to re-establish the confidence that businesses should have in our bidding process, that all will be treated on an equal basis, with public bid openings.
- Would you advocate for any changes to the current boundaries of the municipality (for example through annexation, amalgamation, secession)?
That’s a tough question to answer as there are pros and cons to any such change. I think that is a question for the people to decide.
- Where is your permanent residence?
I live in Hillside Beach… I have lived here for 11 years permanently… and as a summer cottager before that.
- Have you served on a municipal council before? If so, if so, reeve, mayor or councillor?
Yes I have… I was a Councillor for Ward 1 from 2010-2014
- Please list any life/work/volunteer experience that is pertinent to the position you are seeking?
Volunteering is kind of an old-fashioned idea I will admit, but it’s in my DNA. I have volunteered to help my community since I was a Brownie and a Sunday School teacher! Even after I got married and was a working mother, I always found time to volunteer. Learning time management, organizational skills and communication skills was necessary to survive! As a volunteer, amongst other things: I sat on many Volunteer Boards: Deer Lodge Community Club for 20 years as Volunteer Co-ordinator, Events Chair and Secretary * Appointed to Board of Child and Family Services *Chairman of the Winnipeg Centennial Celebrations for St. James Assiniboia * Board of Senior Scene for 8 years * Board of East Beaches Resource Centre for 6 years * and Board of the Hillside Beach Community Association in different capacities for almost 15 years. As a matter of fact, most people know me as the emcee of the Annual Family Fun Day and the Annual Yard Sale.. an honor I have had for many years! I have Political experience; I have run campaigns and volunteered with political organizations. As far as my work life is concerned, I have been lucky to have travelled many paths from Political Reporter and advertising writer to running my own hairdressing business. Many years of working with federal and provincial elections and Statistics Canada gave me the opportunity to learn to work under pressure, respect and follow budget restrictions, build, train and educate teams to produce positive results – all skills that a Councillor needs to make a positive impact on a community. Through all this I raised two children and went back to school when my children had grown earning my degree in education (B.Ed). . I have honed my communication and organizational skills over the years and I believe that these experiences and the gifts they have given me will help me to be a good Councillor for Ward 1.