Jill Whitford: RM of Alexander Candidate Profile

Running for RM of Alexander Council in Ward 3

jill whitford

  1. What do you cherish most about this community?
    There are so many things to cherish in this Community (as a whole) not speaking for one small area, but definitely the people in this area have a long and proud history of honest hard work. They are resilient, people of many skills and are very adaptable to change. The heart of any community has to be the volunteerism in their souls, for unselfish giving time and time again. Making it more difficult, has been the abrupt stoppage to normal living with the main industry closed, and families were split with bread winners having to leave the community. Also, the camaraderie among the businesses, working together as one, helping each other out if there are problems and mentoring new young business owners with help and advice. That speaks to the pride of our commercial residents also.
  2. Help us understand the type of leader you will be?
    The type of Leader I wish to continue to be is that which is viewed by example. A person who truly understands the meaning of what serving on Council means, what is expected by Team members, and will always encourage a debate to go one way, towards the intent of what is in the best interest of the Whole Municipality. To outright discourage any attempt to garner one’s personal agenda or profit from a municipal decision
  3. What are your highest priorities for change in our municipality,
    a) in the short term?
    – Review, line by line of the Expense side of the Budget. I would encourage any expense that can not be entirely justified to be removed or at least trimmed down. It is important to view a Public Budget like your own and ask “Can I really afford it, and where is the money coming from?”
    – Work together as a Team to make real progress
    – We, as a team, work as cooperatively with our neighbours to show respect and work out solutions, because we represent the best interest of our residents
    – Work diligently to seek ways where Economic Development will fit into areas all over the Municipality. Once those Economic Development Projects are identified, then push them forward into Long Term Strategies
    – The need of smaller equipment to enhance the whole municipality is required soon i.e. mowers etc.…
    – Any government leader can not have a 4-year window of opportunity, work towards the benefits to be recognized in the Long Term
    b) in the long term?
    – Replace much needed Revenues off the backs of residents and draw new money from new business development by encouraging our entrepreneurs already in this community and let people know that this Municipality is Open for Business
    – One stumbling block in Development is the lack of Potable Water and Sewers. Because of the cost associated with major infrastructure this can not be an overnight fix. But in following through with good planning and good budgeting we can achieve this.
  4. What are the biggest fiscal challenges in our municipality, and what do you envision as the best way(s) to address them?
    The greatest Fiscal Challenges this Municipality and neighbouring Municipalities face is of course the abrupt closure of the Main Industry here and the lack of expertise and guidance to replace those dollars lost either directly or indirectly. Because of that circumstance, the whole area is deemed to be a Depressed Area and down payments on homes has made it impossible for young people to purchase first homes. We must find ways to replace those dollars in a most expedient way, through well thought out Economic Development Projects.
    – More Seasonal campgrounds, drawing in hundreds of people every year, who love the area and support our merchants
    – 55 Plus facilities, keeping our residents at Home, where they want to be.  Spending their money to build our communities, not Selkirk or Winnipeg
    -These measures will increase our tax base, and eventually lower tax rates for residents.
  5. Would you advocate for any changes to the current boundaries of the municipality? (for example through annexation, amalgamation, secession)?
    This question I believe is posed to get a consensus regarding Powerview-Pine Falls. It has been my information that rate payers feel that there is such a duplication of services, that it would be most beneficial for the RM of Alexander to include the 2 adjoining towns as we know them.

    But the question has been, does this Municipality want them?

    If the question were purely an emotional one, I believe we would have joined years ago. But we have to look at the union as a strategic move and in the business world we have to ask the question..at what cost?? The answer will come from the audited numbers that should be presented to each resident in Powerview Pine Falls and residents of Alexander. Once the numbers speak for themselves, then further compelling arguments can be made.

    I for one would gladly welcome our neighbours pending, like I said on the numbers so as not to damage or encumber Alexander.

  6. Where is your permanent residence?
    My permanent residence is 1 Grand Zephyr Promenade, St George’s, Ward 3 RM of Alexander. Before that, Ward 4 Maple Creek Rd, before that Ward 3 Broadlands, before that Silver Falls, Ward 3 and 4
  7. Have you served on a municipal council before? If so, if so, reeve, mayor or councillor?
    Yes, I served as Councillor in Ward 4, but in the LGD of Alexander, Local Government District. LGD and RM have a different way of running their affairs so there will be a learning curve there. But, the focus for Council will not change and the Standard still remains.

    We are elected from the Part (Ward) for the good of the Whole (Municipality)

    And we are a part of a Team that represents ALL rate payers, not ourselves, and not the wealthy..low income, renters alike.

  8. Please list any life/work/volunteer experience that is pertinent to the position you are seeking?
    My resume speaks for itself as i break it down
    – Purchasing Superintendent for Tembec Pine Falls Division. Responsible for all purchases, negotiations of multi million-dollar contracts of chemicals etc. Oversaw working contractors i.e. Insurance and Liability in order. Worked with all mill Superintendents, purchasing large equipment for Yard and Woodlands.
    -Recovered Fibre Director, supplying mill with up to 65% of fibre to paper machines using Just In Time Logistics at an expenditure of $750k/month
    -understanding the importance of building relationships
    -Official Assistant Manager to the Manitoba Model Forest, charged with developing their draft Constitution, Policies, agendas, recording minutes, processing Financial Statements, making Presentations etc
    – Economic Development Officer hired by Pineview Economic Development Group
    – LGD of Alexander, Ward 4, responsible fir the creation of Bird River Fire Dept
    – Owner and Operator (1/2) of a large mixed farm, understanding  ALL  aspects of a rural farm management and what is involved
    – Original creator and community support if the Patient’s N Pals Patio, Memorial Gardens, Pine Falls Hospital
    – Community volunteer in many different organizations too numerous to mention