2. I believe that there is a culture of non-communication among Town Hall. There were either questions that were never asked, information that was never received (or not complete information or disclosure), and a split among Council that led those who may have been asking what may have been the right questions to be silenced.
Changing a work culture is a monumentous task, and change is not normally readily received. Those in Administration may already be hesitant in hopes that a new Council “has a different way of thinking”. We must first model behavior that is acceptable. There may be a few individuals who continue to “carry a toxic culture” with them, however Administration and Council must work together to eradicate the majority of a toxic environment. This task can be outlined utilizing the response from Question 1.
3. Yes, I support a full independent audit of the town’s finances over the past 5 years. Those who do not understand their past are doomed to repeat it in the future. This audit allows for full disclosure to ensure a “starting point” is known in concrete. This also allows for increased understanding of where monies were spent and allows for greater transparency since our Review showed multiple deficiencies. This would allow the Town to move forward towards a goal, understand past mistakes and rectify these in future decision making process.
4. As a new prospective candidate, I would ask to be briefed on multiple items to ensure I understood them. I don’t necessarily agree that we need to ‘align’ ourselves with other municipalities in the way they conduct their business however, there should be adequate time for all councillors to be well versed in the information presented, allow for reflection and development of any further questions on the material and for those questions to be answered to the best of the ability. The Town should take some of the strategies of alternate municipalities and incorporate them into their own workings. We are in a unique situation, and each councillor is responsible to seek further information if they do not understand the presented material. Moving forward, information should be made available as soon as possible. I would like to see at least 3 business days to allow Town Council the ability to question material to those individuals to which it pertains and, to create working notes related to the subject in order for complete preparation for the discussion.
5. I would work with the Town Administration and Heritage Committee to bring a much needed Heritage District to Amherstburg. Our town lives and breathes history, we have so many amazing sites that most can only read in textbooks and online. We can live them. It is our job, as residents and as a Municipality, to ensure that these sites remain protected and as untouched as possible to ensure their enjoyment for years to come.
All of the candidates’ answers to date can be read on the candidate answers page.