Candidate Name: Deborah Young
Position Sought: Councillor
In 1989, I moved to Bognor from Toronto. I was a Councillor in Sydenham from 1991 to 1997. I was Reeve from 1997 to 2000.
I was a Councillor in the Municipality of Meaford from 2010 to 2014. My main concern is being accountable to the public.
I believe that basing my decisions on facts from all sides is of paramount importance when voting on council.
Municipal government affects the average person the most...from garbage pick-up to road conditions to planning for the future. The second concern I have is to ensure that information is available to the public so that they can participate as much as possible. An example would be the selection of the second Meaford Library Board. There was no notice to the public. It was only after TMI wrote about it that a selection process happened and trustees were picked from the entire municipality.
Yes, democracy is very messy but we must stick to the rules or there are unnecessary problems.
I promise that I will be as educated as possible about the matters at the council table and I will be honest in all times.
Why I am running for Meaford council:
My primary reason for seeking election to Meaford council is my desire to represent my neighbours. There is still a feeling of isolation that one never sees a member of council unless there is a dinner or an election. The rhetoric about being one municipality rings hollow.
The majority of Council lives in the old Town of Meaford. Recently, a neighbour told me that she had phoned one of the councillors about the library issue. His comment was the same old...Sydenham is still whining and never satisfied. I was shocked because this lady is no whiner. She was just asking questions.
It is time to stop the tired rifts and to create a municipality that is truly fair to all its residents
Another reason I am running is my own interest in politics. I do not believe in being an armchair politician. I believe that most council members do the best they can. I do not always agree with the decisions made. Therefore, I want to seek a seat at the table so that I can learn what is going on first-hand and help shape our municipality for the future.
My Top Priorities if Elected to the New Council:
In my experience over the years, the top priorities are usually the same. Review the past, give a picture of the present and plan for the future. The method this is done has certainly changed from bristol board to computers but, as a rule, it is taxes, taxes, taxes that people want to reduce.
I have found over the years that we should look at modifying this concept. I believe that council should review the past, get a snapshot of the present and plan the future BUT that it should be evaluated with balance. There should be a balance of what is needed and what is wanted. There should be a balance among the different areas of the municipality. There should be a balance of what is spent in the near future and what is saved for the future.
In the Municipality of Meaford, there is one factor that is a top priority...who is going to be leading the administration. Should there be an CAO or not? I have been on councils where there was a clerk/treasurer and an assistant clerk/treasurer. I have been on councils where there was an inefficient CAO and a very efficient CAO. This question and council's response to the answer should be the first priority.
My Involvement in the Community Over the Past Four Years:
Over the past four years, I have been a member of the Committee of Adjustment; first as the Vice-Chair and then as Chair.
I have enjoyed it because I have had the opportunity to meet people and learn more about the municipality.
The Role of Councillor as I See it:
The role of council is stated in The Municipal Act is to represent the public and to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality. The Act furthers describes how that duty should be done in broad terms.
A municipal council makes decisions that affect every part of our lives. Our municipality picks up our waste -- composting, recycling and solids. Our municipality builds and maintains our roads. Our municipality provides library services. These and other duties of the council are pretty important to our everyday lives.
As a councillor, I believe it is my responsibility to ensure all services of the municipality are done in an efficient and timely manner.
I take my responsibilities of council work very seriously. It is work in which if the correct decision is not made, your life is affected and your tax rate will reflect it.
The bottom line is that I consider it my responsibility and duty is to ensure that you get the services provided by the municipality in the best way possible.
The Skills I Will Bring to Council:
Skills that I will bring to the Municipality of Meaford council are:
Experience: I was first on Sydenham council in the 1990-1994 and 1990-1997 terms as a councillor. From 1997-2000, I was Reeve of Sydenham and councillor on Grey County council. I was on Meaford council from 2010-2014 as a councillor. I have been on many committees: Library boards of both libraries, Bognor Community Centre board to name the ones I was on during my tenure of Meaford councillor.
Common Sense: I believe that it is important to learn as much as possible about a situation so that I can vote intelligently. This involves reading about the options but also learning to the people who are affected by the situation.
Impartiality: I will be fair to all the residents of the Municipality of Meaford in the best interests of the entire municipality.