What did you do before you decided to run for office?
I have been a Councillor for the County of Kings from 2012 to present. I retired in 2006 from a 30 year career with the Government of the Northwest Territories in Yellowknife. An accountant by trade, I spent the first half of my career in account and financial management and the second half of my career in general management at the director level.
Why have you chosen to run in this election campaign? (maximum 100 words)
I “re-offer” financial, management and municipal government experience to lead our County through this unprecedented COVID 19 period. We must be even more vigilant and strategic with our vision and be willing to pivot accordingly. I chair the planning group for the New Minas Secondary Planning Project, including south of 101, and want to complete this work. Greenwich needs a formal structure to represent their collective interest. I am interested in seeing significant strategic initiatives such as broadband expansion, wind energy, solar energy, a comprehensive roads rehabilitation push, etc. completed in the interest of economic development and quality of life.
What strengths would you bring to council if you are elected? (maximum 100 words)
I have a 30 year career in financial, administrative and executive management at senior levels of government with accomplishments in strategic planning, change management and client services plus eight years of municipal government experience. I possess a passion for getting things done and making a difference, which was the hallmark of my career. I love the Annapolis Valley and have a vision of us becoming more than we are with a quality of life that is second to none. I am eager to apply myself in the next Council to work with a new team and a continuously improving administration.
What do you see as the biggest strength/asset of the community/region and what measures would you take to capitalize on them? (maximum 150 words)
The agriculture industry is the backbone of the Valley economy. It must be protected and opportunities found to expand into secondary industries. The new MPS must prove out its protection of agriculture land or be updated if necessary. Tourism is powerful and can grow. Our military is a vital part of our economy and we must nurture every opportunity to find partnerships with them such as wind or solar energy development and accommodate their needs as a desired neighbour. We have the potential for green energy – particularly for wind and solar. We capitalize on that by working with senior governments to overcome obstacles and to find large consumers to market to. We have a strong and diverse business community, a good labour force and educational institutions to connect labour market needs with personal aspirations. Dynamic and synergistic partnerships can be explored for the mutual benefit of all three sectors.
What do you feel is the key challenge facing the community/region and how would you work to address it? (maximum 150 words)
A COVID 19 economy is the most uncertain phenomena that business, governments, community organizations and private citizens have had to deal with from a physical safety and economic perspective. The tourism industry, which is a large part of our economy, is particularly hard hit because the clients they depend on are constrained from travel. While our municipal government has limited capacity relative to senior governments to provide relief, we must find opportunity wherever possible. Everyone has compromised income and revenue streams. Financially, we have to manage with potentially shrinking tax revenues while challenged to maintain levels of service. We have to be financially wise with our revenue. Additionally, we must look for new sources of revenues such as wind or solar to ease the tax burden. It is more than an issue of survival: it is about coming through and being positioned to rebound to a strong economy.
What one message do you hope gets out to the voters during this election campaign? (maximum 150 words)
“The challenges are many but so are the opportunities and the future remains bright for Kings County.” COVID 19 is serious, from a health perspective and an economic perspective, but it is a reality that has a limited life…unfortunately longer than we would like. We will get through it and our County has been managing finances wisely so we are in good position to contend. We have been working on very positive strategic initiatives, including broadband, to improve the economic development potential in the ever-growing info tech industry across the County. We have been working on wind energy and solar energy and I look forward to seeing these initiative move forward to hopefully take some strain off our tax base and to do our part for the environment. Our economy is not a “boom or bust” economy so the dip will be less and the rebound quicker than others.