Alysson in the News
“Chatham Voice” Candidate Profile
Chatham-Kent made me who I am today, and I’m ready to give back.
I was born in Chatham, spent summers in South Kent, and married into West Kent. My family includes small business owners, teachers, artists and farmers. I’ve been a municipal manager. I’ve worked for the provincial government in Toronto, a small non-profit in Chatham, and a successful entrepreneur in Blenheim. I’ve also been “between jobs” like so many others.
Through it all, my roots here provided a strong foundation to lead a confident and fulfilling life.
I’m committed to Transformational Change: Making Chatham-Kent a place people want to live, not leave. Where citizens feel heard, not ignored. Where doors are opened instead of slammed shut. Transforming our community into a true reflection of who we want to be.
There are no barriers to what we can accomplish by working together. Chatham-Kent, it’s our time.
“Chatham Voice” Q&A Session
Do you support increasing funding for infrastructure given the fact several culverts and bridges – including the Third Street Bridge – have had emergency issues and closures recently?
Yes. Our infrastructure budget is underfunded and also being used to “borrow” from on a rainy day for other uses. I would also like to look at re-allocating funds if needed to make sure our bridges, roads, culverts, etc are safe and open especially for our farmers to be able to safely and smoothly get their product to market. I would also like to ensure we consider innnovative ways to repair/ replace/upgrade when needed. Often these innovative options can also be more cost-effective as well. This issue is top of mind for me, which is why I have included addressing this in my platform which can be found at www.itstime4ck.com.
Would you support a tax freeze or rollback if it meant reduced staff and/or services?
No. I cannot commit to any cuts without seeing the books first. Once I have been able to review our budget numbers, we can then discuss options at Council to re-allocate resources. With the one-two punch of a shrinking population with the loss of 8500 jobs over the last ten years, we have to be realistic about our declining residential and commercial tax base and begin to address this immediately. I have included options for this in my Transformation CK platform that can be found on my website at www.ItsTime4CK.com
Would you support shifting some services to the private sector if those services could be done more efficiently that way?
Yes. The key phrase is “done more efficiently”. If a solid business case can be made for this to Council, I would support it.
Do you believe we need a municipal ombudsman or ethics commissioner?
Do you support investigating a reduction in the number of council members?
No. This issue has already been reviewed and come before Council several times and each time Council has voter against it. Therefore as Mayor this would not be a priority for me. If there was renewed interest in this from the public then we can reassess.
Should the municipality try to land an Ontario Cannabis Store as soon as possible?
Yes. I believe we are already under consideration for this however, so I would like to follow the process as already set out, while ensuring all relevant local partners are at the table.
Should council be more proactive in terms of working with landowners with contaminated wells?
Yes. I’ve met with many local landowners and farmerswho have been negatively affected by this. This is why I have included in “reviewing equity investments” in my Transformation CK platform. As a corporation we have now put ourselves in conflict with our own citizens and that is not acceptable to me. We need to put the health and safety of our citizens first and not be dazzled by the dollar signs.
Some critics say the municipal building department is an impediment to development in C-K. Do you agree?
Yes. However most if not all of our building regulations are mandated by other levels of government. In my Transformation CK platform I include a business advisory team who can help us ensure we are aware of the roadblocks and how we as a municipality can ensure our local businesses and potential investors have the support they need to succeed. I also have excellent relationships already established with our provincial counterparts that I can call on for help and advocacy when issues arise.
Do you believe Chatham needs a new twin-pad arena?
No. I cannot commit to any project of this size without seeing a detailed business plan. We also need a full review of our arena needs before committing to any project of this size. We also need commitment (which we do not have) from partners like the Province and Federal governments, major corporate sponsors, etc. We have 10 arenas in 7 different communities across CK. We have a shrinking population and a declining tax base. I cannot commit to a twin pad in Chatham without a full review of finances. This review must also include how this project would affect or impact all arenas in CK. Transparency & accountability are two pillars in my Transformation CK platform and how I will approach every decision I make. This issue would be no different.
Should the municipality cut back on its expenditures for overseas economic development efforts?
Yes. We need to support our local businesses and ensure they have the tools they need to succeed. I have an economic plan as part of my Transformation CK platform that includes this.
Should municipal councillors ever be forced to go the Freedom of Information route when seeking municipal information?
No. Transparency, accountability and communication are key in how we interact with Mayor, Council, administration and the public.
Should members of the public have more access to municipal information without having to resort to an FOI?
Yes. Transparency, accountability, and communications are three of the five pillars in my Transformation CK platform with detailed explanations for each. I believe these pillars should be the basis for open and accessible government to all. You can find my platform at www.itstime4ck.com.
Transformational Change in the Local & National News Media
I've spent years volunteering to make Chatham-Kent better, safer, and more culturally-enriched. This has allowed me to establish strong relationships with our local print, television, and radio reporters who are always eager to publicize community events. Here is a selection of recent news stories where I've been mentioned.
Note: Scroll each section from side-to-side using the < and > gadgets to see more articles. Click to read the full story.