TRANSFORMATION CK:
A Platform for Success

 

INTRODUCTION

This is the roadmap of what I would like to achieve over the next four years as your Mayor of Chatham-Kent. The five issues listed here have been defined after input and discussion from hundreds of people from across our community. 

I believe these five pillars can build the foundation for Transformational Change in Chatham-Kent. Each pillar supports a variety of specific initiatives I would implement if elected Mayor of Chatham-Kent. This is a detailed platform with deliverable results. I think our citizens deserve to know exactly what each candidate plans to do if elected. Some of my fellow Mayoral candidates have either presented generalized statements with no details on how they plan on achieving them, while others have not released a platform at all. 

 

BACKGROUND

While building my platform some red flags relating to our community development kept popping up. This includes government statistics on demographics, job and population data. This data indicated the past 12 years we have seen a major decline in the number of jobs, a decline in our economy and a decline in our population. We are now seeing the ripple effects of that decline: crumbling infrastructure, higher taxes, school closures, and more. 

It’s time to turn this around – we must take a different path than the one the current Mayor and Council have been on for the past 12 years. We must grow our economy and grow our community. If we do the first one well, the second will follow.

In 2018 our future can become brighter than our past.

It’s our time. 

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PILLAR #1: 
GROW OUR COMMUNITY


As Mayor of Chatham-Kent, I will:
 

  1. Launch my Transformation CK Economic Strategy, which will include the following tasks:

    •  Within the first 100 days create a Transformation CK Business Advisory Team to help understand the key issues our business community is facing and what CK can do to help them grow. I will propose reallocating municipal resources to solely support this Team, and I will be personally involved in this initiative. Our local business owners and entrepreneurs can offer a wealth of insight into how CK can improve its position as a location of choice for business.

    •  Design and implement a strategy to attract investment from business outside of Chatham-Kent that will bring jobs and help grow our economy and population base. This will not mean going to China but could mean going to Detroit-Windsor, Waterloo, GTA, Chicago, etc. Through my extensive network of contacts across Canada, I will speak with municipal, provincial and federal leaders, Chambers of Commerce, and Economic Development teams across the country to find best practices and partnership and investment opportunities.

    •  Look for opportunities for improved efficiency to reduce our high tax rates. Lower tax rates will help attract investment and people.

     
  2. Work with Provincial and Federal partners to ensure Chatham-Kent is appropriately considered for investment and support when opportunities or issues arise. These are key partners and the current Mayor has not formed effective relationships here. I already have many of these relationships well established. This is not just about funding but also about partnerships and advocacy.

     
  3. Support and promote CK to the Power of Y committee (a newly-formed group to engage young professionals) to encourage attraction and retention of the 20–39 year age group.

     
  4. Re-establish positive working relationships with our two post-secondary institutions to help increase enrollment, explore expansion opportunities, offer lifelong education options to all residents, build constructive relationships with residents and students, and attract and retain young professionals.

     
  5. Review Arts, Culture & Tourism master plans to revitalize municipal-community collaboration relating to these crucial economic development drivers.

PILLAR #2: 
REPRESENT AND SUPPORT ALL COMMUNITIES IN CHATHAM-KENT


As Mayor of Chatham-Kent, I will:
 

  1. Hold regular Mayor's Office hours at Municipal Service Centres or other locations outside of Chatham.

     
  2. Ensure rural infrastructure needs are appropriately addressed.

     
  3. Create community-based advisory boards (where none currently exist) and work with existing associations.

     
  4. Ensure that investment decisions are taken with a full municipality focus -- not a "Chatham" then a "Kent" focus.  We want all of our communities to have the opportunity to welcome and seek-out new investment.  Let's "share the wealth". 

     
  5. Create a Rural Health Care Fund to ensure there is a healthy and productive relationship with all hospitals in the region that care for Chatham-Kent residents.

PILLAR #3:
GREATER TRANSPARENCY OF MUNICIPAL DECISIONS AND OPERATIONS


As Mayor of Chatham-Kent, I will:
 

  1. Form a Citizens Transparency Council to create a strategy on how to ensure important information is accessible to our community. Work with local experts to find opportunities to improve our transparency.

     
  2. Ensure fewer issues go behind closed doors at Council meetings (i.e. “Closed Session / In Camera”).

     
  3. Ensure voting records, attendance, Notices of Motion & Non-Agenda Business of Mayor and Council are posted online for citizens to access.

     
  4. Provide easier access, both in person and online, to financial records and council decisions and minutes.

PILLAR #4: 
ENSURE GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY TO ALL CITIZENS OF CHATHAM-KENT

 
As Mayor of Chatham-Kent, I will:

 

  1. Ensure that the CAO and staff are accountable both to Council and the community by creating more “daylight” between the two. I will do this with:

    •  A clear and focused mandate that is based on our main strategic goals.

    •  An appropriate scorecard created to measure effectiveness of senior administration in achieving these strategic goals.

    •  Ensure that senior administration presents balanced information to help Council make decisions. For example, Reports to Council must include “Pros and Cons” along with recommendations.

    •  Evaluate incentive compensation structure to reward achievement of goals as well as the reverse. 

     
  2. Review equity holdings in wind farms and other investments that potentially put the Municipality in conflict with its citizens. 

     
  3. Ensure there is a full business case analysis of any large investments. More rigor and due diligence needs to be applied to this process. We need more of a critical eye to challenge blue-sky scenarios and ensure we are making better decisions.

PILLAR #5:
I
MPROVE COMMUNICATION WITH CITIZENS, COUNCIL AND STAKEHOLDERS


As Mayor of Chatham-Kent, I will:
 

  1. Improve communication about municipal government and services with our citizens. This will include:

    •  Review and improve the municipal website.

    •  Use social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for two-way communication.

    •  Review format of Council meetings, agendas and minutes to ensure details like deputations from residents, Council discussions, and decision-making processes are clearly recorded and in plain language.

    •  Provide regular video updates and messages from Mayor, Council and Administration.

    •  Create and promote Mayor’s “hotline” and email address to ensure citizens know how to easily reach me when needed.

     
  2. Encourage strong collaboration with citizens’ advisory boards and councils to help understand and address local issues and opportunities, including the following:

    •  Full time staff-person provided (through reallocating existing staff) to ensure each board has the support they need to be successful. Citizen boards have been used in the past but have often struggled because there has not been the appropriate support or Mayoral interest. 

    •  Ensure Council representation in each group, along with Mayoral involvement.

    •  Review the current municipal Committee structure to ensure they are relevant to our communities and determine if there should be any updating or changing of mandate, diversity of membership, etc.

     
  3. Actively engage with each member of Council to ensure I understand their thoughts and concerns and to ensure we can work together towards achieving our larger strategic goals. I believe a better working relationship between the Mayor and Council can only help in moving CK forward. I will work hard to ensure I have respectful and productive relationships with each member of Council.