HERE WE GO AGAIN
I can’t believe its election time again. It feels like the last four years have just flown by.
Although it has been a lot of work, under often difficult and troubling conditions within the council chambers, overall it has been an honour to represent you and to be your Your Voice in King. And I have high hopes this time. The main one being that I hope to see some dramatic changes in the way that council conducts itself, not only with each other, but more importantly with the people of King.
As for my 2010 campaign platform, where do I begin? Although I am proud to say that much of what I ran on in the 2006 election remains highly relevant. (Click on this link to open my 2006 Campaign Brochure), as I said, I’m hoping for big changes this time around.
The development wave has only just begun and so much change is on the way – more than I think people realize. Some of it will be good, and some of it will test our resolve. You have to constantly remind yourself that developers are people like you and me. And while some people conduct themselves with class, honour and respect for others, it is also true that some do not – yet our municipal staff are bound by law and legislation to deal with everyone on an equal basis. And so one of the challenges of growth is striving to maintain a balance in an environment where forces are constantly trying to tip the scales one way or the other.
LETS PUT OUT THE WELCOME MAT
So although growth remains a major issue, I believe that what the Township really needs a complete overhaul, a rebranding of sorts. Since 2004 I have either worked for King Township as an employee in the Engineering Department, or as councillor, and the one constant complaint I have heard from residents and business people is that King Township is a very difficult, non-responsive, uncommunicative, unforthcoming, unsympathetic corporation staffed with people who do not return phone calls or emails. This is not good, nor is it entirely true, and I assure you that the vast majority of our staff are very decent hard working people. But none the less, it is disconcerting to constantly hear the negativity. I hear it through the residents and business owners in King, and I hear it through the development industry in which I work. It is disconcerting to say the least. And no matter how much I stand up for staff, the complaints continue and I find myself having to constantly defend them – and its not fair. Its not fair to staff, nor is it fair to our paying customers. Its not fair to staff because I understand their heavy workload, and I know how difficult it is to juggle the work load that council downloads to them and increases on a daily basis. But its also not fair to our residents, because they feel like the Municipality just doesn’t care.
So where does that leave us? How do we fix this problem? How do we turn this perception around?
To me, our biggest problem is not with the good people that we have working for us, but rather it is in the way in which we communicate and how we deliver services to our customers. And for me this is a LEADERSHIP problem that starts from the Mayor and Council on down. Lets be clear – I am not blaming staff for this lack of communication. I am blaming an outdated regime of council, that didn’t have the foresight to ensure we could afford to hire the staff we need to handle the workload they laid on them, nor the public relations training and protocols to deal with our increasingly sophisticated paying CUSTOMERS.
What I hope to see in the next term of council, is a renewed direction and emphasis in the way that we communicate and conduct ourselves. I believe we need a complete analysis and training in the way we do things, how we treat the residents, and the business community, how we present ourselves to the development community, the Region, the Province and the Federal Government. I believe that the only way this can happen is through leadership of your council. Yet for more than 10 years this council has been fractured – divided, and it has been a condition that has not only been allowed to continue by our mayor, but she in fact has perpetuated it through her own conduct by constantly being the deciding vote on a split council, without any care or attempt to reach consensus amongst the 6 council members. And lets be clear, a 4/3 vote, with the Mayor being the deciding vote is NOT consensus. It leaves, 3 councillors, three entire wards, i.e. several thousand voting constituents out in the cold. We need to be more fair, more open and transparent and more friendly to our paying customers. Yes, there’s that word gain. Our CUSTOMERS!
YOU ARE OUR CUSTOMERS (WHAT A CONCEPT!)
Imagine walking into the Township offices and being treated like you matter from the second you walk in the door? To use an analogy, I liken our current customer service approach to a dusty, worn out old Welcome Mat that no one has ever thought to clean or replace. So worn out you can’t make out the “Welcome” part anymore. What sort of message does that send in a place of business? Now I’m not saying that it needs to be taken out back and beaten with a stick (although I know there’s a lineup forming for that task right now). Rather, perhaps the best approach is to just, once and for all, toss it out. Start anew. Lets get ourselves a nice new welcome mat. One that says “WELCOME” to the paying public in BIG bold letters. Not one that has people from all walks of life walking away in disgust. Now I am not saying this is everyone’s perception, but boy, I hear it more often than not. And I know there all lots of people reading this that are nodding their heads in agreement.
SOMEONE HAS TO SAY IT – IT MIGHT AS WELL BE ME
I’m quite serious when I say that the ONLY way I see positive change ever happening is if YOU vote for change on October 25, 2010. And lets be blunt. I’m talking primarily about a change in Mayor. Our Regional representative. The keeper of the Welcome Mat. She is the enabler of the bad behaviour and the divisions that exist. As for all the councillors, let the electorate decide their fate – including mine. But the Mayor – the MAYOR MUST BE THE PEACE KEEPER. But this one has demonstrated neither the desire nor the ability to pull everyone together, rather her modus operandi has been to divide and conquer. Enough of this barbaric crap!
Over the coming weeks and months, please continue to stop in at Kingcentric.ca as I add new articles and pieces of my campaign platform. Also, sign up for email alerts at the top right hand corner of the website. “Change” for the greater good is the operative theme, but I’ve been doing my homework in my community and have some good news as well as some new ideas to present, as well as some new goals to achieve for the people of Ward 1 and the Township of King as a whole.
You might also find some interesting rants in the Opinion section of my website. You can’t have gone through the four years that I have and not be completely annoyed, jaded and disgusted with some of the shenanigans that have gone on in council. There is a real sense of entitlement that exists with some members of this council. To me its a sign of being in one seat for wayyyyyyyy too long.
I sincerely hope to see you all to turn out in droves at the voting station to remind us all, that public service is a privilege - NOT A RIGHT! You have it within your power to
WELCOME YOURSELF TO THE NEW KING TOWNSHIP!