The Advertiser asked candidates for Grand Falls-Windsor council to provide their platforms for the upcoming municipal election.
The following is their views, in their own words.
I have a shared vision for our town and it begins with a leadership that transcends positive change.
A leadership that will increase community engagement and economic growth, support funded community projects, increase sustainability and tourism and deliver educational opportunities.
We need to find new ways for Grand Falls-Windsor residents to get involved in decisions that affect our town, a place to share their thoughts on projects like increasing businesses, the development of the mill location, the expansion of Gorge Park and Sanger Memorial RV Park, and the upkeep and use of the Grand Falls House.
Moreover, we need to have transparent leadership that will showcase ideas, decisions and updates on current and future projects.
We need to work with organizations on building a sustainable solution for funding, to secure funding that will employ and encourage youth and students to work on community projects.
We need to make sure we see community projects through so we can find investors, stakeholders and government funding that will bring employment to our town and develop social enterprise businesses.
(We need) to expand health services and education by hosting conferences, seminars and workshops so we can build partnerships with other leaders and create new services and programs for youth, seniors, caregivers and families.
In order to move toward a town to be modeled after and that residents are seen as doers, we need councillors that are going to be not just part of community but that practice an authentic leadership that will bring insight, intuition and influence.
To learn more about Karen Andrews’s authentic leadership you can visit her website at www.electkarenandrews. com
Rod “Blackie” Bennett’s platform for his campaign for councillor in the 2017 Grand Falls-Windsor municipal election is based around five key elements that reflect his campaign slogan, “Your Voice is My Voice.”
Bennett will use this platform to work with citizens and public servants of the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor.
First key point to Bennett’s campaign platform is being a new, strong voice to represent the needs and concerns of the citizens of Grand Falls-Windsor. As a lifelong resident of Grand Falls-Windsor, Bennett knows exactly what is important to the citizens of Grand Falls-Windsor, and more importantly, will be there to listen to every and all concerns from the great citizens of Grand Falls-Windsor.
The second point is to work in unison with each council member, as well as each public servant to the town to have a more diverse and inclusive community for everyone.
Thirdly, is to scrutinize discretionary spending while simultaneously being fiscally responsible with our money.
The last two points include his desire to grow the community and bring all the citizens of our great community together.
The fourth point is to promote local events and programs to enhance the involvement of the youth and seniors of Grand Falls-Windsor. Promotion of these events boosts community pride and brings new visitors in that helps boost the economy of the town.
Lastly, Bennett wishes to work with local businesses to focus on the growth and prosperity of these businesses by promoting local shopping and the growth of our local economy.
A focus on the wants and needs of the great citizens of our amazing town is the basis of Rod “Blackie” Bennett’s campaign platform. This coupled with being fiscally responsible when it comes to spending our money and how our money is spent is the best option for everyone.
Focusing on the growth of our community, boosting community pride and morale is what the town needs to help boost the local economy. “Your Voice is My Voice.”
On Sept. 26, the people of Grand Falls-Windsor will elect a new town council. I am pleased to offer myself for reelection to continue my service to you, our residents.
As one of the members of council, I will work diligently to ensure your tax base is fair and affordable and your tax dollars are wisely spent on reliable municipal services and infrastructure improvements that make our community great and why we are all proud to call it home.
I have a great concern for our health care services and specifically, long-term care. Our seniors should not be forced to re-locate to other communities due to lack of Level 3 healthcare beds.
We must find solutions and I am prepared to work with council, the health care community and government to that end. We owe that much to our seniors.
I am also committed to supporting opportunities for residents to maintain healthy lifestyles. These include providing quality recreational facilities and programs, supporting an active arts community, and recognizing our diverse and rich history, all of which play a significant role in promoting our town as an appealing place to live. I commit to working with council, volunteer groups and neighbourhood associations in this regard.
Critical to supporting all of the above is ensuring we maintain a healthy business climate that promotes new economic and business development. I commit to working with council, our members in the provincial and federal governments and the business community to that end.
I respectfully ask for your vote on Sept. 26 so I can work on your behalf to improve the quality of life for all. Amy Coady-Davis
As a councillor since 2009, I have been visible, active and committed to you, the residents of Grand Falls-Windsor.
I have worked to enhance our community’ programs and services for all residents and visitors. I have supported the gymnastics program, Concerts in the Park, seniors fair, splash pad, and Main Street and Sutherland Drive playground upgrades.
Grand Falls-Windsor continues to be a centre of excellence in health care and the addition of the genomics project has opened the eyes of major companies, researchers and educational facilities to Grand Falls-Windsor. Our ability to form relationships, build partnerships and avail of funding opportunities is what makes Grand FallsWindsor work and prosper.
We are moving in a positive direction and there are many opportunities left to explore and take advantage of to ensure Grand Falls-Windsor remains the hub of central Newfoundland.
My priorities for this term include seniors care/longterm care, the availability of our hydro resource on the Exploits River, the mill property and Grand Falls House, central Newfoundland waste management fees, as well as the promotion of Main Street and High Street for enhanced business attraction and retention.
I will continue to ensure town spending and borrowing remains at a reasonable Jim Courtney
level and the town’s financial operations run efficiently and effectively while maintaining the services our residents expect and enjoy.
I am committed to Grand Falls-Windsor and to you, the residents. I ask, humbly, for your continued support to serve as your Councillor in Grand Falls-Windsor.
On Sept. 26, citizens of this town will be afforded the opportunity to elect a council comprised of representatives who have the leadership skills necessary to navigate us through challenging economic times, making important decisions that will secure a future that will bring prosperity and security for our children and grandchildren for decades to come.
In order to achieve this, we need to have a council that is open to ideas, receptive to working together and keeping the tax payers interest at heart. I feel that the experience I had gained during my 12 years’ tenure on council, coupled with my previous work experience, will enable me to work for you, representing your ideas and interests.
My vision is for inclusion of young and old, men and women, and interest groups whose objectives are to further our town.
My plan is to: identify savings control spending provide recreational opportunities for all age groups
ensure a fair and equitable hiring process have a sound fiscal plan
provide good quality services to our citizens such as safe drinking water, snow clearing, fire and emergency protection, public works, waste management, and, expanding our business community.
It is imperative that we have a strategic plan to guide us for the next 20 years. Our demographics are changing and so too are our needs. Spending without consideration of these factors can lead to a financial disaster. Expansion has to be controlled, budgeted and sustainable.
If we fail to factor these issues in, we will place undue hardships on our citizens, resulting in tax increases. This is a primary responsibility that all councillors must be cognizant of.
This election needs to be won on sound planning and good fiscal management, reflecting the ideas put forth by our citizens.
During the past month, citizens have engaged us, sharing their thoughts and ideas, which we must take seriously. I will be your advocate on council, engaging in meaningful deliberations, united in our differences, promoting it as a strength rather than a weakness.
We must take into consideration that the foundation of our democracy is to ensure very voice is heard and the ultimate choice lies in each voter’s hands. The Town of Grand Falls-Windsor continues to be built by local and community visionaries, who are coming together with dedication and commitment to make this town a better place to live in.
Decisions of council need to have a positive impact on the daily lives of the residents. We need to make certain we elect a council that includes representatives who are passionate about all neighborhoods within our community.
That’s the Grand FallsWindsor I believe in; that’s the Grand Falls-Windsor I know we are capable of; and that is why I am running for councillor in the Town of Grand Falls-Winsor. Shawn Feener
Our region is sitting on so many areas of untapped economic growth, but if elected to council, some of my areas of focus would be:
Offer incentives to large retail agencies to make our town more attractive.
Inject some much-needed resources into the Main Street area to make it a viable option for new business.
Work with existing business owners to stimulate their growth and re-establish ourselves as being the hub of central.
Start a discussion around getting rid of the wall on the TCH; this would open the door for a tourist chalet, gas stations, restaurants etc.
Maximize the tourism opportunities the removal of the mill property has opened up, such as a seasonal information center, RV parking, shuttle busses to the salmon ladder.
Better utilize our timber resources. We could easily be producing our own resources for market, using local contractors and creating hundreds of spin-off jobs in our region. Seventy per cent of the wood in our region goes to other communities for processing. This could be a major income generator for our own community if managed properly.
Support heritage preservation in our town and provide feedback to residents on progress of the GFW house.
Keep residents informed about decisions made in council chambers and seek out feedback from those directly affected by those decisions. Continue applying pressure on the provincial government for increased long-term care facilities in the area and issues relating to our seniors.
We have overcome a lot of challenges in the past few years, but we need to be aggressive in utilizing what we have on our doorstep to keep us moving forward.
With your support, I know I can be a strong voice and make a valuable contribution on all of these issues.
My campaign for council recognizes our community has significant potential for