“Growth, development and opportunity” was the theme of Carma Williams’ speech when she kicked off her campaign for the North Glengarry Deputy mayor’s post last Thursday.
About 115 people attended the launch in Alexandria where the Maxville councillor pledged to “bring growth to all of North Glengarry.” Facing Lochiel councillor Brian Caddell and Robert Proulx in the October 22 election, Ms. Williams observed, “We must search for opportunities to grow our population so to ensure a vibrant future. We must create a plan to leverage our existing strengths meanwhile, finding solutions to issues that are prohibiting growth.”
Ms. Williams, who hopes to succeed Jamie MacDonald who has been acclaimed mayor, stressed the need to expand Alexandria’s sewage lagoon and lift a development freeze, which in turn expand the tax base and “ensure we keep our schools and hospital open and vibrant.” Committed to continuing the momentum created by the Community Improvement Plan, Ms. Williams promised to “work towards a more responsive local government.”
“I will work with my fellow councillors to maintain stable tax rates while continuing to build up much needed reserves. Maintaining an adequate level of reserves is important when urgent work needs to be done and funding opportunities are scarce,” she said.
While Ms. Williams wants to continue the practice of town hall meetings to allow for public participation on significant municipal decisions, “To make your local government more responsive, I’m also committed to looking at ways to leverage technology to improve municipal services and communication.”
Access for the public to receive municipal services online should be expanded, be made more user friendly and more interactive, she contended. “Online applications for permits as well as payment should be easy and convenient avoiding the need to visit the municipal office in person.” She continued saying, “I also feel that council should consider the live streaming of council meetings and the possibility of remote questions from the public. Not only is this the way of the future, but it allows members of the public who are unable to attend meetings to follow their proceedings. Providing opportunities for a more interactive council helps to achieve a more responsive local government and a more engaged public.” In concluding her bilingual address, she said, “I believe that a plan for growth is needed now because what is good for Dalkeith is good for Dunvegan. I believe that what is good for Dunvegan is good for Alexandria and what is good for Alexandria is good for Maxville and so it goes… If we have a plan and we work together, we can build a strong, vibrant and prosperous NG.”