Cam­paign launch

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

“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.”

In­ter­ac­tive meet­ings

“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.”

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