Answers #1-2: Midland Election 2018

- democracy representation special interests open government transparency

Answers #1-2

Answers in ‘normal text’ are the candidate’s written response and are taken verbatim. I use italics for my words such as summaries of verbal responses and/or pointing to websites at the request of the candidate.

The Question

After the 2018 election what concrete means and methods of ensuring that you are in fact representing the majority of your constituents, and not just those who happen to be have a connection with you already, or small numbers of individuals or groups that develop a a connection with you and/or your own personal opinions and predilections?

Carole McGinn (Nicols) – Wednesday, September 19th 2018

I plan on sending out update mailers, sharing when I will sit with coffee in hand and be waiting for company, giving people a call using our streets as a guide for ensuring I at random call a home on as many streets as possible. (I do plan on asking people while canvassing if they want to not be called if elected). I will use social media as a tool and post monthly videos. I will answer emails and phone calls. I will attend when requested and appropriate seminars, gathering, meeting ect.

Jonathan Reid – Friday, September 21st 2018

I want to see a system developed to ask people what they want in regards to a particular issue, and have them vote on it. Before we vote on it. And have a rating scale so we can keep track of hoe the community voted and how members of the council voted so people can see how each individual councillor voted on each issue and therefor can be more easily be held accountable.

Bill Gordon – Saturday, September 22nd 2018

I will continue to host this website, my social media channels and remain accessible via phone, email and at any council meeting. My entire platform is based on non-allegiance with lobby groups or the noisy few whose voices have overpowered the majority of the community for the past four years. My pledge to be accountable and accessible to ALL Midland residents and from ALL wards is the subject of many of my speeches, publications and comments online. The true test will be post-election if I am provided the opportunity to sit around the Council table. I expect each and every one of you to hold me and other accountable for our pledges leading up to the election.

Answered on Bill Gordon’s Website: Q & A Time With Voters – Volume 2.

Cher Cunningham – Monday, September 24 2018

Community Engagement is a core element of my platform. When I was host of Politically Speaking on RogersTV, I was dismayed at how difficult it was to find good, up-to-date information from the town. When we tried to do man-on-the-street interviews this was a common concern. I believe this is one of the biggest issues with the past many years of Council - lack of clear, proactive, educational, two-way communication. Lack of promotion of projects and upcoming decisions. This has resulted in people feeling angry and disrespected - even around decisions they might otherwise have agreed with. Council has a role in being accessible in a respectful fashion with the community. We need to make Local Say more interesting and rewarding through: education on issues, what is coming up at council (without having to sift through a 300-page document buried on a website), what the value of participation is, shared results on how your say made a difference etc. etc. I would like to see sharing information in advance through the local Mirror about what is coming up and some interviews - coordinated by Randy Fee the Communications Coordinator. Additionally, a lot of this could be fixed by also creating an online portal of dashboards with specific outcomes, timelines and dated updates as well as who to speak to regarding questions and concerns. There would be a newsletter emailed to those with email and mailed to those without email. There are some good initiatives roughed out in the Community Engagement Strategy from Council in August of this year. I will push for this to happen in a clear and accessible way. Other ways of sharing your input beyond the Public Meeting microphone format would also be valuable. I am not claiming this will get input that would truly represent the majority, but it would help. (Even getting a representative sample of the population willing to take the time to fill out a survey is a challenge for every organization - including municipalities.)

Stewart Strathearn – Monday, September 24 2018

Requested that due to time constraints that I point to his website: Elect Stewart Strathearn for Mayor — and noted that he asks constituents use a contact method listed on that site, or on the Town website, or otherwise public, to ask him the questions they have in person, if the website proves insufficient — after helping me with a council matter, and having a wide-ranging discussion.

Jonathan Main – Tuesday, September 25 2018

Municipal councillors are independent, and I try to take that approach when considering both sides of any policy discussion. I read a lot of news and try to stay informed of current affairs and municipal matters. We all have particular biases but I am open and receptive to the concerns of the community. At the end of the day, Public Policy is about compromise and consensus.

Elliot Sheaves – Tuesday, September 25 2018

Prefers to answer questions in person due to the ways in which written answers can be taken the wrong way. He met with me in person and we had a very long and informative discussion. He also said he welcomes one-on-one with any constituent who would like to know what he thinks on any issue. He has also launched Vote Elliot Sheaves.

Candidates who have not (yet) responded