The purpose for my candidacy was to be a means of advocacy and education for Pelham residents and to encourage resident engagement in municipal issues.
When I started talking with residents about their needs, there was an immediate sense of common ground. Most people were aware of my struggles trying to obtain information from the Town and the subsequent lawsuit… people felt kindred.
They confided their concerns with the municipality without hesitation and were astute with solutions. When asked why these concerns and solutions are not shared with their councillors and/or mayor, residents commonly state because they don’t feel they will he heard and that action will never come to pass. This sentiment troubled me.
I then had the pleasure of learning about a group of citizens from Church Hill, in Fonthill, who are opposing a proposed zoning amendment in their neighborhood.
I heard their deliberation to council and was reminded that the power for influence and change is stronger in the community rather than cloaked behind council policy and closed meeting sessions.
I therefore decided to withdraw my candidacy for councillor of Ward 1.
Instead, I will take on the role of advocate. I will be working at the provincial level encouraging the passing of Bill 8, The Accountability and Transparency Act.
I will also be working inside local media to help educate residents on the business of local government and provide general suggestions on how residents can become more educated and involved in issues that surround them.
My decision fulfills my original purpose of nomination and puts me in the trenches with my neighbours.
Thank you to all those I have had the pleasure of speaking with over the past few months. I assure you that your concerns will continue to be heard.