• Munawar Chudary

A well known community well- wisher Tina Sibbald's insight about our upcoming municipal election.

Updated: Sep 17, 2018

"Election 2018 in Bradford West Gwillimbury.

Here, for what it is worth, are my (partly tongue-in-cheek) picks for the upcoming municipal election. My vision is a council that is one-half experienced and one-half new blood. Shaking things up is a good thing, as long as we have some experienced veterans who know the ropes. I'm not interested in debating with anyone, and ultimately I care less who you vote for and more THAT you vote at all. Apathy and politics is a dangerous mix.

To the incumbents: please don't become complacent. Don't take your support for granted. This isn't a lifelong appointment. You need to earn it every year. To the newbies: do you have any idea of what you are in for? If you do and you're still going for it anyway, I salute and respect you.

Mayor: Rob Keffer. It kind of feels like an acclamation anyway. The other candidate has nothing of substance on his website. Staying the course with a known quantity seems to be the best option right now.

Deputy Mayor: James R Leduc. He's worked hard. He deserves it. His dedication to the community is proven. If the boys' network continues to prevail, he'll be mayor someday. He doesn't come from privilege so that actually works for me. He's a decent guy.

Ward 1: Raj Sandhu. He's worked hard and cares about the community. He's a good person. One of the other candidates is ignoring the sigh by-laws and putting his signs on public property. He should be eliminated from the race...LOL

Ward 2: Brian Carruthers seems like an intelligent and well educated professional. In the battle of the middle-aged white Ward 2 men, he wins in my book because he doesn't have a picture of Caroline Mulroney on his website.

Ward 4: Rick Turner. I like his website. I like that he has a young family, and therefore will relate well to that demographic. I vaguely remember the amount of energy it takes to raise kids and be involved in the community and I have the sense that he's up to the challenge.

Ward 5: Munawar Ahmed Chudary. A decent respectful person of inclusion and committed to the community. I judge people also on their business ethics and he wins in this ward, or any ward for that matter, hands-down.

Ward 6: Lisa G. Hawkins. She's articulate, bright, full of ideas, and more importantly, has the energy to walk it not just talk it. Those who know her well speak of her tenacity when she's working towards a goal. And while not a determining factor, this IS 2018 and Bradford is a little bit of a hick town where its women-folk in municipal politics is concerned.

Ward 7: Peter Dykie. This one feels like an acclamation also. He knows the ropes.

School trustees: we should all care, especially in this climate of dialing back curricula to the stone age. Regrettably and embarrassingly, I haven't looked into these candidates yet. We all should, though.

*My opinions are my own. I spent time checking out all the candidates. I don't care who agrees or disagrees, I just wanted to give a shout out to my own choices and wish them the best.

Because the Town is growing so rapidly, there are issues in this election which we should all be concerned about. I am completely underwhelmed by the way growth in this Town has been managed. That is not to say that we shouldn't grow, but the spawl doesn't seem all that well thought-out, and we risk fall-out from neglecting the older parts of our town. Traffic is hell. The "four corners" would compete with some of Toronto's most notorious intersections. There's one road in and out of town. Local transit is pathetic, and if you want to take a GO train to Toronto, good luck finding parking. There's a ridiculously long light on Melbourne out front of the police station and I can't find a soul who can explain its purpose other than to elicit feelings of rage because it is so badly synchronized with the light at Miller Park. (Stop... drive 200m...stop again).

I don't think many people realize how important it is that they make sure they never have a fire at their house. Our fire department is made up of highly skilled and well-trained full-timers and volunteers, but there aren't enough of them. 24 firefighters for 30,000 people. All I've heard from our elected officials is how we can't afford more firefighters. We can't afford NOT to have adequate protection in our communities. I'm lucky; the fire hall is 500m from my house. You couldn't pay me enough to move to Bond Head, or down to that big old farmer's field south on the 10th where they built multi-million dollar houses but one of them burned down because the fire department didn't have the manpower to send out a truck for 20 minutes. Priorities!

There are so many more issues that I don't even know about. Please, attend candidate's launches and the all-candidates meetings and press them for answers which go beyond campaign rhetoric. Sure, we need more seniors housing... How exactly DO you propose to address that? Should we secede from Simcoe County and join York Region? What about the Bradford Bypass? What about attracting more industry and jobs? The list goes on."

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