Don Howe, Ward 2, Grimsby 2022
What to expect from an elected member of any level of government is a question we should ask ourselves each time we exercise the right to put our mark on a ballot. This question and decisions made will somehow, either directly or indirectly, affect us either today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and so on. Is my choice the best person to do the JOB? Will they represent me, and I don’t mean blindly do what rewards me but makes my life a little bit better now and in the future?
A long time ago a friend and I, over a beverage, had a discussion in which he shared his thoughts about how a municipal politician should approach their job as though they are on the board of directors of a corporation. While the for-profit corporation’s ultimate goal is to maximize profits to the shareholder, the town representative has to maximize the return, in the form of services, to taxpayers. This is the financial responsibility of the town representative. Decisions must reflect this reality.
In my mind there are two types of politicians. One who wants to be in photo ops, shaking hands and admiring babies. The other wants to do the job of running a town, or any level of government. This type goes to work and does the job; makes the hard decisions required and goes home. For example, in football, if an offensive lineman gets their name mentioned it is usually because they made a mistake whereas if they do their job most people don’t know their name.
Change is with us and will continue to be. The picture of a snowball rolling down a hill, starting small but continually getting bigger certainly applies. Some of the change is not what any of us want but it is going to keep coming at us. The real challenge to your local representatives is how to make it match what some of our expectations are. We need to find the wins for the town and most of these wins will be hard earned. If the win was easy, it is because it was already expected by the other party. Most people who have lived in Grimsby for some time will regret some of the changes as have others before us. One personal example, Smithville’s development and the Region’s lack of follow-through on an escarpment crossing has resulted in tremendous pressure on a street and neighbourhood that was built when horses and buggies were the transportation of the day. Decisions made or not made at one time can have unforeseen complications in the future if sufficient consideration of future effects is not made.
Grimsby has been and can continue to be a great place to live and raise a family. But it is going to take some good people keep us there, not the bully types who harass and belittle fellow councillors and deprive them of the ability to provide meaningful knowledge and insight.
MAKE YOUR CHOICES WISELY!