CORNWALL Ontario – One of the reasons I didn’t run for office last term is that CFN was still in its infancy and frankly the other media have been less than civil. Note in question is that the two that covered my announcement yesterday both went yellow bringing up the political smear of last week. Corus Radio ignored the first mayoralty candidate announcement even though I talked to their News Director, Bill Kingston in advance.
Fast forward four years and things have changed. CFN is number one in Cornwall and the ills at 360 Pitt are much more apparent to me.
I have to apologize to the public for endorsing Mayor Kilger; something I will have to live with; but its said that any apology has to have action to back that up and yesterday after much prodding, I took that action by filing my papers to run for Mayor of Cornwall Ontario.
I had earlier stated that I would only do so if the Mayor filed; but frankly with the pouring of the concrete at the Chemical Tanks and the Political and Personal smear I was given last week along with the urging of the public, I decided to take this step.
I also announced yesterday that I will be putting my stake in CFN on the open market because frankly there are not enough hours in the day, and when elected I could not handle all of my duties at CFN. We have had three asks in the last 12 months and each wanted me to stay on in some capacity. Nothing will change in the day to day workings although we do have some new talent about to start to show up and take some of the burden off of me as my campaign evolves.
Cornwall is at a critical point in its history. Change is coming whether people want it or not. As many of you reading this know I was not born here in Cornwall. I chose to live here and have now for ten years.
I am Cornwall’s Canary in the Coal mine. I don’t want others to experience some of the behaviour that I have endured. I want us to be able to honestly invite investment and talent, and not be embarrassed after. My neighbours, also a Montreal transplant that invested heavily in their retirement home, have expressed regrets at moving to Cornwall as have others. I want to help change that.
Same for young people. It’s time to keep our people home.
How do we do that? Well there’s not one simple answer, but there is one simple step and that’s for us to stop trashing Cornwall and building our brand. That starts with our elected officials and management to stop selling us cheap as though something is wrong with us; there isn’t other than we, like some other communities, failed to elect leaders.
We don’t need to freeze taxes, we need to cut them and I feel that a proper audit of the budget by true leaders will show that we can cut taxes without cutting services. This is something I am committed to.
Corporate welfare is not the solution. We need to invest in our people first. No more 12 months waiting for permits to open a business in Cornwall as one new restaurant owner shared with me. Can you imagine paying rent and overhead for a year while being jerked around by officials who instead of providing clear lists keep returning piece meal sometimes even having previous work demanded ripped down? Do we not realize that people talk and it discourages small business from coming to Cornwall?
At a recent meeting it was mentioned that there are 17 available storefronts on Montreal Road. Le Village has issues that can only be dealt with by taking some honest looks in the mirror and realizing that we have to do better. Look what Brockville did with King Street? Look at Westboro. We have to start the Gentrification process sooner rather than later. We need to start or assist in the creation of business and cultural incubators.
We can change. We can do better, but one person will not be that change. We all have to be that change. We can make the difference, but only if we put petty past grievances aside and work together. We need to hold those responsible accountable and heal.
And we need to fix our house. And once we’ve fixed our house we need to go to our neighbours and say it’s time to amalgamate and create an Eastern Ontario powerhouse of Economic Development; especially with the ways things are going with our neighbours in Quebec.
Remember, one step at a time. The first step is for you; the voters of Cornwall, to start to focus on the issues that matter to you and to get involved in the process. We have seven months to harvest these first seeds. We have seven months to create the new Cornwall. I’m ready if you are.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org