As a candidate for City Council, my priorities are determined and created through feedback from you! I work for you and am answerable to you. My major focus since entering the race has been to “Learn, Listen & Lead”. For example, I’ve travelled to Medicine Hat to learn about their nationally recognized homelessness program, I’ve spent hours consulting downtown business owners and most importantly, I’ve received feedback from many of you.
As I contemplate all that I have learned, it is very apparent that the people of Lethbridge will NOT accept the status quo and that new ideas and perspectives are badly needed.
You have told me to focus on the following priorities:
Safety & Crime
For the second year in a row, you live in the city with the HIGHEST Crime Severity Index in the entire country. When I speak to business owners and neighbours, they all share their concerns about crime, criminal drug use, and safety. We have major city parks that remain basically unused and unusable due to the presence of used needles and due to the fear of encountering aggressive panhandlers or the fear of having to witness someone overdosing on illegal street drugs. Most of the homeless population are not dangerous and we need to work together to find helpful solutions. Unfortunately, there are criminals in our midst that break into businesses, assault business owners and create an atmosphere of fear that negatively impacts people’s perceptions of our city and especially of our beautiful downtown core. There are solutions to these issues but we have to act now. Law Enforcement needs to feel supported to ENFORCE the law. We can make Lethbridge a less appealing market for drug dealers and those that perpetrate crime in our city. My priority will be to engage with law enforcement and other community support services in order to find ways to prevent crime, punish criminals and support those that need and want help.
Spending is something that we can control. The current city council has become desensitized to the fact that they are using YOUR money (it doesn’t matter if the money is municipal, provincial or federal tax dollars). There are unlimited GOOD ways to spend finite tax dollars but council needs to properly prioritize spending and focus on the BEST options. The entitled attitude of passing the buck to the taxpayer through increased taxation will end. As we refocus and work together, we will stop wasting money and discover how much more we can accomplish using what we have instead of demanding more from you.
Back to Business
I chose “Back to Business” as my slogan because like you I am ready to move on after a long and difficult struggle through the COVID pandemic. Many people lost their jobs, businesses left the city, many became gravely ill and sadly, some loved ones died. The pandemic is not over and there will be ramifications for months and years. Businesses, people and families will need time and support in order to recover. Lethbridge’s best days await and I am excited to work with you to revitalize our local economy and attract investment. Many business owners have shared that Lethbridge continues to have too much “red tape” at all levels. I agree and will work to streamline and simplify the regulatory and license procedures in order to encourage increased investment in Lethbridge. It’s time to get “Back to Business”.
To the extent we can accomplish the aforementioned priorities, opportunities, resources and programs to support the needy of our city will continue to emerge. Early on in my campaign I shared the following: “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” We need to teach more people to fish. Self Reliance is one key to our homelessness and crime problems. I want to identify those who are looking to improve their life. We have the capacity to shelter, rehabilitate, educate and train those who choose to make a better life. We need to support these folks. We need to look at other municipalities and see what solutions have worked and look to see how they may work here. I also realize that these issues are extremely complex and we will need to work closely with multiple agencies and levels of government. The people of Lethbridge demand action and we owe it to everyone to implement solutions instead of creating committees and holding meetings. I look forward to working with council and other stakeholders to find affordable and attainable solutions.
There are many other important issues that the new City Council will need to tackle. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me so that we can discuss your priorities.