Andrea Matrosovs is confident she is ready to assume the leadership mantle in the Town of The Blue Mountains.
Matrosovs is completing her first term as a councillor and is looking to step up to the mayor’s chair in this election.
During this term she has served in a number of roles including: Finance, Administration and Legal Committee Chair, Vice-Chair of the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, board member of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, co-chair of the Sustainability Advisory Committee, chair of the Agricultural Advisory Committee and The Blue Mountains Public Library Board.
Matrosovs is a retired educator who now operates the Wild Willow Studio in Clarksburg. During her teaching career, she taught at Collingwood Collegiate Institute, Mountain View Elementary School and Niagara College.
“We’re making progress on a number of fronts, that’s why I’m running. I want to continue that progress and move forward,” she said.
Matrosovs pointed to a number of important projects completed, with extensive public input, during the past few years such as the Transportation Master Plan, the tree bylaw update and the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan.
“It would be heartbreaking having the community do all that work and then have us go in another direction,” she said.
Matrosovs said if elected mayor, attainable housing will continue to be a top item on her agenda.
“We are all going to agree that attainable housing is a top priority,” she said, noting that the community and local businesses are feeling the impacts of the housing crisis. “Young professionals are having a hard time finding a place that matches their income. Restaurants have to be closed two days a week because they don’t have the staffing. We need to create a sustainable community for all stages and ages of life.”
As mayor, Matrosovs said she will bring a new approach to the town’s relationship with Grey County council. She has served as vice-chair of the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority the past two years and now knows many of the representatives from other local municipalities.
“I have already established a working relationship with them. I won’t be a new face to the people returning to county council,” she said. “I’m an advocate for the voice of The Blue Mountains. I believe it’s possible to be assertive without being abrasive.”
Matrosovs described her experience on council the past four years as “excellent.”
“I really believe in the work we’ve done. It’s a vocation. It’s not a job. It’s a calling,” she said, noting that she looks forward to the increased workload that comes with county responsibilities. “There is extra work, I’m not afraid of it, I embrace it.”
Matrosovs said she is excited about the opportunity to bring her style of leadership to the council table.
“As a leader, listening to your colleagues as much as you speak is going to take us a long way at the council table. Robert’s Rules sounds like a dry process, but it’s there to make sure everybody who is there has a chance to share their comments,” she said. “I will come with an open mind. It is the role of the chair to listen to the discussion and keep the discussion going in a way that everybody feels that they have a place at the table.”
Matrosovs is running against Joe Halos, Elizabeth Marshall, and Tony Poole for the mayor's chair. Election day is Oct. 24. For information about registering to vote or to see a list of registered candidates, visit the town website here.
Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca