Mayoral candidate - William Pickard

·2 min read

William Pickard did not directly respond to the questions asked, however, he did send in the following:

A lifelong resident of Thamesville, I’ve become very disturbed by the evolution of Chatham-Kent. The glorious promises of the benefits to be had have never been realized for the small town and rural citizens. Instead of more and better services and higher efficiency, we have got less services at a higher cost and lesser efficiency.

This is an election with far more urgent issues in crisis than normal. In my mind, the single most important issue is the lack of accountability and transparency in the municipal government. Too many issues have been ignored or swept under the table rather than openly discussed. Council has blindsided the public or certain groups within the public far too many times. Cure that problem, and other critical issues will be “easier” to attack.

Of high importance is the housing and homeless issue. They are constantly preaching about the need for “affordable housing,” – and yet, in the last two weeks, they have implemented another cost fee into the housing situation. Every form of housing now has an additional “fee” – $17,316 on every single detached home to be built in Chatham-Kent. Also, they have yet to define exactly what is affordable and for whom.

Our health system is crumbling around us, despite millions, probably billions, spent to support it. That is a national, provincial and municipal crisis that needs a great deal of “correcting.”

Guess who the biggest employer in Chatham-Kent is! Surprise, it’s Chatham-Kent. That is not healthy in a Democratic, free market system. The cost of government needs to be reduced. More and more taxes, fees and bureaucrats and consulting fines are not the answer.

C-K Council is always promoting circus rather than more productivity. The proposed new “Entertainment and government” hub at the downtown center gives the citizens. Nothing new rather duplicates and replaces existing infrastructure at a very high “cost.” We need jobs, not a circus. We need things repaired, Not replaced. Regarding jobs – they should be in the local small business community, Not more government jobs.

It’s time for a new approach. The old guard has failed.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News