After working as councillor for Southwest Middlesex, Christa Cowell is running to broaden her focus as deputy mayor to better align with her vision of investing in the whole municipality.
“We have a ward system and it’s pretty entrenched in the community that ward one is Ekfrid and ward two is Glencoe and ward three is Wardsville. And there’s a strong expectation that the representatives put the needs of each ward ahead of everything else. And for me I found that challenging. I really enjoy supporting good work across the municipality,” said Cowell.
Her priorities include building up the broader community and getting people more involved. She gave the example of the outdoor Christmas market.
“It was right in the thick of Covid. It was the opportunity for people to get out. There was no vaccine mandate surrounding this event because it was outside, and it really helped knit this community back together,” said Cowell.
She also pointed to Tartan Days and the very popular tractor pull.
“I’ve seen people are ready to get back together and spend time with each other,” said Cowell.
She hopes that means volunteerism will come back in a big way to have more and larger events.
Cowell also does not mind investing to make things happen.
“In some situations we’ve had opposition. And I know it’s not popular to spend money,” said Cowell.
“I don’t mind paying taxes, I just want to make sure I’m getting something for my money — good value for my money. And I think that’s what we’ve been doing by investing in our arena, by investing in a daycare, by investing in recreational programs for children and all ages in the community.”
Cowell also pointed to the community improvement plan to beautify business areas as a worthy investment.
Other highlights from council for her were working at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario with other municipalities to lobby for drainage and getting CN Rail to pay their share of the bills when work is done. Cowell said past experience working for a not-for-profit lobbying for the transportation and equipment industry helped when dealing with these type of issues.
Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner