(WINDSOR, ON) – It is still early in the 2018 Windsor municipal election campaign, but there’s no time like the present to learn more about the people asking for the voters’ endorsement on October 22. Over the next few weeks leading up to election day, The Square will publish candidates’ responses to 20 questions so that electors can align themselves with those who will best represent them.
All candidates running in the 2018 Windsor municipal election were provided with the same 20 questions seeking responses to hot button issues facing the city over the next four years. There are four persons seeking the city’s top spot however, only one took the time to respond to the electorate’s needs.
Current mayor, Drew Dilkens, has drawn criticism in the past for being out of touch and aloof. His failure to supply answers to the most important topics facing the municipality adds credence to the public’s opinion that he’s too arrogant to be returned to council.
Newcomer Tom Hensel was the first to file his nomination papers to run for mayor. Hensel brings a lot of baggage with him from Toronto including impersonating a lawyer, failure to pay employees of his software company their wages, being non-compliant with a Ministry of Labour order, and pending collections by the Ministry of Finance. Hensel failed to respond to The Square.
Frank Dyck is a retired Leamington farmer who also failed to respond to The Square. When filing his nomination forms, Dyck told AM800 that he could do a better job as mayor as anyone else.
Perennial mayoral candidate Ernie Lamont is not a stranger to Windsor electors. Better known as Ernie the Baconman, Lamont doesn’t have an email address so did not have an opportunity to submit his responses.
Finally, the former President and CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce , Matt Marchand, has been endorsed by both the local labour council and business leaders alike. He was the only mayoral candidate who responded to The Square.
Of all the candidates, only Marchand has an election website.
Mayoral Candidates Responses To Questions 1-10
1. What would you propose to do with Adventure Bay?
(Matt Marchand) We will be talking about Adventure Bay among other things very soon.
2. Do you support the city’s current external audit program?
(Marchand) The Matt Marchand for Mayor Campaign stands for transparency and accountability. During consultations with the community, we hear concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability. We’ll have more to say on this very soon.
3. What proportion of the budget should be directed toward the operating budget and how much toward the capital budget?
(Marchand) Rather than get into ratios per se, our campaign would like to grow the top line in our budget from rising assessments due to increased investment in our community especially the Downtown. We do that by unlocking and unleashing our private sector and making our city open for business.
4. Do you support the city’s use of alternative voting methods?
(Marchand) Our campaign does not have a position on the above legal matter.
5. Do you support the temporary installation of the central library at the new city hall?
(Marchand) We would have like [sic] to have seen more community input and transparency. It seemed quite rushed. If elected, we will review this entire matter with community input.
6. Do you foresee any city services which could be contracted out as a cost saving measure?
(Marchand) One assumes that contracting out necessarily means cost savings. It may not.
7. Do you agree with the city’s movement toward becoming a refugee city?
(Marchand) This has not come up in our community consultations so far, but we follow the laws on the books.
8. Is the deal to sell the central library good for the city?
(Marchand) Again, we need to review this entire matter once in office. It was handled hastily and without sufficient public consultation.
9. What three things would you do to improve Transit Windsor?
We have heard some good feedback on Transit Windsor’s services. We need to get our people to work if they don’t have or want a car.
So far, we see the need to improve bus route schedules and frequencies as well as the locations of bus stops, particularly in Sandwich Towne and the West End.
We would also like to improve Handi-Transit, making it a more streamlined and convenient experience for persons with disabilities.
10. Should Windsor and Essex County explore more regional initiatives and, if so, in what areas?
(Marchand) Transit could be one especially with Agriculture/greenhouse employers in the County and Patillo Road. We have jobs without people and people without jobs. We need to get that solved.
Marchand’s responses to questions 11 through 20 will appear in The Square on August 9.
* An earlier version of this article featured responses erroneously attributed to Matt Marchand. The Square regrets the mistake and apologizes for any confusion which may have arose.