Councillor candidate - Steve Pinsonneault

The Ridgetown Independent has reached out to each candidate running for a position in the upcoming municipal election. The Ridgetown Independent sent each candidate the same questions to share the answers with our readers.

Steve Pinsonneault, who is running as councillor, provided her answers, which are listed down below:

Age: 59

Address: 93 Lemuel Street Thamesville


Occupation: Business Owner

Tell me a bit about your home life, e.g. married (how many years), how many kids, grandkids, how long you have lived in this area, where you work, hobbies, etc. I’m in a relationship with Jodie Hogg, I have three children Katie, Nick and Julia and two grandchildren Greya and Wyatt. I have lived in Thamesville my entire life. I enjoy old cars, motorcycles and boating.

Community involvement, clubs, organizations, volunteer, etc. I have been a volunteer firefighter for 31 years and president of the Fireman’s Association for 15 years. I have been a Legion member for the past 32 years and work closely with the service clubs in the area I represent.

Past political or other experience you feel may be beneficial? I have been on the Chatham-Kent council for the past four terms, 16 years. During that time, I have sat on various boards – Lower Thames Valley Conservation, Public Utilities Commission, Ridgetown BIA and Library board.

Why have you decided to run for a position in the upcoming election? Or, if you are already on council, why do you want to be re-elected? My track record shows I have always been fiscally responsible, and I have always protected the amenities in small communities. With inflation rising so quickly and interest rates climbing, we are headed into a recession. We as a municipality need to watch our spending with the hard times coming.

What was the one issue that prompted you to enter? Sixteen years ago, when I got into politics, it was because they proposed the idea of maybe closing the Thamesville library. I knew then I wanted to be part of the decision-making process.

What are the top three issues facing Ward 3?

- Infrastructure is deteriorating, and with the inflation climbing, we get less work done for more money, and it will be tough navigating through it.

- The tree-cutting bylaw is front and centre, and we need to find a solution that works for the conservation groups as well as the ag community.

- Migrant housing is going through some growing pains with the proposed regulation causing the agriculture community many issues. Without the migrant workers, the farms don’t run.

What do you believe to be the one most pressing concern to the business community in rural Chatham Kent? In my opinion, I believe the municipality sometimes creates some unnecessary red tape and roadblocks for a new business starting up. We need to streamline the process.

Do you feel it is important to keep facilities such as the library, municipal offices and arena available in rural areas? Yes, these facilities are important to all of the small communities. They are the only real link to the civic centre and are more than just libraries and municipal offices. The library offers internet and learning tools and a form of a community centre for the residents. I have fought many battles over the years to keep them in place.

Do you feel there is waste in the city budget? If so, please cite specific areas where you would reduce funding. I think every organization can find waste in their budget. The municipality is undertaking service reviews to try and find efficiencies.

What do you hope to accomplish as a council member? I will bring the voice of the community forward, and I have never been afraid of ruffling feathers in the process.

What is your vision for Ward 3 in the next four years? Long term? I want to make sure the senior homes are financially sustainable. I want to improve our infrastructure both in towns and rural areas. I will be fiscally responsible so we as a municipality don’t get in too deep for nice-to-do projects and be a strong voice for the residents.

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