The Blue Mountains mayoral candidate Elizabeth Marshall promises she will not 'be the status quo,' and she will listen to concerns of the people.
Marshall is the President of All Rights Research Ltd, from which she has taken a leave of absence during the campaign. She does legal, legislative, constitutional and historical research on various issues for MPs, MPPs, municipal offices and law offices. She is the author of a book, in its second edition, on property rights and Canadian constitutional documents.
Her family settled in the local area before Confederation and she has strong roots here.
“I’m not the status quo and I’m not going to be the status quo and I think people like that,” she said. “I do legal and legislative research. I have municipal councillors and mayors contact me when they have problem issues and bylaws. I do the research and help them fix the problems.”
Marshall said she is running for mayor because she feels the concerns of everyday residents are not being heard.
“There are a myriad of things people want fixed,” she said. “I know the Municipal Act really well. This is my home, I felt I should step up. Marshall said as mayor she would emphasize accountability, transparency and communications with the public.
“Special interest groups have way too much influence on council. I’m someone that is not going to just subscribe to what the special interest groups are saying,” she said. “I’m not trying to offend anybody. I want to listen to the other council members and we need to get out and talk to everyday residents.”
Marshall said when she speaks to voters she is hearing their frustrations about daytime meetings that make it difficult for them to attend and poor communications.
“There needs to be open communication between residents and the town. Not just council, but staff as well,” she said. “I have heard a number of complaints. I’m here for the residents. They have rights, but they also need information to make informed decisions.”
As mayor, Marshall would represent The Blue Mountains at county council. She said the dialogue between the town and county must be better.
“I know a number of the mayors in Grey County, to me they’re reasonable people. We need an open communication line with members of county council. I’m not talking about bowing down to them, but I will be bringing information to them,” she said.
Marshall said the share The Blue Mountains pays in taxes each year to the county far exceeds any other individual share paid by any of the other eight member municipalities.
“We’re carrying the lion’s share. I would go to them and say: 'do you not think this is a little extreme?'” she said. “It takes open conversation and it takes balance and fairness. That’s where I’m coming from.”
Marshall said she is “discouraged” with what is happening in the community on affordable housing. She said there are plenty of opportunities for funding with the federal government for those kinds of programs.
“We should be tapping into that,” he said.
Marshall promises as mayor local residents can count on her to be in their corner.
“I’m listening to the people. There are a lot of things that need to be looked at,” she said.
Marshall is running against Joe Halos, Tony Poole, and Andrea Matrosovs 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