Since announcing my candidacy for mayor of Mississippi Mills, I’ve had lots of people asking me why on earth I would want to do this. Before diving into that question, let me first answer this one: What does the mayor really do anyway?
Some people, even politicians, misunderstand the mayor’s role. As defined by the Ontario Municipal Act, the mayor is the chief executive officer of our municipality but holds no veto power; the mayor has only one vote at the table, like every other member of council.
The mayor runs council meetings and makes sure that business is carried out efficiently and effectively. The mayor provides leadership to council by providing information and recommendations about its responsibilities to our community.
As the chief executive officer, the mayor cultivates and participates in activities that grow our economic, social and environmental well-being as a community and encourages the public to become involved. The mayor advocates for and promotes our municipality and is our representative here at home and to our neighbours – locally, nationally and internationally.
My path to the council table and the mayor’s seat
Rolling the clock back to when I returned home in 2011, after studying and working as musician, and started going to Council meetings, I didn’t see anyone like me at the table. There were no young people and only one woman.
I’d rather do something than complain about a situation, so I ran and won a seat at the Council table in 2014. The learning curve was steep and at times I felt like I was drinking water from a fire hydrant. I gained a thorough education on municipal politics and learned more about our community and our citizens than I could have imagined. I’m still learning and expect I always will.
When the opportunity came up to run for mayor in our upcoming election, I took a good look at what the role really is and I thought there is room for me to contribute in a positive, meaningful way. There is so much passion and pride in our community – that was the big inspiration for me to step up to the plate and run for mayor.
So back to the question of why I want to be your mayor. The answer is quite simple: I love this place. I moved back to this community because there’s simply no where else I’d rather be. My family is here, my roots are here. My heart is here.