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Gord McKay Files to Run for Mayor of Midland

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In Midland
Jun 13th, 2010
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News release – May 15 2010- Gord McKay visited the Midland Town offices at 2:00 pm today to file papers for his run for Mayor.
“Midland is a wonderful place with a proud heritage. Midland also faces a number of challenges that are going to require new leadership and new energy. I am asking the people of Midland today to let me work with them to resolve these challenges over the next four years.” said Gord McKay
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The attached questions and answers outline Gord’s position on key issues affecting the community.
I care – I listen – Together, we make it happen
The Media Release is provided by the Elect Gord McKay – Mayor Campaign. For further information or an interview call Gord directly at 526-7129 or e-mail him at gordonmckay@rogers.com
Q1:  Why are you running for Mayor?
Midland needs new leadership. Like many towns in Ontario we have our share of issues – from high taxes, to garbage pick-up, to sidewalk construction. Midland is also being challenged by some larger issues – Are our manufacturing jobs coming back? How do we ensure that proper medical care, including our hospital, stays in Midland? Can we continue to pay for the services we receive from our Town? 
We cannot continue to fix these issues piecemeal – they are all related. Resolving these issues requires a plan and a new approach. It begins by having a Mayor who listens to the people of Midland, works with them to develop a shared vision and then puts the plans and resources in place to get us there. This requires new leadership. I will bring that leadership to Midland.
Q2: What are the issues you feel need to be addressed?
I have visited many neighborhoods, talking to people and understanding what is affecting them. I also watch what is going on at Council, at the County and in the province and see many developments that are affecting life here in Midland. This is what I am hearing.
High Taxes: We in Midland pay high taxes. Taxes are increasingly being shifted onto the homeowner because we lack a robust business base. A significant number of residents have told me stories of home foreclosures and being unable to buy basic necessities partly because of high taxes. We must develop a long term plan to keep our taxes under control.
Town Services: We all enjoy our Town services but can we continue to afford them? We are already starting to hit our limits:
– the heavy garbage pick-up service was stopped to save money
– the Town delayed buying a planned transit bus this year
– the Town’s “street outreach” program still struggles for funding
We need to look for new ways to provide our necessary services more efficiently and effectively.
Economic Development: Midland has a long history as an economic powerhouse – as a lumbering capital, a shipbuilding port and most recently a manufacturing centre. Many of those industries and their jobs are gone and few have replaced them. Midland currently has no plan for our economic future. We need to do better. A healthy economic future is essential to providing good jobs for our children right here in Midland.
Drugs: Not many want to talk about this issue, but some of our neighborhoods are seriously affected by drugs. In some areas of Town parents are afraid to let their children play outside for fear of local drug activity. Drugs are a cancer and they will spread. It is time for a new concerted approach to this problem.
Transit: Many in Midland depend upon public transit, especially seniors and students. We also have a large population of individuals with accessibility challenges for whom public transit is an absolute necessity. A coordinated sustainable commitment to transit must receive greater priority in our community.
Affordable Housing:  The Town’s Poverty Committee was a good first step. Its recommendation to allow secondary suites was a good recommendation but by the Town’s own admission it is unlikely to generate many new accommodations. The Committee must focus on affordable housing and make sure we have affordable housing that meets the needs of our young families and seniors.
Q3: How will it be different if you become Mayor?
Let me come back to the issue of leadership. The first thing a leader must do is listen. There have been many times over the last few years when the citizens of this Town have tried to get the ear of their leaders and simply were not listened to. That cannot go on.
We must meet and really listen to each other.  I will encourage this by setting up special meetings with groups and individuals to deal with our issues (see Q2). We will work together to hammer out solutions that make sense for everyone. This is not a simple process. It requires a spirit of give and take from everyone. But it is the only way that our Town can move forward and resolve many of our current issues.
I will also bring a new style to Council. It’s no secret that this Council had to go for “therapy” to try and become better behaved. Poor Council behavior does not help Midland. I am part of Council and I am not proud of its poor behavior. As Mayor, all Councillors will have to listen to and respect one another. There should be no “sides” to an issue.  Effective leadership can get Council working again for all of Midland.
Listening, creating solutions and then acting requires a new style of leadership – one I will bring to the office of the Mayor.

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