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Jamie-Lee Ball aims to create better environment for youth

In Governance
Oct 1st, 2022
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From MidlandToday, September 13, 2022

Editor’s note: MidlandToday  has asked council candidates in Midland, Penetanguishene and Tiny Township to provide a synopsis of why they are running for public office. Municipal elections take place Oct. 24.

The following response is from Jamie-Lee Ball, who is running for council in Midland. For more election coverage, visit our 2022 municipal election page by clicking here, where you can find candidate profiles and other election news.

What is your name, what will be your age on election day, and who are your key immediate family members you rely on for support?

Jamie-Lee Ball, 36. I rely on my husband, children, and parents as well as friends within the community as my chosen family.

In 10 words or less, why is your municipality the best in the province?

A supportive and caring community located in a beautiful landscape.

What prompted you to run as a municipal leader?

I am a parent, employee of a local business, and group leader that understands the effect of fund allocation on the community and programs within them. I want to be able to raise my kids in a town that continues to hear their citizens’ needs and strives to improve all aspects that affect them. I believe planning for not just the present, but the future will allow Midland to reflect the passion of the community for years to come.

Midland Bay Landing is mired in controversy, involving contaminated land, residents wanting to protect parkland, developer visions for the future, and the municipality’s choice for that developer. What is your stance on Midland Bay Landing?

I believe there is more conversation to be had about Midland Bay Landing. I think that is very clear by how large of an outcry it has received within the community. The need to meet the community needs as well as developers and future homeowners must be more balanced going forward to find a solution that benefits all who live within the community.

You will be asked to join committees and other municipal representations. Which are you eager to become involved in?

I am eager to get involved with events and grants committees as well as the library. I would also like to be part of accessibility and affordable housing solutions. Building on the future of Midland, I would like to be part of a youth council. I think it is a great opportunity for youth in the community to be actively involved in changes that affect them and will affect them in the future. It’s also a great opportunity to mentor future community members and give them valuable life skills.

Voter apathy is always a concern, ranging between 25.7% to 42% of ballots cast across North Simcoe in the last municipal election. Knowing you could be elected without even half of possible voters turning out, what will you do to combat voter apathy so your municipality is best represented?

I believe being active within your community and being responsive to questions and concerns targets voter apathy. People are less inclined to vote when candidates are not meeting their needs as community members. Elected members are small minorities of the community and our job is to listen and value what the community is telling us. I think by doing this, people will become more passionate about voting.

There are many prominent concerns ongoing in the region, from affordable housing to the opioid epidemic to short-term rentals as well as others. What is one concern that you think the majority of residents are not aware of?

Awareness of issues is a secondary problem to dealing with the many issues that are being brought forward. I think changing the focus on those already prominent issues is not beneficial currently.

The province is planning for a population of 555,000 and 198,000 jobs by 2051. If now is the time to prepare for that influx, what will you proactively do as your part in the process?

I would like to put efforts into leadership development programming for youth as well as training and apprenticeship programs where skilled leaders within the community can offer skill-building opportunities to enable career paths fueled by passion to gain qualified individuals for the future. These opportunities create jobs and allow broader categories of job expansion beyond entrance-level positions. I hope this, partnered with affordable housing solutions, can make the inevitable influx of population a positive addition to the community.

Recidivism isn’t just on the police and courts. As a municipal leader and crafter of bylaws, what initiatives will you undertake to address crime in your care?

I think bringing back a stronger police presence in downtown Midland is a good first step to combating crime. Ensuring that there are programs in place that target job skills, youth engagement, and mental health also help limit community crime.

Infrastructure projects require taxpayer dollars. What infrastructure project does the municipality desperately need, and does it justify a tax increase from the ratepayers to have it done as soon as possible?

I believe that Midland is heavily taxed. I would like to see opportunities for the budget to be reassessed as well as upcoming contracts to see if there is an ability to utilize funds differently. I think this is a better first step than jumping right to a tax increase.

Times change. What is the most aged or obsolete bylaw in your municipality’s code?

I think the bylaws surrounding pets could be updated. Having backyard chickens, a max cap on two rabbits and two cats per household are bylaws I believe can be amended.

Once you complete your four-year term, what is the legacy you want residents to best remember for your time in office?

I hope to have a legacy of inclusive community spaces, programs, and events. Developing youth-related programming and affordable recreation programs for the whole family.

Read the article here

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