The Dryden Observer sent out a questionnaire to all the candidates running for Dryden City Council. We asked each of candidates what made them run for city council and if there was a major issue in the city that they want to take care of on day one. We will be running the replies in alphabetical order by candidates last name over three parts. Municipal elections will be held on Monday, October 22. – Editor
“The reason that I am running for a second term is to continue to give back to the community by finishing the work started on the City’s economic recovery plan. We have made great progress on debt reduction, re-building the City’s cash reserves, putting personal performance standards in place and making key management hires.
The city’s financial recovery plan will be wrapped up in 2021 and Dryden will then again have the resources to implement more aggressive infrastructure upgrade programs and City improvement initiatives
“Although there are no immediate crisis issues that require attention on day one, the new Council will need to immediately work on the City’s 2019 operating budget to be presented to Council for approval in January. Another key activity for Council is the start of the city’s strategic planning process.
“The city’s financial recovery plan will be wrapped up in 2021 and Dryden will then again have the resources to implement more aggressive infrastructure upgrade programs and City improvement initiatives.”
“I believe that we need to keep moving forward with the positive momentum this council has started.
I want to keep us moving forward in the right direction. I love Dryden, plain and simple.
“We need to keep working as a team so that our decisions reflect those of the majority of our citizens bringing positive results in order to better City for today and future generations.
“This council inherited a mess that needed to be cleaned up. Today we have proper financials, we know what monies we have and very thorough financials. We developed governance practices and policies that better Council and administration, thus better for our citizens.
“We had to make the tough decisions in order to meet our upcoming debt payments that we inherited. I want to keep us moving forward in the right direction. I love Dryden, plain and simple. I realized that I can watch what happens, I can wonder what happened, or I can make things happen.
“I am choosing to make things happen to better this City. We still have many issues that need to be dealt with, our debt payment being the biggest issue over the next 3 years to 2021. We have put steps into place to make the payments but we still need to find revenues and reduce expenses in order to make those payments.”
“I was challenged to run, on a Facebook comment I made, regarding the amateur show that became the city’s handling of the situation with our firefighters towards the end of the winter.
Council and the mayor are our chosen representatives, however, outside of Mary Trist and Roger Valley, it certainly seemed that they were choosing to ignore the public
“I’ve heard some from both sides, and there is plenty of blame to go around. However, the way Mayor Wilson and certain members of council, fire chief and previous CAO (Ernie Remillard) handled this whole issue made me question where the hell was the common sense in city hall? I know I wasn’t seeing any.
“As we watched this situation unfold, the city moved forward with staffing changes to the fire service without any input from the citizens of Dryden. Council and the mayor are our chosen representatives, however, outside of Mary Trist and Roger Valley, it certainly seemed that they were choosing to ignore the public.
“As part of cost-containing measures, Dryden is investigating replacing the Dryden Police Service with the OPP. There seems to be plans for consultations and options presented. This is the way all major issues affecting the entire city should be handled.
“This is the way that any changes to the fire service model should have been done.”
“I am running for city council because I know I will be a positive force in getting Dryden back to where it once was.
I want to be the voice of the people… Together we can make Dryden great again
“Dryden, I believe, has so many opportunities and will become the hub of the northern area again with the proper leadership. Dryden has given my family a safe place to grow, learn, develop and to be successful.
“It is my responsibility to keep the future strong and vibrate for the next generation. One issue I feel that needs to be focused on is the commerce of Dryden. We need to encourage and help develop our entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses to revitalize the downtown area.
“I have a vision of senior housing above the retail areas making life for our seniors so much easier and affordable. I believe it will take time to deal with many issues that the people of Dryden have concerns about and I feel no one issue can be fixed in only one day…
“I want to be the voice of the people… Together we can make Dryden great again!!!
“I decided to run for city council because I wanted to see more young people represented on council, I wanted to learn the role of councillor and of municipal government better, and I wanted to inspire other citizens to become engaged in the town itself.
I want young people to be proud of where they come from and I want older generations to be proud that they stayed
“When I first moved here I found it difficult to integrate into the community, the community was so tight knit it felt almost impenetrable. Although, once I had established meaningful connections with people and partnerships with organizations and businesses, I came to see the community for what it really is; fiercely loyal to its people, a community that knows how to have fun and wanting to show the world just how much it has to offer.
“That last point is actually one of my goals if elected- I want to show the citizens of Dryden that our home has so much to offer- you just have to get out and see it- do it! I want young people to be proud of where they come from and I want older generations to be proud that they stayed.
“I don’t think it is solely “my job” to instill this pride within everyone but I hope that eventually people who live here will love it as much as I do.”
“My name is Shawn Lappage and I’m running for a seat on Dryden City Council. To me, being a part of city council means standing up for what you believe in, but it also means working together.
I will stay true to my roots, I will be your voice in council chambers, and I will bring your voice forward to be heard
“I believe that elected officials should be accountable to the constituents that they were elected to represent. With great power comes great responsibility. It’s probably easy, especially after multiple terms in power, to lose your connection with the common person if your not careful.
“We deserve better. When elected I will stay true to my roots, I will be your voice in council chambers, and I will bring your voice forward to be heard. I will help drive the change that will allow us to feel some pride in our community again.
I chose to run this election because I want to help make our community great again. I am running because I want to help make our downtown safe and relevant. I am running because I want to help keep our kids safe and drug free. I am running because I want to help bring businesses and people back into our community instead of pushing them all out. I’m running because I am passionate about my community!
“I think it’s time for change, because I know we can do better! I think it’s time to put the people first, and Make Dryden Great Again!”
“What made me run for council? I want to see an environment that supports and encourages economic growth in Dryden, creating more tax dollars to pay down our debt and maintain all infrastructures to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Dryden.
“I want to see an environment that supports and encourages economic growth in Dryden, creating more tax dollars to pay down our debt and maintain all infrastructures to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Dryden
“Keeping property taxes, sewer and water rates at reasonable rate encourages development. I want to work with the necessary stakeholders to develop housing for seniors.
“I strongly believe we need to develop a strategic plan and implement it, A strategic plan sets priorities, focuses energy and resources and strengthens our operations, it ensures that we have plans in place to move our community in the future with Economic Development, it also engages community stakeholders, with their input on where the community should go.
“Quality of life issues, with parks, recreation and infrastructure have fallen behind and need to be made a priority for our current and future citizens. In the next four years and beyond, I see Dryden moving in a positive manner with jobs and economic growth and prosperity.
“I commit to the citizens of Dryden to work hard to help build a positive and prosperous community.”
“My concern in running again is I think there are a lot of single purpose people running, in my estimation that’s not good for the community.
For Dryden to survive it has to embrace change and it has to do it relatively quickly
“Having done two terms of council you have many things to consider and you can’t just run with an axe to grind. If you have a single purpose it doesn’t suit what the community needs, that’s why I’m running for council again.
“I believe that Dryden has to continue its search for financial stability, that’s about two years away the way I see the numbers. Once that is achieved we can do all kinds of good things; there will be more money for infrastructure, more money for downtown development, which we desperately need to get into.
“There will be more money for the wellness of the community; we’ve got to spend a lot of time developing our relationships with the Indigenous community, with other societies moving into our area, we need to be more accepting, there’s lots of work to be doing that way.
“Dryden, in its history, resists change; it’s always been stabilized by huge tax dollars from corporate sources that are gradually evaporating. For Dryden to survive it has to embrace change and it has to do it relatively quickly.”
“It’s pretty simple, I love Dryden, born and bred here, I think it’s about time, I’m 59 years old, to maybe, instead of sitting back and critiquing what other people are doing, see if I can help out.
I bring a lot of years of business experience and I think things are turning around somewhat here and I’d hope to help to be able to bring in some more development or help the business community
“It really gets down to knowing all the information before you can start critiquing what other people are doing.
“I bring a lot of years of business experience and I think things are turning around somewhat here and I’d hope to help to be able to bring in some more development or help the business community that is here now and maybe be helpful with the way things are going with trying to make it so that people aren’t leaving and are able to stay because every time someone moves away it’s sad.
“All three of my kids are not living in Dryden due to opportunities but, things are looking a lot better than they were four or five years ago around here so hopefully we can continue with that, maybe create some new opportunities.
“Dryden is my hometown where I was very fortunate to serve for more than thirty years as a Dryden police officer.
Protection not only means physical protection but includes low tax rates, municipal financial recovery and encouraging growth that attracts good people, businesses and industry
“Throughout my career I developed a deep appreciation for all of our emergency first responders and their families, in particular the volunteers who were willing to put their life on the line for others. My concern for our community has carried over to my retired life with a term on City council, involvement in community initiatives and putting my name forward for the next council.
“From the first day in office, council must work together to adequately protect our families and property. Protection not only means physical protection but includes low tax rates, municipal financial recovery and encouraging growth that attracts good people, businesses and industry.
“We must recognize our aging population by endorsing secure affordable seniors housing and assisting those who will age in their own home.
“Reviewing how we provide that protection and making tough choices will ensure that Dryden has a bright future. If elected, I will bring my experience in law enforcement, appreciation for volunteers and fiscal responsibility back to a new council table where every community member will have a voice.”
“As a dedicated Volunteer Firefighter in our community for over 19 years, I was troubled by the events that transpired between the Dryden Fire Association and current Mayor and Council which lead to my ultimate termination.
By focusing on the bottom line, prioritizing community needs, and listening to the taxpayers we will be able to move the City forward towards prosperity
“My career in the telephone industry has provided me with experience in working under City and Corporate Policies and allowed me to see first-hand some of the mismanagement that occurred.
“My education and practical experience related to business and finance management will be an asset as our new Council works with City Staff to improve our financial position.
By focusing on the bottom line, prioritizing community needs, and listening to the taxpayers we will be able to move the City forward towards prosperity. I am committed to the City of Dryden. While there are issues, I feel that they can be addressed and corrected through hard work and transparency.
“Our City needs individuals that are financially responsible who are able to ensure quality services are delivered efficiently following approved policy.”
Michelle Ann Price
“There are many reasons why I decided to run in this year’s municipal election. My #1 reason is that I care deeply about my community and want to make a positive impact.
I want to make sure we continue to make wise financial decisions and ensure that our city continues to be fiscally responsible
“I love my community and am committed and want to do my part in improving it. I am a long-term thinker, prepared to build for the future. I want to make sure we continue to make wise financial decisions and ensure that our city continues to be fiscally responsible. I want to be able to connect the people in our community, businesses and organizations together – to work in partnership – sharing our knowledge to strengthen community spirit. I have proven leadership skills.
“I have been actively involved with the Dryden District Chamber of Commerce for several years including being the Chair for the last three years, volunteering tirelessly to improve business opportunities for our community.
“I want to be an effective Councillor. I promise to always make informed, constructive decisions and work as part of the elected team to do what is best our great community.”
“Municipal politics and the discussions within have been a constant around my households for as long as I can remember. Having a closer look into the workings of our city lately has given me reason to want to be involved.
Our crumbling infrastructure and roads are an issue of course, although I am aware of other corresponding issues such as finance, taxes and staff resources that have influenced this state, but having our tax dollars do more for all of our people and instill a sense of pride in our community is first and foremost of importance
“I am not focused on a single issue as much as I am in seeing a real opportunity for change in our city. Having a diverse panel of candidates with a forward thinking mentality and focus on the future is something I’m very excited about.
“With regard to our city, our crumbling infrastructure and roads are an issue of course, although I am aware of other corresponding issues such as finance, taxes and staff resources that have influenced this state, but having our tax dollars do more for all of our people and instill a sense of pride in our community is first and foremost of importance.
“Furthermore our youth programs, accessibility for our elderly, value for rural citizens, and many more unresolved issues that need to be addressed.
“Unfortunately not all can be addressed immediately. Teamwork and commitment to our city can and should start day one”
After many conversations in regards to concerns about where our City is going with my peers, I decided to put my name forward.
We need stop looking at where we were and start to focus on where we are going and that requires that council gets some young, fresh ideas as well as different outlooks on existing issues
We have a large number of young professionals returning to Dryden, looking to build a life for themselves and their families and I believe it is time we start worrying about how we are going to ensure that Dryden is an appealing and safe location for this generation to put down roots.
We need stop looking at where we were and start to focus on where we are going and that requires that council gets some young, fresh ideas as well as different outlooks on existing issues.
This can only happen if we build a council of diverse people, from all different walks of life that can bring their experiences to form a well-rounded group that the citizens can count on to make the tough decisions