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Three residents vying to be Mayor for the County of Brant

CouncilThree residents vying to be Mayor for the County of Brant

Three candidates will be looking for votes when constituents head to the polls on Monday, October 24, 2022. The following are profiles of two of the three candidates running for Mayor for the County of Brant.

Editor’s Note: Mayoral Candidate Shawn Pratt did not provide responses to the questionnaire sent to all of the candidates.

David Bailey. Photo courtesy David Bailey.

David Bailey

Why did you choose to run for Mayor for the County of Brant?

I chose to run for Mayor of the County of Brant as I represent new blood to the office, and change is a good thing. I have a love of the County and have my view for its future.

How has your campaign gone to date? Are you canvassing door to door to meet voters?

Thus far my campaign is going great. I have been canvassing in new areas that don’t know me and to areas who might have questions as to where I come from.

What issues from residents have been most prominent?

The issues that have been most prominent from residents have been traffic, transportation, development and infrastructure.

In your opinion, what are the four most pressing issues for the County of Brant?

The most pressing issue for the County of Brant is managing growth and diversity.

If re-elected, what would your top priorities be and why?

If I were to be re-elected, the top priorities would be transportation, joint social services, and traffic management. These are the top priorities as there is room for improvement across these three issues.

How would you improve the relationship between your municipal neighbours, the City of Brantford and Six Nations of the Grand River?

The County of Brant, City of Brantford, and Six Nations of the Grand River have a tri-council meeting and consultation. Furthermore, we will continue to show our neighbours respect and our cooperation.

How would you improve the affordable housing situation in the municipality?

The County of Brant and the City of Brantford currently have a joint mayor task force in place, and we could continue to be in consultation with developers for their help in delivering a larger selection of price points with new builds and infill.

How would you describe yourself to the residents of the County of Brant?

I am positive, excited and proud to be the Mayor of the County of Brant. We came through Covid-19 with thanks due to the people of the County, and the provincial government.

David Swanson. Photo courtesy David Swanson.

David Swanson

Why did you choose to run for Mayor for the County of Brant?

It’s an important legislative position, and a prominent public one. We need someone who can resonate with all of our residents and think strategically. Not just another great photo op. I am running because my skill set is excellent for the position. I can speak in finance, I am patient, I can listen, and I don’t care who had the right idea first. I have worked on farms, built roads, replaced sewer and water main, plowed snow, etc. I have hands on experience with what the County has to do better at, and I will focus on the basics. Small government, keep said Government out of the way, and not waste your money.

How has your campaign gone to date? Are you canvassing door to door to meet voters? 

You have to go door to door as Mayor even if you aren’t campaigning. I thoroughly enjoy meeting people in our neigbourhoods. We have a lot of great residents. The word on the street is that our people want someone who protects their rural ‘Brant County’ small town charm and leave them be. David Bailey hasn’t done that. He really wants that slick big city lifestyle, grow the tax base for justification to get himself a raise and take nice photos.. I have knocked on many doors and he doesn’t have an acceptable report card. I get to put signs on about 30% of all the cold call doors I knock on because they see the difference and I go for a few hours every day.

What issues from residents have been most prominent?  

It’s really about keeping the County rural. When you drive outside of town, say to Highland Estates, the Brant Church Roads, The Mount Pleasants, the German School Roads, etc. People live on wells and septic and that really keeps the growth in a full but not crowded rural setting. The council became cliquey and picky and choosy about who not what could be severed and our people are tired of the games. That’s the biggest single issue and the incumbent cannot solve that problem.

In your opinion, what are the four most pressing issues for the County of Brant?

Getting our taxes down. Again the issue of severance will result in more families living in our communities for pennies. No sewer no watermain, no new intersections, just sparsely fill in the rural areas. Done in such a low dense way we never lose our small town identity. Let Brantford deal with 250-plus units on a two-acre tower lot. Brantford can keep the big projects they are more suited to it. Our Brant County could be perfect and be the homesteading capital of Ontario! Lot’s of opportunities here!

Better truck routes. I hold an AZ license and there’s a need to have a better options for drivers. The residents don’t want them in residential areas, the drivers don’t like to be in those areas, and as a driver with experience managing a 33 truck and 50 driver fleet, and spent many weeks over the road, I understand this industry and how it effects everything we do.. It all arrived on a truck! The incumbent is clueless when it comes to operations, and after 4 years operations are not and will never be his strong suit. It’s time to get someone with experience in charge.

E-Rides is a great platform. I don’t like to subsidize anything, especially when the cab company owner loses his business and had to fund his executioner, which really is a grave injustice. But I think we can very likely work with the taxi companies to keep everyone happy and get a really robust transit network. Especially for people with limited incomes having to maintain a reliable car + gas + insurance, they can’t be moved and I think we can do alot of good from that.

Lastly the incumbent is cliquey and makes the people who built the County feel marginalized in a condescending and snobby way. As a leader he doesn’t increase morale or really have anything more than saying he’s the Mayor and living a high life. Many people that have their ears to the ground, and can see the strategic development gaffes, a beehive of trucks on Hwy #5?? Whilst the ‘Mayor’ is prioritizing painting sidewalks?? What other camels are missed at the expense of the gnats? I am known for my optimism, listening, strategic thinking, and willingness to call a spade a spade, politely.

If elected, what would your top priorities be and why?

#1 Lot severance and roll backs of permits (small projects, sheds, driveways, etc). We don’t need to micromanage adults.

#2 Raise the bar on our Transit network.

#3 Raise morale. I think this is really important. It’s truly disappointing that there’s not more merit given in permanence for our great employees. It’d be great to know who worked for the County the longest, the best attendance, etc. I’d like nothing more than for the County of Brant to be known on the list of Canada’s Best Employers. A happy workforce is a productive one, and we could see our motto become “ahead of schedule and under budget.”

How would you improve the relationship between your municipal neighbours, the City of Brantford and Six Nations of the Grand River?

I think there’s a great opportunity on a lot of issues that benefit taxpayers.

With the City: getting Oak Park up and running is a major priority. Whatever we can do to get services there immediately should happen. I think where we can overlap in services, and maintain a good and positive relationship to deliver results to our taxpayers. We don’t need large warehouses in the middle of a small town, especially when the developer Panattoni has a much larger site adjacent to the 403. So I think if the County helps the City with what they do well and vice versa we will have a bright future.

With Six Nations I think we can do a lot of good, maybe combine on some services. I worked in waste management and there were some overlaps with Six Nations. We do have a great deal of operational similarities with our rural landscapes. I look forward to working toward prosperity for all.

As far as Treaty Lands are concerned. I think it is very fair to acknowledge the tremendously raw deals after Joseph Brant’s big move to ally with the Crown and secure Canada during the early 1800’s. Truly sad to see what happens when the Government turns its back on its word. And lawyers were disbarred if they defended them. So much for a righteous royal family, and their “right and honorable” politicians, and people in high places in that case and time. However we’ve got to remember that we still all live together here and now and the more that we work together the happier we’ll be.

How would you improve the affordable housing situation in the municipality?

The best way to get to make housing affordable is an income. I think the denser projects are really more suitable in Brantford. When we look at a wastewater capacity standpoint we just can’t do it without significant expenses. And taxpayers aren’t interested in paying more. Especially in this tough economic cycle.

But for people who are looking to buy under what I expect to be a flurry of severances on wells and septic and want to be rural home owners will be very well rewarded. It’s just the smart play to protect our small towns and leverage our strengths.

How would you describe yourself to the residents of the County of Brant?

 Well what can I say? I enjoy problem solving and optimizing processes. I enjoy going door to door and meeting the residents. Attending various church services, play some pick up hockey, coach a team, I can get my boots dirty for a tour of the farm. Being a pillar in our community and being approachable and accessible to everyone in it is the major part of the job. I will do that just like Ron Eddy did!

The last 4 years have seen runaway taxes, terrible traffic woes, endless empty virtue signalling photo ops, with poor results in planning and the townspeople are rightfully unhappy with the direction. And how can they be pleased with a Mayor who has an exclusive my way or the highway approach, and speaks about our Salt of the Earth County residents and their lifestyles as if we’re hicks who don’t use forks. He’s simply not suited to this job.

I’m a loyal team player. I know what our residents’ concerns are. I understand what the County does. I have the background, education, and positive approachable nature to make everyone feel and be included.

I know and many others do too, that with your help we can roll back red tape, play up our rural strengths, save our small towns, and keep your money in your wallet.

I’m David Swanson and it would be a privilege to serve you all as Mayor.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed are those of the candidates and do not reflect those of the Brant Beacon, it’s staff and management.

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