Jim Mauro – At Large
1.Businesses are frequently the targets of crime and on the front line dealing with societal problems in the area; what steps do you think should be taken to ensure businesses are protected and our community is safer to explore, shop, work and play in.
I believe I am the candidate with the most experience in this area, and with the willingness to speak publicly to the issue of crime as I have been for 20 years. While there are obvious societal issues that need to be addressed, those will take years to see substantive change. Solutions need to be presented now to improve safety throughout the community. My first release on crime was to utilize retired officers for two minor roles performed by officers to put these officers back onto the streets. Having officers on patrol instead of guarding crimes scenes, or guarding prisoners waiting treatment at the hospital is seriously inefficient. I would enhance the camera system in the area and look for ways to increase patrols in the area. Again, I believe my experience and knowledge of the police service would lead to options that are not currently being explored to put more resources on the street, something I have long been advocating for.
2. What is your impression of the Fort William Business community? What is one thing that is done well and what is one thing that needs to improve?
I believe the community has been effective in advocating for their members with regard to the removal of the Victoriaville canopy that is now moving forward. I believe this has the support of most of your members. I do not believe I have enough information to be critical of your organization in any way, nor do I believe it is productive for a potential member of council to say “what is wrong” with an organization. Instead I would hope to be in a position to move forward positively, working with the business community to provide a robust economic zone where people wish to visit, shop and enjoy. Certainly one of the areas that I think the city has failed is in the removal and centralization of homes and services to the intercity area, away from many businesses that would be flourishing if the people lived and worked in the area. Where possible, I think these decisions in the future should be made with the benefits to the area in mind.
3. With the revitalization of downtown Fort William project underway there is no planned community center for the area after the project is completed. Victoriaville provided an important and safe gathering place. What vision do you have to recreate a similar environment for community connectivity?
Your organization raises an interesting point and a by-product of the move to re-open the street. Perhaps there is a need for a community centre in the area. The north has the 55 plus centre and it is possible the city needs to invest in a similar type centre, geared to the needs of the area. Providing such an area should be part of the plan to re-open Victoriaville and if elected, this would be an issue I would raise with Administration.
Thank you for your questions
Jim Mauro- At Large Candidate