As part of Doppler’s ongoing coverage of the upcoming municipal elections we reached out to all of the candidates running for election in Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes.
Today we look at the candidates for Monck/Muskoka Ward in Bracebridge. Three candidates have come forward and one will be elected.
We posed the following three questions to each of the candidates:
1. Can you tell us about yourself and why you’ve decided to run for office?
2. What are the biggest challenges in our municipality, and what do you envision as the best way(s) to address them?
3. What do you cherish most about this community?
All candidates were given the same amount of time and the same word count for answers. Answers over the word count have been shortened by Doppler.
The municipal election takes place on October 24, 2022. You can find more information on voter eligibility, how to vote and candidate information here.
1. My name is Steve Binstock. I am married to Brenda (Stuart )Binstock and we have three adult children : Christopher , Matthew and Meaghan . We live in our ancestral farmhouse on Ecclestone Drive. Our property is our pride and joy. Over the years we have planted hundreds of trees and turned our home into a park like setting . We have lived in the Monck / Muskoka (Ward 2 )for 41 years. Our family who lived here before us ,were here for 50 years.
I decided to run for councillor to continue my public service with our community. I have been a principal , university lecturer and supervisor, operated my own Mediation Services company , and have served for 8 years on the Trillium Lakelands District School Board( trustee for Bracebridge). I am currently the vice chair of the Board and serve on the Board’s Chairs Council. I value servant leadership: listening to constituents with authenticity and respect . Valuing the opinions of all. Responding quickly and honestly to constituent concerns. Doing my best to make the voices of constituents heard and represented at the town council table.
2. The Biggest Challenges:
*Preserve our green spaces and shorelines . Development is the reality in any community. It is of paramount importance to preserve the gift nature has provided to Bracebridge ( Muskoka). The strategy is not whether there will be development, but development which honours and protects our unique and glorious environment . First and foremost inclusive dialogue amongst all of us must be the basis of any strategy moving forward.
*Conserve our natural and financial resources . Let’s make sure we conserve our natural beauty. We keep top of mind that we cannot lose what makes our town so special . Financial resources are finite . Let’s make the kind of decisions that value and marshall the taxpayers money .
*Innovate ways that encourage community participation in developing strategies that bring affordable housing to all . Ensure voices of those who desperately need affordable housing are part of the solution to this complex challenge
3. I appreciate our invitational spirit . I value our natural beauty . I value our community’s kindness and openness. I appreciate the gift of being a citizen of Bracebridge ( Monck / Muskoka Ward 2) . From my perspective, there is no better place to live !
Rick Hallam – No response
1. Born and raised in Bracebridge. 61 years of age, married with 3 adult children. Lexi 27, Oliver 23 and Kate 18. Resident of Monck Muskoka for the past 22 years. As a lifelong resident of Bracebridge, I have enjoyed being a part of many different aspects of the community. As a business owner, and a board member for various groups within the area I understand the diversity of the people and the need for all voices to be heard and considered.
2. A couple of the challenges we face as a community would be lack of housing, lack of employable workers to fill the void in our service and retail industries, as well as a shortage in our trades. Another big challenge is to continue to grow the town, and to continue with the infrastructure needed to support the growth while keeping our small town feel. The continued growth of our tourism industry is another area where we need constant attention.
3. What attracts people to Bracebridge and what I cherish the most about our town is the many options people have at their fingertips. Whether it’s enjoying the many trails and wooded areas, or the many lakes and river for swimming , kayaking or boating. The ability to drive 5 minutes and be out in nature. The small town feel and the wide assortment of shops and services making our main street and surrounding area a unique shopping experience.
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