Courtney promotes teamwork, unity and respect among campaign pillars

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Peter Courtney ran for town council eight years ago and feels the time is right to try again.

Courtney said still has a vested interest in municipal politics since he last ran in 2010 and “I feel I’m in a good point in my life with my children being older.” He is one of 14 candidates seeking a councillor position in the Oct. 22 municipal election.

Noting he has a history of being involved with youth through coaching minor hockey and baseball, Courtney said he also has met a lot of parents and grandparents during that time as well. He said he wants to bring what he has learned about teamwork to the council table.

“Council chambers seems to be divided over the last couple of terms,” he said. “I’m looking to bridge that gap.”

Courtney said he wants opinions put to the side and have council unite in order to stop the “divide” on council.

Continuing to bring down Amherstburg’s debt is another priority, Courtney indicated.

Relating to the Duffy’s property, Courtney said he favours the boat ramp and revitalized marina downtown, noting the sale of Ranta Marina was a major issue the last time he ran for council. He added he is not opposed to seeing an amphitheatre erected at the site.

That said, Courtney believes more consultation has to be done with the public.

Peter Courtney is running for the position of councillor in the Oct. 22 municipal election.

“Public meetings are the way to go,” he said.

The future of Centennial Park and the amenities that are being lost due to the new public high school construction that will be happening there. Courtney said he is happy to see a new high school come to Amherstburg but there is concern over what is going to happen to the amenities being lost, including the ball diamonds and swimming pool. He believes user groups need to be consulted with better and fears losing enrolment in minor sports to surrounding municipalities.

“There’s a lot of concern (over the loss of the ball diamonds) in terms of what we’re going to do,” said Courtney, adding clear guidance is needed on that subject.

The remaining 12 acres of Centennial Park that wasn’t sold should remain “user friendly” for the area.

Belle Vue was obtained for a “good price,” he added, but using it to create revenue for the town is a big question.

“I wouldn’t want it to be seen as the big white elephant,” said Courtney.

Courtney believes the current council has done “a pretty good job” with transparency regarding meetings but he doesn’t think there is enough accountability after the meeting. He says decisions have been made which don’t seem to match what the people have been asking for.

“Tough decisions going against what people want doesn’t sit right with me,” said Courtney.

Citing the decision to go from a five-year contract with the Windsor Police Service to the “last minute curveball” of going to a 20-year contract “doesn’t make me confident as a taxpayer.”

Courtney said it is a “fine line” between being over-aggressive when it comes to trying to reduce debt and being balanced.
“I want to make sure we meet the needs on both sides,” he said.

Courtney is also interested in creating a blog or another type of interactive feature to get residents involved and build a better relationship with them.

“This is our town,” he said, and it has to be inclusive for everyone. To move the town forward, he believes good, logical decisions need to be made based on the facts. Social media can “sometimes be skewed and sometimes may include personal bias or side agendas,” he added. Many questions can be answered by simply contacting a council member or the town.

“Use the resources available to you, focus on the facts and be positive,” he said.

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