Leo Meloche seeks to bring financial background to council

 

McGregor resident Leo Meloche is seeking a councillor’s position in the Oct. 27 municipal election.

McGregor resident Leo Meloche is seeking a councillor’s position in the Oct. 27 municipal election.

By Ron Giofu

When thinking about a possible candidacy for town council, Leo Meloche wrote down three things – financial stability, financial integrity and financial accountability.

“Those words sum up what I am seeing and feeling from the residents,” said Meloche, who is running for one of the five councillor positions in the Oct. 27 municipal election.

The McGregor resident said he entered the race due to his interest in municipal politics but also out of concern for the town’s current financial situation. His education includes having graduated from the finance and accounting program at St. Clair College, 12 years in the finance division with Goodyear and another 25 years owning and operating various businesses in the Windsor-Essex County area. He currently operates a bookkeeping and accounting firm tailoring to small businesses.

Meloche believes his financial knowledge could be of benefit to the town.

“I’m big on debt management,” he said, acknowledging that not all debt is bad but “it’s a matter of managing that debt. Moving forward, it’s how we manage that and continue to grow. Growth will pay down debt through increased tax revenue.”

Easing the concerns people have regarding the “uncertainty of the debt” will be a priority, if elected, he indicated.

“I think that’s a big issue. People have an uncertainty as it relates to the debt.”

Meloche said he has been thinking about running for council for the last six months with it being “top of mind the last couple of months.” Believing he can bring something to the table, he filed his nomination papers.

“I hope to also work towards future growth,” said Meloche. He said that any town that wants to prosper needs to grow.

Controlling costs, creating revenue and perhaps better management practices are ways he said he would hope to help cut the town’s debt.

“We have to show the residents we watch every tax dollar we spend and every dollar we receive from taxes,” he added.

While he is from McGregor, he said that he is interested in serving the entire community and not just be a representative from one section of it. Having lived in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City earlier in his career, he said it has enabled him to look at things on a broader scale.

“That’s what Amherstburg leaders need to be mindful of. It’s a big area,” said Meloche. “There’s a broad range of residents to consider.”

Decisions have to reflect the best interests of the town as a whole, he added.

“At the end of the day, it all has to be in the best interest of the residents,” he said. “We will never always agree. We all have different opinions and we all have different likes and dislikes. Professionalism should get us beyond our differences.”

Meloche added that he and his wife enjoy living in Amherstburg as it reminds them of their former homes in Quebec City and Montreal.

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