Pouget seeking re-election as a councillor Oct. 27

 

Councillor Diane Pouget is looking to return to town council. She is running for re-election Oct. 27.

Councillor Diane Pouget is looking to return to town council. She is running for re-election Oct. 27.

By Ron Giofu

 

Councillor Diane Pouget is looking to return for another term as she has filed for re-election.

Pouget decided recently to go for a town councillor position again in the Oct. 27 election after discussing it with people close to her.

“I had decided I wanted to retire and spend more time with family and friends but given the situations that have taken place the last few weeks and in speaking with family and friends, they encouraged me to try and regain the seat in order to ensure the 41 recommendations from the Deloitte financial review are completed and to try and pay down the debt and build up our reserves,” said Pouget.

Other items of concern to Pouget occurred during in-camera meetings, so she said she was unable to elaborate further on them.

Further to the financial situation the town is facing, Pouget said it is imperative to receive the actuals from the previous year to accurately set budgets and wants to ensure the new council receives those figures.

“We have to receive those actuals as soon as we start budget talks,” said Pouget, believing it is unfair to council to try and set a budget without the previous year’s actuals.

“I’d like to see our debt significantly reduced and our reserve funds replenished,” she stated, adding she would also like to see more industry locate in town and an improvement to infrastructure to prevent any future flooding, which occurred to many homes due to the heavy rain sustained this past week.

A further review of town staffing levels is also requires, she believes.

“There has to be a total review of the number of employees working for the town of Amherstburg and their job evaluations,” she said. “I think we have to start sharing services with other municipalities. One of the most important factors is to be able to listen to the needs of our people and not criticize them for their concerns.”

Residents have to feel comfortable coming before council, she said.

“We have to respect our residents. They are very concerned with the financial situation and rightly so. I believe we have to respect their opinions,” she said. “I know I learn a lot from our residents.”

Pouget stated Amherstburg has to focus on its needs and not its wants. She was critical of recent comparisons of the town’s debt with other area municipalities.

“I believe it’s unfair to downplay the significance of our debt by comparing us with other municipalities who have a larger industrial base and a great deal of money in reserves, which we don’t have,” said Pouget.

The atmosphere in council chambers has to change, she added.

“It’s been a very unhealthy working environment for the last four years,” Pouget stated. “My hope has been for the new council to be able to respect each other even though we will have difference of opinion.”

 

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