Posted On: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
The Town of the Blue Mountains Town Council plans to fill its vacant council seat by resorting to the 2018 election outcomes. Although this decision has yet to be officially approved by council, the potential incoming candidate is excited at the possibility of taking a seat at the table.
“I am grateful to the voters that put me in this position and also to the council for bringing me in as part of the team. I am very excited about it,” said Paula Hope, who earned 2,048 votes in the 2018 municipal election, just 15 votes behind sitting councillor, Andrea Matrosovs.
“I have maintained my momentum since the election as I wanted to make it clear that I ran for a reason. I really care and that doesn’t stop because I didn’t get a council seat,” Hope said.
Hope, who moved to TBM six years ago, has been actively involved in a number of community groups, including the Blue Mountain Ratepayers Association and the Citizens Forum. She also sits on both the town's communication and the grants and donation committees.
“There will be a learning curve, but I have worked with Paula on the other associations and committees and I think it will be more a matter of learning the procedures than the issues,” said councillor Peter Bordignon.
Hope possesses a background in business, sales and marketing. After working for several years as a senior executive, she became a business owner and is currently a trainer and coach of referral marketing.
“I was also a college president and student senator for two years at Trenton University and having those roles at a very young age really informed me and inspired me to give back,” she said.
When it comes to the municipality, Hope has been eyeing up several issues she would like to make a priority during her possible term on council.
“I am concerned about our relationship with the county. I want to make sure that we create as much fairness between the county and the Town of The Blue Mountains as we can,” Hope said. “Of course, we also need to be fiscally responsible but at the same time we need to plan properly for the future and investing in our infrastructure needs is a big part of that.”
Looking more long-term, Hope would love to see advances made in the region’s long-term care facilities, as well as making area hospitals and attracting primary care physicians a priority.
“Primary care physicians are a huge issue as well. There are a lot of people in the community that are not being served. I also have a passion for creating a recreation centre, specifically a pool,” she continued. “We are on Georgian Bay, every Canadian kid should be able to swim. I would like to see something along the level of the Owen Sound YMCA or the Collingwood YMCA, but here in The Blue Mountains.”
She added she is very pleased with the work the current council has undertaken since being elected and is grateful for the opportunity to join the team.
“I know everyone on council and I am really pleased to get to work with all of them,” she said. “I want the Town of Blue Mountains to grow well and be really intelligent about how we grow.”
Council will look at officially passing the decision to fill the vacancy by way of the 2018 election results at the next council meeting on March 9.
About the Author: Jennifer Golletz
Jennifer Golletz covers civic matters under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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