Our series continues with Ward 7 candidate Chelsey Heroux. Enjoy our Q/A with Chelsey:
1. Why are you running for Ward 7 Councillor. What are you hoping to achieve by doing so?
I am running for Ward 7 Councillor to bring a voice to my community. I will bring what voters expect from our City's leaders: the principles, trustworthiness and integrity of a true representative; a councillor who makes decisions in the City's interest - not in the sole interest of being re-elected. Most importantly, I will manage taxpayers' money as if it were my own. My strong work ethic is evident in my 4 current jobs, and i will bring this same energy, dedication, and commitment to Council. I am uniquely positioned to motivate and encourage our younger generation to participate in our City's progress, while maintaining a strong relationship with our long time voters. Residents' concerns will always be heard because I will always be there to listen.
2. What do you think are the most pressing issues facing the Ward and facing the city as a whole. How would your contributions help to resolve these issues?
Ward 7 residents and businesses contribute more in taxes than any other ward in the City, yet they do not see a proportionate amount of return. No one wants to pay as much in taxes as they do nor do they want to see their taxes raised every year. Hamilton has an unsustainable imbalance between residential and business tax. The solution to this is to attract more businesses to our City, so that the tax burden is more evenly shared and the burden of constant tax increases can be lifted from our residents.
City Council has not always been as active as it could have in attracting new business to Hamilton Mountain. Whether it’s cutting through the red tape at City Hall, ensuring that we have a transit system that is convenient and cost effective, or improving our programs designed to attract new business, I will make this process easier for entrepreneurs.
As an increasing number of new businesses choose to invest in Hamilton, the tax burden on residents will be reduced. As a result, we will have excess revenue to devote to other areas of concern in the city.
Hamilton’s infrastructure needs some TLC. We have decaying bridges, rocks falling onto our mountain accesses, more potholes than manholes, and we a need more sidewalks and bus shelters. We can all agree that this needs to be addressed. Yet somehow, we continue to sit back and wait for these improvements to be made. Well maintained roads, sidewalks and walkways are essential for the safety and convenience of our families. I will prioritize the real needs of the citizens of Ward 7. We need to find better ways to utilize tax payer’s hard earned dollars.
Anyone who lives on the mountain, and in particular Ward 7, knows that the HSR needs to be improved. If we truly want to motivate people to leave their cars at home and take transit, we have to have a system that is efficient enough to attract them. If we want to be a city that can compete to attract new business, we have to have a transit system that can move workers to where the work is. Ward 7 residents suffer on noisy, over crowded buses, and are left to brave the elements due to a lack of bus shelters. We have to find a way to make our city’s transit more efficient and convenient. Our tax paying residents deserve high quality, efficient transit
4. How can people reach you to ask you about your position on matters or to otherwise engage with you?
I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via my website at chelseyheroux.com or by phone at 289-489-6308
5. Tell us a little about yourself, on a personal note. Your hobbies, likes, dislikes, background etc. Anything that would have people get to know who you are on a more personal basis.
I was born at St. Joseph's Hospital and raised on West Hamilton Mountain for most of my life. I grew up in a bilingual household and I am fluent in French. I am in my 29th year and I have been the face of GoodLife Upper James for the past 14 years. Having contact with over 1000 people a day, mainly mountain residents, has given me great insight into their needs and concerns. Additionally, I have worked in the hospitality industry in both Hamilton and Burlington for over 10 years. I began volunteering at the age of 8 at the Alzheimer’s Society and since then have participated in many charity events and programs throughout the city. I have a strong wish for my community to take a more active part in local politics and I’m excited to have the opportunity to lend a new energy and perspective to City Hall. My father Yvon Heroux is a business owner in Hamilton and my mother Laurie is a former employee of McMaster University Medical Centre. I have an older sister named Krystal and a dog named Earl.
6. Is there anything else you would like to add?