Stephanie Brown Munroe wants to hear what residents have to say.
Munroe, who works part-time as a nurse at a clinic in the Border City, has indicated that her priority as a would-be city councilor would be to get good lines of communication open between the public, the municipal government, and the members of city council.
“I honestly don’t have a genuine agenda, or one particular thing that I am looking at focusing on, but I feel by listening and communicating with a lot of residents in the city, that they have issues, whether it’s about the water and sewage plant or the community hub, and I just don’t feel they’re informed,” said Munroe.
“People are always complaining about things, and it is easy to complain when you don’t have all the information. It’s easy to make a judgement when you don’t know all the facts. I feel like a lot of citizens do that, and that is why the communication needs to be made to them.”
Munroe also gave an example of the communication process, referencing her change of opinion on the purchase of the downtown Synergy Credit Union building. While she had been unsure about the purchase at first, she said she had looked for further information about the purchase, and felt better after learning more about the project.
However, she did say that she felt as though the current council had not educated the public about the plan, which made it easy for residents to ‘cast judgement’ on the move.
As for the hot-button issue of the wastewater treatment plant, Munroe said she would look to speak with the Saskatchewan government about the possibility of a deadline extension on the project, due to the rapidly approaching summer deadline for the new plant to be up and running.
“It needs to get done,” said Munroe.
“It’s not an option, so we just need to work on getting that done and definitely it’s at the top of the list.”
Munroe also addressed the issue of transparency and accountability in the municipal government, saying that her approachability will help.
“I am so approachable and if you have a question, you need to be able to have an answer, and if you don’t have the answer, you need to be able to say to the citizen,’ I don’t actually know, but you know what, I will find out.’”
“You need to be able to get back to them so you can earn their trust and respect, as well.”
Munroe indicated that if the city government was communicating with residents, and letting them know what is happening in their city, that would be transparency.
“There is nothing to hide if you’re communicating,” said Munroe.
Munroe also indicated she would propose a change in the way that council was elected, in future, in order to keep members with experience on council instead of the possibility of complete turnover.
“If there is nobody returning, it is a little bit nerve wracking, and it will be very interesting to see how things turn out,” said Munroe.
“My proposal would be in the next election that we actually have a by-election, so that possibly three candidates would come up every two years, rather than all six all at once. I know it sounds kind of odd.”
There are currently two outgoing council members seeking re-election, and one member seeking the mayor’s seat.
“I don’t know if anyone else would go for it,” said Munroe.
During the Candidate Connect event held on Thursday evening, Munroe also indicated she would support the scheduling of a second council meeting each month in which members of the public would be assigned numbers to ask questions of council members.
The vote takes place on October 26.