What will you do as Mayor to heal the rifts that exist between Sudburians and councillors due to issues like the KED?
That was the toughest question to answer during his campaign, says mayoral candidate Bill Crumplin.
His answer included the idea of a community barbecue, saying that would be a good first step for people to connect and realize we are citizens of Sudbury.
“We all live here. We work here. And we play here.”
However, since fielding that question, he says he has spent much time thinking and discussing additional strategies to help our city heal.
“As mayor, I will ensure that potential stakeholders are identified and invited to participate in major project discussions,” he said. “Council, appropriate staff and management will explain why a project is up for consideration. Clearly explaining the ‘why’ of a project is a crucial step in achieving consensus in a respectful and open manner.”
Full press release below:
Nearly three months after filing nomination papers to run for Mayor of the City of Greater Sudbury, candidate Bill Crumplin was asked what was the most poignant question he received during the campaign.
He did not hesitate saying, “It was a question asked of all the candidates at the Laurentian University debate hosted by the Political Science Students’ Association.”
“We were asked,” he recalls, making it clear he was paraphrasing the question, “What will you do as Mayor to heal the rifts that exist between Sudburians and councillors due to issues like the KED.”
Crumplin said that that was the most difficult and important question he faced during the entire campaign. His reply at the time, he recalls, included the importance of re-building relationships within and between citizens and Council. He remembers saying that, “perhaps, a community sponsored BBQ with vegan options might be a good first step for people to connect and realize we are citizens of Sudbury. We all live here. We work here. And we play here.”
Since fielding that question, he has spent much time thinking and discussing additional strategies to help our city heal.
“After considerable thought,” he began, “I realized that communication is the key to going forward and rebuilding trust and respect. We can’t turn back the clock, but we can learn from the missteps taken in the past.”
He sees two critical actions that need to take place. “First,” Crumplin says, “and as Mayor, I will ensure that potential stakeholders are identified and invited to participate in major project discussions. Council, appropriate staff and management will explain why a project is up for consideration. Clearly explaining the ‘why’ of a project is a crucial step in achieving consensus in a respectful and open manner.”
He feels that the KED issue, and others like it, where simply handled inappropriately. “I feel,” he states, “that the City was not careful enough to explain the ‘why’ of this and other developments. Nor did the City make enough effort to include the stakeholders at the beginning of the decision-making process.”
Inviting stakeholders, citizens, developers, interest groups, etc., will eliminate the surprise factor and will allow people to participate in the evolution of ideas, concerns and solutions. In other words, and according to Crumplin, “people will feel ownership as the project moves along.”
The second action Crumplin will work with Council to implement comes from his platform. He has championed a City run and monitored social media site where citizens can present concerns and where all members of Council will read these concerns. No longer will individual Councilors be able to quote from private social media accounts. This will ensure that everyone has the same set of information.
Another important component in this new social media platform will be that no one can use an alias. According to Crumplin, “Citizens will use their real name and indicate what Ward they live in. This will eliminate trolls and encourage the exchange of facts, ideas, concerns and solutions in a respectful manner.”
Crumplin feels that these actions will go a long way to prevent rifts like the ones the City has recently experienced.