Candidate Name: Paul Vickers
Position Sought: Mayor
Phone: Cell 519-270-5098
Paul Vickers and Karen, his wife of 31 years, reside at Vickhaven Farm (Est. 1954), the family’s dairy farm, where Paul was born and where they raised their four children.
Paul graduated from GBSS in 1984, and attended the University of Guelph, earning a diploma in Agriculture in 1986. He was elected to the College’s Board as class representative. A year after he returned home his father died. Paul took over the 150-acre family farm with just 22 cows. He has built it to 550 acres and 68 cows.
Paul is a strong advocate for agriculture and utilizing the land appropriately and effectively. He believes in positive leadership, is an active listener and effective speaker.
For 15 years Paul was elected a director (and was Chair for 2 years) of Gay Lea Foods Cooperative, a multi-million-dollar business. Since 2018 he has been an active Councillor on Meaford Council, member of the Grey Sauble Conservation Board, and Director of Ontario Federation of Agriculture.
Paul has participated with family members in the Meaford Harbour run, coached his children’s hockey teams, hiked the mountains of Nepal, and climbed Machu Picchu.
He is eager to bring his business experience and love of nature to the office of Mayor of the Municipality of Meaford.
Explain your primary reasons for your decision to seek election to Meaford council:
We are blessed to live in the wonderful Municipality of Meaford. Over the past four years we have made some significant improvements in rebuilding our infrastructure. Regarding development, last year we only built 79 new homes in Meaford. With the development projects in the planning stage, the future looks bright for greater housing availability and increased tax revenue, which will keep our taxes down. I want to make sure this continues, with reasonable, responsible development that does not go off the rails.
We need a mayor and council that can be forward thinking, with a vision for the future. It can be hard when people resist change. The council needs to look past the nay-sayers and realize that if our municipality is going to be progressive and financially sound, carefully planned progress needs to happen. I feel that I have much to offer as a successful small business owner, plus my 15 years experience on the board of the giant Gay Lea Foods Cooperative and as chair for 2 years. It is important to have a mayor who can chair the council meetings in a efficient and effective manner to bring consensus and progress for all the citizens of Meaford.
In your view, what should be the top priorities for the council that is elected on October 24?
To work collaboratively with staff to help them find as many efficiencies as possible to better use your taxpayer’s dollars.
To continue building bridges between the urban and rural communities.
To Increase the rate of reasonable, responsible development which will create a larger tax base and reduce the need to increase residential taxes.
To take the necessary steps to increase the amount of affordable housing so people who need it can stay in the local area. This will also attract businesses to Meaford when they can be assured of a secure available workforce.
We must remember that the final approval of the TC Energy’s Pump Water Storage facility is out of the hands of Meaford council. However, council needs to continue to successfully advocate for and negotiate on behalf of the citizens of Meaford to mitigate the social and environmental impact of the project. We also need to negotiate to obtain the greatest possible financial benefit for the community from TC Energy.
Explain the role of councillor (or Mayor/Deputy Mayor) as you understand it.
The Mayor’s most important job is to chair an efficient and effective meeting, making sure to hear all the opinions and ideas from each Councillor. The Mayor is the representative who shares the collective thoughts and opinions of the entire municipality. The Mayor ensures that the community is led in a honest and transparent manner.