Wednesday, February 28, 2024

2018 Mayoral Candidate Profile: Barb Clumpus

Barb Clumpus, Mayoral Candidate

BARB CLUMPUS election270Candidate Name: Barb Clumpus (I)

Position sought: Mayor


Phone: home: (519)538-3345 or cell: (519)477-3345


After losing our home in rural Sudbury to a fire, my husband, Dr. Frank Clumpus, and I searched far and wide for a new home. The features in Meaford that excited us were: Georgian Bay with a beautiful harbour, access to many sports, arts and culture, trails and hills for recreation.

My military family moved frequently in my early years from coast to coast in Canada, and Europe, and later career moves took me and my family to the U.S. – even a jungle in Guatemala! So I longed for a deeply rooted community that values its heritage with public amenities like schools, a hospital and library; one that protects the environment, and that presents a proud spirit typical of rural Ontario. We fell in love with Meaford and moved here in 1998. And, true to my lifelong commitment to volunteerism, I dove into rewarding experiences on many levels that morphed into my first term on council from 2010-2014, and I feel privileged to have served these last four years as your mayor.

Why I am running for Meaford council:

I love this community; and I love being your mayor. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this thriving community but I feel that my job has just begun. I have heard the worries about high taxes, road maintenance, and services. And my team responded by:

  • Reducing our long term debt, and rebuilding reserves, thereby ensuring capacity to be able to apply for grants to help repair and reconstruct roads.

  • Keeping operational increases below cost of living, and dedicating surplus funds to infrastructure.

  • Gathering your input on the in-depth review of the 66 services provided. You told us that all should be maintained. As a result, Council approved the implementation of efficiencies resulting in operational savings.

I would be honoured to serve another four years as your mayor to continue the momentum we have begun.

My Top Priorities if Elected to the New Council:

  1. To stay the course in our strategic focus areas of rehabilitating roads and bridges, of financial sustainability, growing the economy, and strengthening our community. A funding model for infrastructure should consist of managed debt and responsible tax increases; applying for all funding opportunities and fully exploring all alternatives.

  2. To exploit all opportunities that support new investment in the economy.

  3. Responsible development to meet diverse residential needs

  4. Advancing community development including the new school build, the library, the viability of our hospital, safety and policing and exploring private and public partnerships.

My Involvement in the Community Over the Past Four Years:

  • I lead the charge to save the Meaford Hospital’s operating room

  • To further ensure viability, I initiated a partnership between the hospital and the military to develop a new PTSD clinic.

  • I championed the fight to the Board of the Niagara Escarpment Commission to prevent their expansion of lands in our rural municipality.

  • I convened a discussion with the school board, and local principals to expand the trades curriculum in our new school.

  • I initiated two “mayor’s forums”; the first to engage local businesses, the second a widely attended discussion on attainable housing

  • I have established strong relationships with the military base Commanding Officer to explore shared opportunities.

  • I engaged and lead the volunteer team to create the first Coat of Arms to celebrate the historic communities that make up our amalgamated municipality.

The Role of Mayor as I See it:

  • As the C.E.O. of the Corporation, the Mayor leads Council to create the long term and annual strategic direction;

  • interacts with the Chief Administrative Officer to facilitate Council’s oversight of the supporting implementation plan;

  • interacts with all levels of government;

  • sits on County Council;

  • is the official spokesperson and representative of the community at local and external occasions.

  • engages the public,

  • anticipates and is responsive to emerging issues, and

  • leads and supports the collaborative team approach between Council members and staff, welcoming disparate viewpoints and maintaining respectful debate at council.

The Skills I Will Bring to Council:

Leadership and vision, integrity, respect for diversity, a commitment to inclusivity, fair play and equal treatment for all residents. I have a keen ability to see the big picture; to anticipate developing issues and to proactively address them. Eight years on Council, four as mayor, have established a full understanding of the complexities of municipal governance. My common sense and experience in the role will continue to reflect empathy and compassion for individual concerns as we carefully work through difficult issues to reach the best possible decisions.

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