Armstrong wants more consultation with public in Brooke-Alvinston


Jamie Armstrong wants to move Brooke-Alvinston forward.
He says that could be done with reasonable tax increases and improving local facilities.
The 54 year-old former school board trustee is seeking a councillor’s position in the Oct. 22 election.
Why are you running for council?
“I think council needs to have people elected that are interested in bringing the community forward. The main street Alvinston was kind of dying. We’re losing young families. We don’t seem to be attracting any new housing. We are accidentally doing it because we are cheaper…there is a lot opportunity for us to expand on things that are happening in southwestern Ontario. I don’t think we’re doing this right now.
“The downtown has certainly changed since this council was formed…but it hasn’t been because of the council; it is because people have recognized Alvinston is falling behind and it is a cheap place to go. It’s got cheap taxes. I think it just about to take off and with a little initiative, yes, we can do a lot better job.”
What is the biggest issue in the election in Brooke-Alvinston?
Armstrong believes people have to be realistic about tax increases.“When politicians get elected I’m going to keep taxes to a minimum. You can’t do that. Your spending has to keep to the rate of inflation and as long as you have responsible spending and you keep that alongside of the rate of inflation, you will always have what you need.”
Armstrong is also advocating improvements at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre. He’s the chair of the Optimist Building committee for the project. “I won’t beat around the bush. I want this building done on the arena. There are lots of opportunity to capitalize on other events on the arena and the fairgrounds for other venues.”
How do you deal with the rift created when the Inwood fighters resigned?
“I think there are a lot of personalities involved there…There could be some better talks than what took place. We can work with the firefighters that resigned because I think the majority of them who resigned want to return and I think that solution is there but I think we’re going to have to get a third party to come and do some talking. I was a fire chief…so I do some have some background history on… the training that has to be done and the paperwork that has to be done…I know there is a lot of work to be done to try to get that resolved.” He added there may have to be some give and take on the time it would take to get the Inwood firefighters “up to speed” on their training.
What personal qualities do you have which would make a good councillor?
Armstrong believes in consulting the public before decisions are made. “There have been a lot of decisions that have been made in the last four years, particularly the renovations upstairs in the arena, that didn’t have any stakeholder input.”