McManaman-fullLast week, I filed my papers to run for Owen Sound City Council in the October 27th election.

It has been a privilege to serve on Council and I hope to have the opportunity to help move the City forward over the next 4 years. I've always believed in giving back to my community...and I feel my experience will be critically important in the next term of Council. We have a large infrastructure deficit and we face the loss of nearly a million dollars in provincial government funding. That will require tough decisions and strong leadership from Council.

The City will face many challenges and financial pressures in the upcoming years. I believe my background and experience will help the City meet those challenges head on. We need to keep taxes to a minimum and create a climate which allows for business and our community to grow and prosper.

I don't make a lot of election promises, other than to bring hard work and commitment to the Council table. I try to bring a common sense approach to the issues and I carefully weigh all sides of a discussion before I reach a conclusion. Financial decisions cannot be made in isolation; they must be made in the context of the entire City budget.

I learned very quickly at City Hall that being an effective Councillor means working together as a team with the rest of Council. I am only one vote on any issue. I believe consensus building is one of my strengths. We will have new faces at the Council table in the next term and I look forward to hearing their ideas and working with the new team.

If you look at my voting record you'll see that I haven't been afraid of making the tough decisions and in serving on the demanding, complex committees. I have served on the Wastewater Treatment plant upgrade committee since its inception and it is the largest project the City has ever undertaken. I hope to finish that important work.

I served as the Chair of the new Regional Recreation Centre committee...that was an extremely challenging project and I am very proud of the role I played. I am also proud of my involvement with the Harrison Park accessible playground project and the new Skateboard and Bike park. Those have all been successful partnerships and great investments in our community.

With 11 years of Council experience, I have served on nearly every City Committee. I am currently the Chair of the Recreation and Parks Committee (member since 1998), Vice Chair of the Operations Committee and a member of Community Planning and Heritage Committee. My community involvement includes being a youth soccer coach and an Executive Member of Owen Sound Minor Soccer since 1987, being the long time General Manager of Owen Sound United competitive men's soccer team and being a member of the Kiwanis Club and St. Mary's Church.

As we move forward dealing with our financial pressures, we can't lose focus on what makes Owen Sound great...our sports, culture, parks and natural attractions. I want to continue to build a community that makes Owen Sound a place...where you want to live. Where you want to raise your family. Where your business will prosper.

I believe Owen Sound's future is bright and I welcome the opportunity to meet the challenges ahead.