ABOUT TOWN and more with The Leader Post

The Chatham Voice published a question and answer session with Jamie McGrail a North Kent Ward 4 candidate for councillor. We re-publish the Voice profile so that you may become better acquainted with McGrail.

As an active citizen and business person in Chatham-Kent, I am putting my name forward as a candidate for the office of Municipal Councilor representing North Kent. I have a lifetime’s experience of living, learning, working and playing in Chatham-Kent, and I wish to contribute even more to my community.

As the Integrated Solutions Manager of McGrail Farm Equipment, a successful dealership within the John Deere family of companies, I have developed the skills needed to create and grow a successful product line. For over 14years, I have gained experience with establishing new business ideas, problem-solving and finding creative solutions for positive results. I have worked to create partnerships with business and government.

I have long volunteered within Chatham-Kent and farther afield. Participating in municipal boards, notably as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, has helped me to understand the politics within our municipality. I have also learned much about the human needs of our community’s families and individuals in my role as a member of the Board of Directors of the Chatham-Kent United Way.

I am a strong believer in the people and businesses of Chatham-Kent.

  1. Do you support increasing funding for infrastructure given the fact several culverts and bridges – including the Third Street Bridge – have had emergency issues and closures recently?

Yes, there are many issues outside of Chatham, in rural areas, that need to be addressed. We have elderly citizens injuring themselves while walking on roads in Dresden. The “washboard dirt roads” makes losing control of your vehicle all too often a reality. We need to ensure safe roadways for all to use. Its time to address our issues in the outer part of our Municipality.

  1. Would you support a tax freeze or rollback if it meant reduced staff and/or services?

Yes. Only if social services were protected and not part of the cutting board. We need to maintain a level of services in all of Chatham-Kent that is safe to all reaching areas.

  1. Would you support shifting some services to the private sector if those services could be done more efficiently that way?

Yes. This would need to be on a per bases scenario.

  1. Do you believe we need a municipal ombudsman or ethics commissioner?

No. Not on a full-time basis.

  1. Do you support investigating a reduction in the number of council members?

Yes. Only if this review has not already been thoroughly investigated within the last few years.

  1. Should the municipality try to land an Ontario Cannabis Store as soon as possible?

No. We need to sit back and learn from others.

  1. Should council be more proactive in terms of working with landowners with contaminated wells?


  1. Some critics say the municipal building department is an impediment to development in C-K. Do you agree?

No. We need to ensure proper management and execution that gives fairness to all.

  1. Do you believe Chatham needs a new twin-pad arena?

Yes. But we also need to investigate saving an arena that would become decommissioned because of the twin pad arena.

  1. Should the municipality cut back on its expenditures for overseas economic development efforts?


  1. Should municipal councilors ever be forced to go the Freedom of Information route when seeking municipal information?

No. Councilors should have full disclosure as they are voted representatives of the community.

  1. Should members of the public have more access to municipal information without having to resort to an FOI?

No. With this said, each request needs assessment on an individual basis. There are many types of questions and therefore a blanket yes or no is not realistic.

Oct. 5, 2018