Interviewed recently by Sarnia Journal for the upcoming election. Here are their questions along with my answers.
Original Link to Sarnia Journal here.
Mike Bradley has been Sarnia’s mayor for 30 years and is seeking a 10th term. He is Ontario’s second longest serving mayor. When elected in 1988 he became the youngest mayor in the city’s history. He has chaired a long list of committees and boards, including the Sarnia-Lambton’s Economic Partnership and Police Services Board. In recent years, he has earned accolades from across Ontario for his accessibility advocacy.
Over the past term, two separate reports concluded he had harassed and bullied senior city staff. Council docked his pay and urged him to take training on harassment in the workplace, which he has not done to date.
JOURNAL: Sarnia has a $355-million infrastructure deficit. What ideas do you have to find funding and upgrade facilities and roads?
BRADLEY: Dramatically reducing the city’s debt since 2004 has paid big dividends, freeing up more dollars for infrastructure. Not enough though. Canadian cities have a $6-billion infrastructure deficit. Sarnia is part of that deficit. I have championed, nationally and provincially, a new deal for Canadian cities and will continue to do so working with other mayors so we can do more to improve Sarnia and Canada.
JOURNAL: What personal strengths would you bring to the job of mayor?
BRADLEY: I am tried, tested and true, working for 30 years to improve the lives of Sarnians, demonstrating leadership that works and works. I bring integrity, commitment, determination, passion, resilience, openness, moral purpose and a much-needed sense of humour to the mayor’s position.
I am a servant of the people, not the special interests.
JOURNAL: Sarnia’s ratepayers have witnessed four years of dissension on its nine-member council. As mayor, how would you bring harmony back to City Hall, regardless of which councillors are elected?
BRADLEY: A new council brings a new dawn of opportunity, ideas, reconciliation and renewal. Will continue to provide full-time leadership working with council, business, labour, educators, First Nations and others to build the “New Sarnia-Lambton.” All councillors, including the mayor, need to set aside personal agendas and focus on the city agenda.
JOURNAL: Would you be willing to participate in sensitivity training sessions on harassment in the workplace?
BRADLEY: Yes. Training in the past has not been mandatory for council and should be along with other municipal training.
JOURNAL: How do you grade the city’s progress at Information Technology? Do you think more or less should be spent on IT at City Hall?
BRADLEY: Information Technology is important, however, the cost must reflect the ability of citizens to pay given the many other needs in the city.
Massive increases in IT costs came at the expense of basic services, including cutting four firefighter positions, higher taxes, eliminating the open, friendly reception desk at City Hall, with decreased access for the public and cuts to other basic citizen services like waste pick-up and eliminating the Show mobile, closing Jackson Pool and the Kinsmen Center.
JOURNAL: The Mitton Village neighbourhood is under stress with closed storefronts, vandalism and drug use. What possible solutions would you bring to the table?
BRADLEY: It takes a village to build a village. Brought skills of listening and building consensus to the vibrant renewal of downtown and will do the same for Mitton Village.
Solutions need to come from the business/property owners supported by the city. My plan would include social solutions, infrastructure improvements, business building and crime prevention strategies.