January 22, 2014

Allan Alls wants to be Erin’s mayor

As published in The Erin Advocate

With hopes of bringing in a new atmosphere of respect and cooperation at Town Hall, and attracting new businesses to Erin, Allan Alls has entered the race for mayor in next October’s election.

“My strength is my ability to work with people,” said Alls, who has lived in the area for more than 40 years.

“I don’t plan to run the Town – that’s the CAO’s job,” he said. “It’s council’s job to provide policy and guidance, and not to hire consultants for everything.”

Alls is the president of the East Wellington Community Services board of directors, with his term ending in September. He operates a Re/Max realty business on Main Street in Erin.

He was a pilot in the Canadian Air Force, flying CF-100 fighter jets, then worked for Air Canada from 1967 to 2004. He was in leadership roles both with the pilots’ union and in management as a senior director, helping coordinate the merger of Air Canada and Canadian Airlines.

He said the current state of “dysfunction” at Town Council shows the need for change.
“We have to respect one another and put our best foot forward. You value what the other person has to say and you try to come up with a consensus,” he said. “We could do business a little better. We need to treat the public like they are the bosses.”

When faced with different needs in various sectors of the Town, he said he would “look at what’s best for the community as a whole”. 

If elected, he intends to get out of the real estate business, and he intends to stay in office for only one four-year term. Municipal and school board elections in Ontario will be held on October 27 this year.No other candidates have registered yet, and incumbent Mayor Lou Maieron has not announced if he will run for re-election.

When asked about his lack of experience in elected office, Alls said it could be an advantage by providing a fresh approach. He said if elected he would try to spend one day per week at the mayor’s office so taxpayers could drop in and talk to him.

By declaring his candidacy early in the year, Alls said he hopes it will provide time to listen to the concerns of Erin residents, and to encourage people with similar values to run for council seats.

Regarding new housing growth, he said, “It’s not our choice – the province mandates growth. We can’t bury our heads in the sand – it’s going to happen. We need to get involved to control it as best we can.”

He said the Town should try to avoid having to defend its development decisions at the Ontario Municipal Board. 

As for whether the existing urban areas should have sewers, he’s not ready to take a definite position until more information is available on the costs and options.

He said he is concerned that many young people cannot afford to live here, that businesses are struggling and that too large a portion of the tax revenue has to come from residential ratepayers.

He is in favour of the Town offering financial incentives for businesses to locate in Erin.“If we don’t get more businesses in here soon, it’s going to look like Marsville,” he said.

Regarding possible improvements to recreational services, he said, “with limited resources, there’s only so much you can do.”

Anyone interested in putting their names forward in the October election can download a 2014 Candidates’ Guide at www.mah.gov.on.ca.