September 24, 2014

Josie Wintersinger says progress being made

As published in the Erin Advocate

Josie Wintersinger hopes that the next Council will be supported with more public participation in decisions that affect the Town’s future.

She is running for re-election, and is pleased with Erin’s accomplishments in the last four years, despite extensive efforts spent by council and staff in dealing with questions raised by Mayor Lou Maieron.

“It was a very difficult term,” she said. “Council worked quite well together and tried very hard to keep frustrations under wraps.”

She and her husband have operated a tree farm in the Town since 1983. She is happy with the new fire station in Hillsburgh, the Skatepark, the Five-Year Capital Budget process and the decision to accept the Servicing and Settlement Plan recommendations, moving forward with further study of sewage options.

“You can’t just say ‘No sewage’, but there’s great concern about how it can be done. We have to look at new technologies,” she said. While uncertain if all urban homes should be brought onto a sewer system, she said first priority should be given to homes that really need the service and that the Town should provide low-cost loans to spread out the cost.

She believes it was proper to complete the Strategic Plan before starting the Operational Review, and is determined to start that review immediately.

While unable to fulfill her goal of more affordable housing for seniors and young families, she plans to keep pushing the issue. She also hopes people will be willing to get involved with advisory committees such as Environment and Economic Development, which have fallen apart due to volunteer burnout and uncertainty about their role.

“Continuity is important,” she said. “We need brainstorming on a wider scale. We have not been welcoming to new businesses. We have been putting up roadblocks, and it’s got to stop.”

With substantial industries unlikely to come to Erin, she favours promoting small business growth, but points out that market forces affecting the community are not under the Town’s control.

She feels that Centre 2000 is not being put to effective use and wants to see more programs for young people, with partnerships between the Town, the School Board and local community groups.

On a County issue, she believes that the new library planned for Hillsburgh is not needed, and that the money could be better spent on other things.