Michael Legge – Candidate for Ward 2 Councillor
“I am family man who has lived and worked in Norwich since 2010, along with my wife, Robin, and my 17 year-old son, Connor. I care deeply about my community and I want to ensure that Norwich is an affordable, safe and friendly place for our residents to live, and a great location for all of our businesses to grow and prosper. This can be accomplished by smart, strategic spending in the right areas and elimination of unnecessary spending. I was lucky enough to be employed by the Township for many years; it is now my time to give back to my community.”
- 30+ Years Working in Small Rural Municipalities in Ontario
Final 10 years as Director of Finance for the Township of Norwich – retired in April 2020.
- 2+ Years Municipal Consulting Services – for a variety of municipalities in South-West Ontario
- Former Member and President of the Norwich and District Optimist Club
- Solid understanding of the area, the current leaders, local government in the County of Oxford, and what needs to be done to allow the Township of Norwich to grow, prosper, and succeed in the current political climate
What I Stand For:
- Fair and Affordable Government for All Residents and Businesses
Let’s spend tax dollars wisely and invest in services that the majority of our residents want and need.
- Safe Communities
Safer communities don’t result from more police presence; they are the product of residents being more aware and involved in the day-to-day issues and problems that are happening in their own neighbourhoods and caring enough to be part of the solution. We can create opportunities for the public to voice concerns and engage the OPP in helping to create community-minded solutions.
- Small Town Values
Neighbours helping neighbours, pride in community, kids being safe enough to bike around town or play in the park without supervision – these are concepts that are quickly disappearing in today’s society. Let’s not let it happen in Norwich.
With all the young students at Emily Stowe, Do you support a New High School?
While I think the likelihood of the Thames Valley School Board considering a new high school for Norwich is highly unlikely, I definitely would support such a project. Our youth would benefit greatly from a local education option. The elimination of long bus rides on a daily basis would shorten our students busy school days and allow them to have a greater focus on their studies. A local high school would also help our youth to feel a greater connection to our community. Unfortunately, I don’t believe this is something this community will see until our population doubles or triples.
With hate crimes on the rise in Norwich, do you support a greater police presence in Norwich?
In my experience, the addition of an extra police officer(s) has minimal, or no, effect on the safety of a community. As I have said above, “Safer communities don’t result from more police presence; they are the product of residents being more aware and involved in the day-to-day issues and problems that are happening in their own neighbourhoods and caring enough to be part of the solution. We can create opportunities for the public to voice concerns and engage the OPP in helping to create community-minded solutions.”
The added cost to the tax payers for the addition of one police officer would be in the range of $250,000 per year when salary, benefits, training and the equipment required are factored in. I just don’t see the added benefit of additional officer(s) would out-weigh the costs related to it.
With the increased traffic on HWY 59 through town. Do you support traffic calming measures?
It would depend on what type of traffic calming measures are being recommended. The current width of the roadway would limit our options. But I am open to the idea of trying to control the speed of the traffic throughout our Village. My recommendation is that we utilize equipment already owned by the municipality, which are 2 portable speed warning signs. These signs display the current speed of each vehicle and when appropriate warn the driver to slow down. These signs also record a lot of traffic data which will give us a full report on traffic speeds, volumes of traffic, and times of day when the excessive speeds are the worst; this data can then be supplied to the OPP and can be utilized to do targeted enforcement. This should help control vehicle speed, if enforcement is conducted on a frequent enough basis. If problems persist, other measures can be investigated.
How would you support Merchants (stores and business) in town?
There are already 2 great organizations that support our local merchants, the BIA and the Chamber of Commerce. These groups are made up of, and run by, our local business leaders so they know the local needs and issues facing the commercial sector in our municipality. Council needs to ensure that they are supporting these organizations with any assistance and resources that they may need to help our business sector prosper.
Would you support merchants if they opened their establishments on Sunday?
I have no objections to any business opening on Sundays. Businesses should be able to operate on the days/hours that they are most comfortable with and that allows their business to prosper and succeed. The municipality should not look to control or regulate hours of operation.
Do you support the charter of rights and freedoms (I.e. race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability etc)?
As the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Canadian Constitution, which is the supreme law of Canada, and governs all laws and powers within it, we (as a municipality within Canada) have no choice but to support and abide by these rights and freedoms… it is also part of what I believe is at the heart of the true Canadian identity.
I encourage everyone to take the time to fill out your ballot and be part of the local democratic process and help to decide your local leaders for the next 4 years.