My name is Shawn Gear (Ward 3 Councillor Candidate), I was raised and have continued to reside in the Norwich township area specifically the village of Burgessville for over 40 years. It is here that my wife and I are raising our three children. I also am employed locally to a great family run company. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, volunteering within the community and love to spend time at the lake on our family boat.
2) With all the young students at Emily Stowe, do you support a New High School?
As I understand, this venture would be weighted more on the Thames Valley District School Board. Having two of my children go to different secondary schools, I do support this. This was due to the fact that they had different interests that the two schools supported in better ways or offered specific courses that better fit their future. The opportunity to have this option was actually quite great! I did however attend the former high school “Norwich District High School”, where I made some great friends and received a good education from some great teachers. I believe with more and more private schools on the rise this would have to be heavily evaluated to be sure it made sense for the community.
3) With hate crimes on the rise in Norwich, do you support a greater police presence in Norwich?
Absolutely, although it is not specifically for just said crimes, which I am not disregarding, but for various crimes that continue to rise within the community as the population rises. Such as break-ins, thefts, personal property damage, aggressive driving and increased speeds through our small villages. I would like to see us re-open the books on local policing. As I know there has been approval to support one local OPP officer. I feel this is going to be more of an after the fact situation. Where an officer will be more available for investigation reports and purposes, than actually patrolling. Norwich township is a large geographical area that I don’t believe can be patrolled properly by one officer to make much more of a difference than what we have now. Not to mention emergencies and crimes happen 24-7, not just within one officer’s eight- or twelve-hour shift, whatever it may be.
4) With the increased traffic on HWY 59 through town. Do you support traffic calming measures?
The increased traffic is not just on HWY 59, it is the main streets in each Town and Village, it’s the Middletown lines, it’s the Airport roads, it’s the Baselines, it’s the 14th it’s the 16th. I mean when do I stop. This subject cut really deep as I had a first-hand connection with this. My wife and neighbor petitioned to have areas changed to public safety zones, and this still never made a difference. We need to step it up, find the funding and invest in “Automated Speed Enforcement” before tragedy occurs.
5) How would you support Merchants (stores and business) in town?
This question is a no brainer, I have been supporting local all my life. We have seen various businesses come and go throughout our community for many years for various reasons. Some survive and others do not, I am very thankful for the ones we have and would be in support of more. When community money is spent in the community, everyone wins. I know there is always going to be those “Big Box Stores” that no one can resist with lower prices. “I am sorry, myself included”. I do however still make sure to order pizza on Fridays from the local store. Drive into Norwich to get an ice cream cone, or maybe even go into the local salvation army to find something unique or a jacket that I cannot believe someone gave up. Every little bit helps! From all of us!
6) Would you support merchants if they opened their establishments on Sunday?
This is the lifelong question in Norwich Township. My personal thoughts on this are simple, if the business owner chooses to open on Sunday or chooses to be closed on a Wednesday. That is their own discretion, I will adapt and respect their decision. That is their choice, that is their right.
7) 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)?
Another no brainer. Of course, I support the charter of rights and freedoms. I am a Canadian citizen and love my county. I would not live, or have it, any other way.