After seven and a half years on Chatham-Kent council, Marjorie Crew wants to step it up a notch. She announced Thursday that she’s running for mayor this fall.
Incumbent Randy Hope has not filed his papers as of yet, but has indicated he will run again.
Crew, 54, is finishing her second term representing Chatham.
She said she’d been considering seeking the top seat for the better part of a year.
“I had to look at my family, my home life. There’s a lot you have to think about,” she said. “My decision (to run) is based on my family and myself.”
She pledges to offer a “different type of leadership. I have a collaborative style,” she said. “I bring people together to get the right answers.”
Crew wouldn’t say what she thought of Hope’s leadership abilities.
“Randy’s leadership style and my leadership style are very different,” she said. “I’m offering the people of Chatham-Kent a choice.”
Crew said taxes, youth attraction and retention and economic development are key issues that must be addressed.
“We have to try to encourage young people to come back here. We need more jobs,” she said. “We must invest in people so they can invest in our economy.”
To attract and retain young adults, Crew believes the municipality must move towards being an active community.
“We need to be a healthy, safe community, with trails and good quality of life,” she said. “Our young people need to also go away to see how great our community is.”
As for economic development trips overseas, Crew said it is about time to see some results. She would rather focus closer to home, however.
“I wouldn’t make as many trips overseas. I’d like to find opportunities in our municipality and country.”
Crew has no problem with current municipal staffing levels, and describes the municipality as a “lean machine.” She said staff is needed to deliver services.
She reminds residents the mayor is but one person on council, and a strong body of elected officials is needed for the municipality to move forward.
“We’re a large council. There are drawbacks and strengths,” she said. “I want to see councillors better educated about what’s happening in other councillors’ communities. They have to understand what each councillor is facing.”