‘We are a broken community,’ council candidate says


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Editor’s note: This letter is addressed to Chatham-Kent, and Ward 3 in particular.

Sir: I would like to publicly renounce my desire to run for municipal council. Sadly in one short week of listening to our leaders and community, it has become apparent that we are a broken community that I won’t lead in.

As I approached people and business owners, and sat in leadership debates, it has become clear that we are a very selfish community. Many see our leadership as the problem and want change. I, on the other hand, see a community that has a leadership that reflects its citizens.

You may call e-mail or me and yell at me and tell me I a wrong; that is your right. However, I ask you to start and listen to the way each of us talks and what we say in our day-to-day life, and take a long look in the mirror. Sadly our currently council is only a reflection of the majority of our community. Strong communities are made up of leaders who look to serve, listen and help each other, and many of you have probably served in leadership roles or worked/struggled to help change our community. I have had the opportunity to serve on various teams that started out great but shortly the days arrived where individuals started and put themselves and their needs ahead of the common goal and good.

This is not what makes a community work. We need to all set aside our personal interests, our need for people to think we are wonderful people, and help and support each other. This is a type of community that will start and attract people and grow, which ironically is the sad situation we are in. People are leaving Chatham-Kent and no one is coming to replace them.

If we want change in Chatham-Kent, I think the place it really needs to start is in our own lives, and with each of us taking a hard look at ourselves and not criticizing anyone else – particularly those in leadership. I strongly oppose the attitude our current council has, but realize in this past week that our community has forgotten the type of community it COULD BE and not currently WHAT IT IS.

It will take a complete mindset change from all of us.

I was out at Buxton this week listening to what made that community so unique and amazing. Take the time to talk to Bryan and Shannon Prince. I was struck with the attitudes that made that community great – so amazing in fact that it was not advertised or promoted yet it spread like wild fire all over North America. When a new slave showed up, the bell was rung and EVERYONE in the community dropped what they were doing and came to help set this person up in their new community. WOW! What a community, and one where everyone showed leadership. Maybe we need to learn from our past so our future can be a bright one.

Paul Spence





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