McGee wants to move council meetings to other city locations if elected mayor
Long time community volunteer and politician Faye McGee says the next mayor of Kawartha Lakes, along with a fresh slate of councillors, should find a different way of doing business.
McGee, who is running for mayor, is currently the director secretary of the Fenelon Agricultural Society. She brings significant political experience to the 2022 municipal race. For instance, she has sat on Fenelon Township council, been deputy reeve and reeve of Fenelon Township, represented Fenelon Township on Victoria County council and served two terms as councillor on the amalgamated Kawartha Lakes council.
When asked in a telephone interview with The Advocate why she is running for mayor after being out of formal politics for more than a decade, McGee credited her supporters.
“I have had a lot of phone calls encouraging me to run,” McGee said. “There has been a lot of pressure for me to enter this race.”
McGee said as mayor she would try to be fair to all.
“We need to be open to conversations with taxpayers. We need to work with taxpayers. We need to create an environment where all communities in Kawartha Lakes are moving ahead together,” McGee said.
When asked what issues she would address early in her term as mayor, McGee focused on a number of hot button issues that will likely determine the outcome of this election cycle.
“I want to understand why have taxes gone up in the rural areas and services gone down,” McGee began. “I want to increase taxpayer interest and awareness of what is going on at city hall. I would like to move meetings outside Lindsay to make council more available to voters, perhaps using service centres for the meetings.”
“I believe by doing this,” McGee continued, “that we will get people more actively involved in what council is doing. Council needs to hear more about the issues of the day directly from taxpayers and meetings like this may achieve that.”
McGee supports a second bridge in Fenelon, but is not sure which location should be chosen. She believes that the city should be doing all it can do to assist the people behind the Coboconk Wellness Centre that will hopefully be breaking ground soon. McGee also believes there are a number of city bylaws that also need to be reviewed.
When asked her views on development in the city, McGee was cautiously optimistic.
“Council should take a closer look at some of the development proposed,” McGee said. “I want to make sure that people are heard before these projects start. We also need to make sure that rules are followed.”
In what is shaping up to be an election about infrastructure, McGee agrees that road repairs need to be looked at. She believes also that a number of the water plants will need to be updated to support projected development.
“I want to go line by line through the budget. The only time I would approve a tax increase is if the need was clear,” McGee said. “We need to become a more efficient council.”
McGee’s campaign may be a little different than some of her opponents.
“I have helped people across the municipality, and now they are offering to help me,” McGee said. “Right now, my campaign is just me. I am not putting signs up. I think they are ugly and a nuisance. When friends have phoned asking for signs, I have encouraged them to create their own, even if it means painting a haybale to support my campaign.”
McGee has already been invited to three political gatherings in September, and plans to attend as many of these meetings as she can.
“I have never been a big fan of formal debates,” McGee share. “They can be so artificial with questions planted by candidates. A lot of people who attend those debates are afraid to get up and ask questions. I much prefer social mixers where you get the opportunity to meet all the candidates in one place and get a chance to speak to them face to face.”
When asked if there was a clear front runner for the mayoral position, McGee believes no one is running away with the race.
“It could go anyway at all,” McGee said. “This race could easily be a six-way split. No one should assume they have already won it because they haven’t.”