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The following is submitted by Rebecca Smith, who is running for a councillor position in Wollaston Township in the Oct. 25 election.
Work, Play and Celebrate the Results Together – Candidate for Wollaston Township Rebecca Smith.
Rebecca Smith is looking forward to being a part of the new Wollaston council and while some find politics boring or confusing, Smith has been planning this run for a long time.
Smith, a 31 year old mother of two says that her interest in politics started years ago when she did some contract work for what was then Bangor, Wicklow, McClure Township.
“Before amalgamation I was a summer employee and I got to look at by-laws and research and I loved it,” Smith says. “I like the little stuff; the details.”
The little details are what Smith hopes will help her engage more of the community in the political process. She wants to liaise with residents so that they have a better understanding of how and why decisions are made.
Smith says she hopes to make the community feel welcome at council meetings and if that means holding the meetings in a bigger space, with chairs for guests then that’s something she’s willing to work on. And it is her attention to the small things like offering a chair or a personal invitation that makes Smith a good candidate to watch.
“It’s gotta be reasonable, the things council does have to make sense and happen for a reason,” Smith says. “I’m a straight shooter and I care that I get something right.”
Smith grew up in Lake St. Peter and went to Sir Sanford to study nursing before moving to Coe Hill with her husband Justin. She has worked in group homes, does respite care and loves working in the service industry. Smith’s work history shows a desire to listen, advocate and deliver results. Her current job at the Hideaway allows her to connect with year-round and seasonal residents as well as make a great impression on tourists who are just passing through.
“It’s a good feeling to pick-up the phone at the Hideaway and before I even get to take a reservation the person on the phone is telling me that I have their support,” say Smith as she smiles. “This makes me feel good because I think I can improve on some of the areas where there has been friction in the Village and throughout the municipality.”
Smith hopes to work with the new council as well as staff to communicate effectively and to ensure that all committees, revitalisation and council are reporting information to the community. She hopes to get more background out to residents so that they are aware of what council will be making a decision on and hopes to get more of the community out to participate in the process.
Like a typical mom, Smith is willing to change a schedule or be flexible to ensure that everyone is looked after. And her son Ollie, 5, agrees. When asked why his mom would be good on council he is thoughtful in his answer.
“She washes my stuffed animals when they are dirty,” Ollie explains. “She cleans off the dog hair.”
Smith hopes to tackle bigger issues on council than laundry but she’s happy with the big jobs and the small and takes on tasks as she sees them. And that’s what she did this year in Coe Hill when she got tired of driving her kids back and forth to Bancroft for soccer. She made some calls, found other parents and kids who were just as happy to play at home and so she and her husband Justin ran a soccer program for 30 kids.
“It was really for the kids to be social,” Smith says.
“Kids that might not get along at school had to play and work together and in the end they realised that they’re not so different. And at the end of the season we had a party to celebrate.”
And that’s Smith’s plan for the next four years. She’s hoping to show the community that we’re not so different and that if we play and work together as a team that in the end we can celebrate the results. It’s a simple plan but one that she feels will work for Wollaston Township and the new council she would be proud to be a part of.
Ollie, patient throughout the interview process gets the last comment. He likes the idea of his mom winning a seat on council but when asked if he’ll go to a council meeting to watch his mom he shakes his head and says “no” because he’s five and that stuff is boring.