step at a time
my campaign for city council enters its seventh week,
I thought I'd take a little time to reflect on the journey
I go door-to-door throughout the ward, one of the most
popular questions I'm asked is why? Why are you running
for city council? And the answer is quite simple, I'm
running because I know I can make a difference. And I
know this because I have been making a difference in peoples'
lives, and the community as a whole, for the past 13 years.
know this because for the past seven weeks I've been knocking
on doors and meeting friends I never knew I had. Friends
whose kids I've written about 10 and 12 years ago. Friends
whose grandchildren went on to university after receiving
an Orleans Outstanding Youth Award, or whose daughter
went on to study drama after graduating from high school
because of a story I wrote about the Orleans Young Players
production they were in six years ago. Friends who are
thankful for the story I wrote about their son or daughter's
courageous battle with cancer.
door-to-door and meeting people, many of whom still remember
the columns I wrote for the Orleans Star more than
15 years ago, has been the most rewarding experience of
my life. And
the cool part of it is the fact that I never know which
door will open to reveal another friend I never knew I
one street I recently canvassed, I only recognized one
name among the Canada 411 listings. It belonged to the
family of an extremely talented young baseball player
who I once wrote about. By the time I finished knocking
on each door on the street, I ended up meeting six families
who's son or daughter I had written about over the years.
so it continues. The great tennis player Arthur Ashe once
said, "Success is a journey, not a destination. The
doing is often more important than the outcome."
was speaking about athletics, but he just as easily could
have been talking about an election campagn and the importance
of knocking on doors and meeting people. I have no idea
how my journey will end, or what the outcome will be,
but I can say that the journey, at least thus far, has
been a rewarding one.
way I see it, I've been preparing for this journey ever
since I started writing for the Orleans Star in
1989. But it's really been in the past 13 years, since
launching OrleansOnline.ca, that I've truly been able
to serve the community.
to my daughter's count, I've written over 6,000 stories
since 2001, all of them about a local athlete, artist
or community issue. It's because of OrleansOnline.ca and
the support I've received over the years that I've been
able to do stuff like organize the Greater Orléans
Canada Day Celebration on Petrie Island for the past 10
years and the Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards
for the past eight years.
running for city council because I want to bring back
the kind of mentality that existed in the former City
of Gloucester prior to amalgamation when the city was
there to serve the people and not the other way around,
which is what it has slowly become.
running because I've reached a point in my life, with
my kids now grown, that I can devote the time required
to be a full-time city councillor.
most of all, I'm running because I want to help make my
community, our community, a better place to live, work
and play. I want to help find solutions to some of the
problems that have been plaguing us of late, like the
lack of oversight on municipal projects and the need to
divert institutional organic waste from landfill sites
to the Orgaworld composting facility so that we can stop
paying for a service we currently don't receive and we
can begin sending leaf and yard waste back to the Trail
Road composting site and start saving hundreds of thousands
of tax dollars.
want to help community groups and minor sports associations
achieve their goals by rolling up my sleeves and working
with them in coming up with solutions to their problems.
And when it's all said and done, I want my constituents
to be proud of the job we've accomplished together. But
that's the destination. For now I need to focus on the
journey that still lies ahead, buoyed by all the friends
I never knew I had, and the ones who've been with me every
step of the way.
we will make a difference.
you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column
please write to Fred Sherwin at firstname.lastname@example.org).
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