Citing a need for experience and continuity on town council, Max Kaiser put his name forward to run for deputy mayor of Greater Napanee.
Born and raised on a family farm in Adolphustown, Kaiser continues to live the farm life with his wife Jessica and children Rob, Molly-Beth and Adeline.
Kaiser is nearing the completion of his first term on council, where he represented Ward 2.
“I was already committed to running again based on the want and need for continuity, at least some, because that carries that history of knowledge forward,” Kaiser said of his decision to run for deputy mayor, noting the incumbent Marg Isbester would be running for mayor and mayor Gord Schermerhorn wasn’t seeking re-election. “When the deputy mayor seat was declared vacant I recognized that was an important seat to be filled because only the mayor and deputy mayor represent Napanee at county council and for the same reason that I was committed to running at all, I thought somebody needed to step up among current council to run for deputy mayor.”
Kaiser says he’s attended several county council meetings through the various boards he’s sat on over the last 10 years and knows the senior staff well.
Kaiser says his knowledge and experience with the important issues over the last four years, issues he says the next council will continue to deal with, is an asset.
Among those is the issue of taxation, of which he put forward the successful motion to have dialogue with the OPP and determine whether or not calls for service could be area rated.
“With the question unanswered about whether or not we can area rate policing, should that answer come in the near future, I think that’ll be something that the next term of council is going to have to jump on and wrestle quickly,” said Kaiser.
He says once they get their answer, council should be ready to take action and another sub committee would not need to be struck.
Another issue he identified is that of the construction of a pool.
“That’s going to come before the next of council early on,” Kaiser said of the pool study, which has been conducted in ongoing phases. “I think it’s going to be sink or swim pretty early on that. Having said that, I also think that there’s research that we’ve done and that coming in will benefit council going forward until such a point as a funding strategy emerges, other levels of funding happen. If we don’t get a decision to go in the next couple of years, I don’t think it’s dead in the water. It can still be a living document moving forward and as soon as we’re able to, maybe we can pull the trigger.”
“Having said that, I do think there’s other opportunities in the near term,” Kaiser said of funding a pool. “If I’m successful I have some ideas that I want to bring to the new term of council and maybe we have some opportunities for partnerships that might address our needs.”
At last Tuesday’s council meeting, Kaiser put forward a motion to send a letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford to express disappointment in the recent closure of rural schools and to push to keep Selby Public School open.
“It’s not really within our mandate, and I recognize that,” said Kaiser of advocating for Selby PS. “Having said that, I believe that in my role as a member of council, we are advocates for our citizens and our communities and our businesses. If that happens to include schools on occasion, I’m okay with that. I want to be an advocate for people and the things that are important to our community and I think the schools are certainly a very key part of our community.”
Among the issues he says has come up most offer while campaigning is housing and homelessness. Having attended the recent Homeless Symposium hosted by Morning Star Mission, he says he looks forward to working with local agencies to help solve the many issues contributing to it.
“What I saw come out of (Wednesday night’s symposium) was the beginning of a really serious movement of drawing people together, services together,” said Kaiser. “I can’t wait for the next term of council to be in place so that town council can join the party because a provincial MPP was there, a member of federal Parliament was there, the OPP, Social Services, there’s a whole lot of people already at the table, the town’s got to join the party as soon as we can.”
Having learned a lot during his first term on council, Kaiser says he has the knowledge and commitment to serve as deputy mayor and on county council.
“I have a full time job, but I am my own boss,” he said, noting he missed just two meetings last term, both for family reasons. “I can stop and walk away (from the farm) anytime I need to.”