Stephenson ready for ongoing challenge

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Councillor Brian Stephenson would welcome another four years around the Town of Tillsonburg council ‘table.’

“I’m looking forward to the challenge – again,” said the veteran councillor Monday afternoon inside The Tillsonburg News newsroom.

Stephenson brings 10-plus years of experience on council to that table, along with a simple philosophy.

“I always run on common sense and being a good listener,” he said. “Listening to the discussion before making up my mind.

“Some politicians make up their minds too early and dig their heels in.”

Stephenson enjoys working to solve issues, be they individual or community-wide in nature, via negotiation and compromise. He also looks forward to the completion of the town’s strategic plan, which will help define its direction over the next decade-plus.

But in the shorter term of the next council’s mandate, he looks at the upcoming four years as significant ones for the town, with several major issues on the horizon.

Tillsonburg Hydro Inc. would definitely be among those, said Stephenson, as well as the future of the town hall, based on the fact the upcoming council will face a decision on whether to renew a contract for operational space within the Town Centre Mall.

“The discussion is, is it time to build our own town hall?” said Stephenson. “It’s just one of the things on the radar.”

Other areas of focus include a decision on the future of the fairgrounds, Lake Lisgar and surrounding Memorial Park, which dovetails into a personal interest and determination to use town facilities to their full potential.

“What are we going to do with that?”

Beyond those items, Stephenson points to a vital and vibrant downtown core as a key, along with the importance of being site-ready for industrial and commercial development when opportunities arise.

In general terms, he also believes in cooperation, both with the County of Oxford and neighbouring municipalities.

“Be open and willing to talk to neighbouring municipalities about commercial or industrial joint ventures which would benefit both parties,” he added.

In closing, Stephenson reiterated how much he enjoys being part of the municipal governance process, and how he would appreciate an opportunity to continue.

“I enjoy the challenge of dealing with issues and trying to get the town ready for the next 20 or 30 years.”

 

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