“The focus for me has always been small business in the community, and coming out of the pandemic, trying to continue to support those business and back on their feet,” said Barton. “That’s one side for me, the other one is good governance and leadership.”
He noted that the past two years have seen many small businesses struggling to survive the pandemic.
“It’s been a challenge, » he said. « From a staff side, a business is trying to do something, if they’re trying to develop, if they’re trying to grow or expand or if they’re having challenges from whatever direction whatever direction be it financial or otherwise, it’s making sure that staff is accessible from our side to answer questions or provide direction and to help them in whichever way they may be moving. It’s to support them, it’s not to develop policy that’s going to unfairly infringe in what they’re trying to do or prevent from trying to grow and expand. It’s trying to help them move forward. »
Barton said he is committed to the Vankleek Hill community, as he was born and raised here. Following graduation he did his post-secondary studies and worked in various cities in Canada for studies before returning home, which he thinks gives him a diverse background useful to council.
“We need to make sure we’re making good decisions as we move forward,” he said. “There is so many challenges and I’m trying to get the experience, continue to develop the experience to be able to provide that. I think I do have that with my diverse background so hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to get back in and help the community.”
Barton believes it is important for council to communicate with staff and work with members of the community.
“Council members and councillors aren’t experts, we’re the representatives of the community that get to make policy decisions but we need to rely on the experts,” he said. “In my opinion, a good councillor has the ability to take in information and deal with different things.”
There are at present no challengers for any of the council seats in Champlain Township. All candidates will be elected by acclamation if there are no new registered candidates by August 19.