With the October 24 municipal election fast approaching, Charles Armstrong is campaigning for one of four seats on Russell Township council. Armstrong moved to Russell 31 years ago to raise his family in a liveable and safe community, and now says he’s getting into municipal politics because this is the level that most affects the day-to-day lives of citizens. He says the most important issue for him is the general livability of the township.
“In 2018, the township was proud to be ranked the third best place to live in Canada,” he said “We even added this statement to our township signs. Unfortunately, this year we are ranked 246th! We have fallen dramatically to the bottom half of places to live in Canada and the council needs to work hard to bring us back up to where we should be. Without addressing this broad issue my children will not be returning to live in this township.”
Armstrong said that future developments should bring services to the township’s citizens, not centralize businesses in separate districts that require a car to reach.
“There are numerous individual issues that affect livability in the township,” he said, “from safe streets to walk and cycle, to property tax increases and where our money is spent, to how the high rate of new developments are managed. These must be individually managed but with the intent of creating a great place to live. I see communities where one can safely play, walk and cycle with minimum use of automobiles. This requires a careful review of the Township Official Plan and Zoning By-Law, something that the Planning Act demands the next council do. The Official Plan affects development over 30 years, so what will be approved by the next council will have significant effects on the township our children and grandchildren will live in.”
Armstrong cited more than 37 years as a Canadian Armed Forces Military Engineer Officer, as well as significant experience in the management of municipal infrastructure and major capital projects as among his experience assets.
“This is directly applicable to the situation we find ourselves in with the upcoming $100 million recreation complex project and numerous other challenging municipal development projects,” he said. “The township council needs knowledgeable and experienced members to effectively guide us through these exciting times. With my knowledge of township affairs, I know my military experience can be effectively applied to the local challenges.”