I wish I could say that I am surprised by the recent comments made by Richmond County councillors, with respect to a request to provide financial assistance for a women’s leadership initiative. Appalled, perplexed, disappointed; I believe these would be more accurate descriptors of the denial of this request without so much as a motion being presented.

I quote councillor Goyetche, “I don’t think it would be right for me to ask the taxpayers of Richmond County to pay to encourage somebody to run against me.”

I believe there is a significant lack of comprehension of the role of public servants demonstrated in this statement. Mr Goyetche gives the impression of placing himself before the needs of the constituents who are ultimately his employer.

As a rate payer myself, I would expect that our elected officials would endeavour to consistently seek to improve our communities by proactively promoting leadership opportunities for all citizens. Opposing an initiative can be seen as little more than self-interest and an inability to act in a manner that represents the best interests of the county as a whole.

As a resident, I expect better. I am hopeful that we may find an interested female, or member of a visible minority, who is ready, willing and able to run for election in District # 1. I would be willing to collaborate with that individual regarding his or her campaign and am pledging that I will assume the entry fee cost to ensure that such a person is able to run, without barriers, to hopefully bring a voice of reason to our council chambers when future positive initiatives are brought forth for discussion and support.

Richmond County is a wonderful, diverse place. We must continue to seek improvement through visionaries who will help our community move forward by actively seeking to include all residents in all aspects of our community living, including politics.

Here’s hoping for future leaders with a growth mindset who value progress for all members of our municipality and a renewed energy around the council table as of October 2020.

Bruce Joshua