Friday, August 12, 2022

Andy Fisher is running to become Mayor of Chatham-Kent

Chatham resident Andy Fisher has filed his paperwork and is running to become the Mayor of Chatham-Kent.

Fisher, who was born in London, Ontario and grew up in Highgate with his mom and brother, says he moved to Chatham when he was 17-years-old and has lived there since.

“The reason I have decided to run for Mayor of Chatham-Kent is because I personally believe that the municipality as a whole is not being managed properly, and that the people of Chatham-Kent haven’t, for a very long time, been represented by a person who is a direct reflection of the community itself,” Fisher told the Sydenham Current.

“The last two mayors selected by the voters of Chatham-Kent seemed to be wealthy men, I am not a wealthy man by any stretch of the imagination. I came from nothing, I did not have a father, and my mom was unemployed my entire life.”

Fisher said he has had many jobs within Chatham-Kent, including several years working as a security guard at the Downtown Chatham Centre and at the Chatham and Wallaceburg hospitals.

He is currently working as a truck driver and have been in the trucking industry for roughly five years.

“Everything I have now or have ever possessed was a direct result of hard work, I have never been handed anything in my life… save for funds to attend college when my grandfather passed away,” he said.

“I look around and I don’t like what I see anymore, after the Wheels Inn and Navistar left the city of Chatham years ago, it seems as though Chatham-Kent as a whole has been in a steady decline. The mall sits practically empty, high paying jobs are few and far between, and if it weren’t for the casino and other small businesses that have opened in recent years, Chatham-Kent would have little to no entertainment value for its citizens.”

Fisher said some of the decisions the city makes “are truly baffling.

“They don’t cut the grass until it’s waist high, they’ve ran out of salt during winter, they hire construction companies who can’t live up to their reputations and are never on schedule, they attempted to fine a football coach for cutting the grass at Lark Park when the city refused to cut it themselves,” Fisher said.

“All of these things and more make the citizens of CK wonder who is truly in charge and where our hard earned tax dollars are going.”

Fisher said he has a four point plan to restore Chatham Kent to “it’s former glory of the early 90s.

“When business was booming, there were things to do, and nobody seemed to have any qualms with city council or how the municipality was being ran. My main point of interest is affordable housing, which I understand is not just a local problem, but a national crisis. I will work with both the provincial and federal government to bring as much new affordable apartments and homes to Chatham Kent as I possibly can, and work with local charities and organizations to combat the rising level of citizens who are without a place to live, and to offer them support in their time of need,” he said.

Fisher said he sympathizes with anyone who is facing a homeless crisis.

“I myself was homeless temporarily when I was 17, which is why I ended up here in Chatham, my mom was having a severe mental health crisis and myself and my brother were unaware that she had lost our house to the bank during this time, we were physically removed from our home without warning on a July Saturday morning, with nowhere to go,” he said.

“Luckily our neighbours took us in for the night, and the Salvation Army of Chatham helped us with a motel in Chatham, and with applying to Ontario Works, until we were able to find an apartment. I am forever grateful to the Salvation Army and organizations like it for doing what they did then, and what they continue to do now for those who have nowhere else to go.”

Fisher said his second point is jobs.

“I intend to work along side local business owners and to contact major corporations, in order to bring higher paying jobs to Chatham Kent,” he said.

“Thirdly, I plan again, to work with both local business owners and with corporations outside Chatham Kent, to bring more sources of entertainment to Chatham-Kent, we are a family community, and we desperately need more reasons for families to stay here.”

Fisher said his final point is to listen.

“Which is something politicians tend to never do,” he added.

“I will do my absolute best to lend my ear to the people of Chatham-Kent, and work hard to tackle the issues the people who will pay my salary want tackled and not allow them to fall upon deaf ears.”

Fisher added: “I love Chatham-Kent, I have lived here since the day I was born, I have no intentions of leaving, many people I know have left the city or even the province to make better lives for themselves, but I don’t believe in running, I believe in taking a stand, if the world around you isn’t ideal, change the world around you, that is exactly what I am trying to do.”

Fisher said he wants Chatham-Kent not just to survive, but to thrive.

“I want the citizens of Chatham-Kent to know that help is on the way, all you have to do is support one of your own,” he said.

“I firmly believe I can be the man to help turn things around in this community if you’ll give me the opportunity. I have no ulterior motive, I am not doing this for the money or the fame, I simply have one goal in mind, and that is to make Chatham Kent the greatest place to live in Ontario.”

Fisher is the second person to file their nomination papers for the position of Mayor.

Incumbent Mayor Darrin Canniff filed his papers last month and will be seeking a second term.

The nomination period for the 2022 election began on May 2 and ends on August 19, 2022.

Election day is Monday, October 24, 2022.

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