Former Councillor O’Brien eyeing top spot at Shire Hall

Dianne O'Brien.

 Prince Edward County has always been the place I call home. I have deep family roots, going back five generations in this community. Married, I am a mother of two adult sons and grandmother of seven. 

For over 30 years I worked in the telecommunications and manufacturing sector. Throughout my career I had the opportunity to learn and grow, taking on a variety of roles including one as a Negotiator. I was called to serve in municipal politics in 2006, successfully winning a seat on Council. I was re-elected in 2010 and 2014-2018. In 2018 I served as PEC’s Acting Mayor. 

With more than 10-years experience representing the taxpayers of PEC on Council, I bring to the mayor’s office a proven track record of collaboration, transparency and leading with integrity. I have strong, positive relationships with elected officials at both Provincial and Federal levels. 

In partnership and collaboration with Councillors from around the table we will lobby all levels of government for project funding. It is a tumultuous time with many significant issues at the forefront. No municipality is an island, and it is critical to partner with all levels of government to achieve the important work that needs to get done. As your Mayor, I will my energies in service of the entire PEC community. 

The issues as I see them: 

Affordable Housing: The rezoning of the former Duke Dome in Wellington is a good beginning, adding 40 units including eight accessible units. I will work with the new council and various levels of government to see this project comes to fruition and that more such projects become a reality. We need a more timely and efficient response to building plan applications to better support the the creation of accessible, moderate housing. 

Keep Taxes in Line: I will work with the new council to strategically hold the line on taxes by balancing the spending in the County. If we cannot afford to pay off loans, we should not borrow the money if it causes tax increases to meet interest payments. I will represent the taxpayers of PEC with common sense, and hard work. 

Doctor Shortage: At one time the Prince Edward County healthcare team was the envy of the surrounding municipalities. I want to bring that back. The County needs a full-service drop-in clinic with several health-care providers that meet the community’s needs. I am interested in moving forward with the newly hired recruiter to explore all avenues to improve accessible healthcare in the community. 

Infrastructure Improvements: We need to surpass the current level of maintenance on the roads and infrastructure of the County. Multi-levels of government can and should be lobbied for funding assistance for our roads and other infrastructure needs. 

Sustainability: Prince Edward County has transitioned from a small rural community into an internationally acclaimed destination. Strong leadership is critical. The municipal government must work together with all stakeholders to create a viable and sustainable region for present and future generations, visitors and residents alike. I encourage the commitment to protect and preserve Ontario’s productive farmland and water resources. 

Short Term Accommodations: STA owner/operators must educate and inform guests about vacationing in PEC, work with neighbours to promote harmonious relationships and be environmental stewards by ensuring  the sustainable use of properties. We realize vacationers are here to have fun, but no resident should not be able to enjoy peaceful possession of their property.