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My name is Cheryl Grace and I’m one of Southampton’s two ward councillors. I was born in Southampton and my ancestors pioneered in Amabel and Arran Townships. My parents, Lewis and Bea Strong, retired to Southampton in 1975 and my husband, Mike, and I bought our cottage here 22 years ago.

After studying at the Universities of Toronto and Western Ontario, marriage took me to Ann Arbor, Michigan where I taught high-school social studies. When we retired in 2011, Mike and I chose to make Southampton our full-time home and to do what we can to give back to this special place. I am a Chantry Island tour guide, a member of Southport Canadian Federation of University Women, and a volunteer teacher at the Bruce County Museum. I have also been a Southampton Residents Association Board member and volunteered in the G.C. Huston Breakfast program.

In 2014, I ran to be a strong voice for Southampton and with the support of Council, some of my goals were realized:

- taking steps to integrate our design guidelines into our planning laws
- keeping our libraries and post offices in our downtown cores
- a plan to improve the stormwater outlet at the Island Street beach
- introducing Open Forum to our Council meetings, so citizens can speak on agenda issues without prior notice
- improving public consultation and communication
- establishing an Economic Development Committee and Master Plan, and hiring an Economic development coordinator

During the last term, I have served on the following Town committees and boards: Accessibility, Chamber of Commerce, Committee of Adjustment and Planning, Economic Development, Waterfront, Saugeen Mobility and Regional Transit, Saugeen Rail Trail Association and the Southampton Town Hall and Library Committee. I prepare thoroughly for meetings, and attend faithfully. I respond to resident emails and phone calls, meet with residents, meet with staff to advocate on behalf of residents, and work with my fellow Council members to create solutions to the many challenges facing our municipality.

I’m seeking re-election because there are still many challenges facing us and much work to be done:

From 2006-16, our population grew almost 17% and we continue to grow. By 2031, our population is projected to grow by another 5,000, 78% more than we had originally anticipated just a few years ago. We need a defined and visonary growth strategy that will help us plan long-term diversified economic sustainability, and the necessary infrastructure, health care, educational and recreational services to ensure that we make the most of this extraordinary growth

When I hear from residents, keeping the small-town feel of our Town is one of their main concerns, especially in the face of burgeoning development. It is a top priority for me to ensure that our neighbourhoods and streets retain the features that make Southampton and other established neighbourhoods of our town the special places we love. Protecting the charm and character of our town through preserving the heritage of our buildings and streets is also vital to our economic development as a tourist destination.

Our waterfront is a natural treasure. We must improve our protection of the quality of our lake and river water through County and regional efforts, control stormwater flowing onto our beaches, increase beach accessibility and control invasive species like phragmites.

The current Council has supported plans to develop a new aquatic facility by funding designs to apply for grants if and when they are announced. We recently approved a memorandum of agreement to study a partnership with the Owen Sound YMCA. This will be an expensive project, but I believe a new pool in Saugeen Shores is an essential investment for the health, safety and quality of life of our residents, and I will work with Council and staff to explore all of our funding opportunities.

I will continue to work on public engagement and consultation, not just through our municipal programs, but as an individual councillor. I will continue to inform you about current issues, respond to you promptly, listen to your concerns and do what I can to help you.

I want to thank you for giving me the honour and privilege of serving as your Southampton Ward Councillor during this term. With your support I welcome the opportunity to continue serving our wonderful community.

See also: John Rich, candidate for Southampton Ward Councillor

Stanley Kollontay is also running for Southampton Ward Councillor. Both Saugeen Shores Hub and Small Star Network reached out to each of the candidates giving them equal opportunity to participate in the profile and the podcast. Neither had received a response by deadline.