Jim Hagar looks to increase public consultation, sees Regional management of fire services

Special to the VOICE

If you are looking for a new face for Regional Council, Jim Hagar might be your man. Hagar, 62, is running for Regional Councillor for the Town of Pelham.

Hagar is a retired Human Resources consultant who worked for 37 years with the Region in water/waste water and in Human Resources. He worked as an operator and in maintenance and in HR doing collective bargaining. Hagar has been on the inside and has seen the inner workings of the Region. He feels he has the practical knowledge needed for the job.

“I think I’m well prepared to meet the needs of the people of Pelham,” said Hagar. “I’ve got a pretty good insight and know the people side of it.”

Hagar is a Fenwick resident. He has lived there for 13 years with his wife, Susan. They have two daughters, Marissa and Caitlin. Hagar played rugby for many years and coached the Brock University team between 1999 and 2003.

He and his wife enjoy golfing, mostly at Pelham Hills. Hagar has followed the regional political scene closely. Issues like the Burgoyne Bridge build, lack of due diligence and emerging CAO-hiring questions have driven him to run for a position on council.

Hagar questions the “moral flexibility and ethics” at the Region.

“Whose interest are they here for—the public or their own? You can’t be going in to buy a Chevy and come out buying a Cadillac. They’re doing everything to justify what they want. People are upset.”

Hagar feels there hasn’t been enough consultation with the public at the Regional level and acknowledges there are going to be pressures on Pelham with Welland and Thorold expanding. He would like to see the Region being future-ready with well managed planning for urban growth and development.

Hagar would like to regionalize the fire service and to see the Region partner more with municipalities, collecting assets and dividing them suitably around the peninsula.

“You need to have that five-year and ten-year plan,” he said. “I’m here to clean up after the parade. We need better government.”

Hagar’s biggest hope is to see the Region find their moral compass again in the next term. He would like to see the Region doing the right thing, with better financial management. He says the Region needs to have some guidance and accountability.

“You’re there to represent the public,” said Hagar. “It’s about service. We’re always accountable to the public.”

Hagar is running against the incumbent, Councillor Brian Baty, but he feels people might want someone new. His message to those looking for change is, “Welcome back.”

“I want to hear from you. I want to make sure we are acting in your best interest.”

The other candidates in the race are Dave Augustyn, also an incumbent Regional Councillor, and another political newcomer, Diana Huson. The election is October 22.

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