Original Published on Sep 21, 2022 at 10:25
By Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
John van Goch is seeking a seat on Grey Highlands council and promises to be a voice for the people.
Van Goch is a proud resident of Grey Highlands and has attended and volunteered at the Presbyterian and United Churches in Markdale. He and his wife enjoy their farmland and the surrounding wildlife. They keep bees to enjoy the honey they produce, grow vegetables in their gardens and have planted over 6,000 trees.
“My entire working life has been spent working jobs in retail, manual labour, transportation and food service. I’ve worked hard at jobs that are often underpaid and underappreciated, yet are vital to keeping our economy running, just like most of you,” he said. “I understand what it’s like to pay your taxes yet feel like you are getting nothing for it. It seems that politics continues to be dominated by career politicians. Quite frankly I am tired of it. This is why I am running.”
Van Goch promises to work hard and be genuine if he is elected to council.
“I am not one of those people that are quick to take credit, but equally as quick to lay blame, avoid accountability or offer ‘feel-good’ solutions to problems that don’t exist while avoiding fixing the difficult issues that affect the residents of the towns, because they don’t understand them and aren’t affected by them,” he said
Van Goch said that the increase in tourists should be welcomed and visitors need to be encouraged to enjoy what Grey Highlands has to offer as they bring valuable business and attention to the area and economy.
“I want to see our area enjoyed in a considerate and respectful way. To achieve this, all must be held accountable and the concerns of the residents who call Grey Highlands home must be first and foremost,” he said. “I believe that all of us, taxpayers, year-round citizens, and those on the municipal council, have to do our parts to protect all of our resources. Some of these resources may seem obvious like water.”
He said local senior citizens and youth are valuable resources for the community and that businesses should be protected and encouraged to grow.
“I will be the first to admit that many of my ideas will be considered unconventional or ‘outside-the-box’ but to that end, I would like to quote the character of Sherlock Holmes: ‘When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth,’” he said. “I am not interested in being a career politician, or in making a name for myself. I see that our community needs solutions and I know I can be someone to help facilitate them. I want to make a difference, so that everyone who calls Grey Highlands home can prosper not just today but for generations to come.”
The municipal election is Oct. 24, 2022. To confirm you are on the voter’s list, or to find out about advance voting options, visit the Grey Highlands website here.