My name is Phil Meagher, I am a 27 year resident of Fort McMurray, my wife, Sherri and I have raised five children here. I am a five term councilor having been first elected in 1995 during the amalgamation. I am the Chief Deputy Superintendent of the Fort McMurray Public School District. In my spare time I am very active in our church, Fellowship Baptist, I referee Hockey, 21 years in the AJHL, I enjoy running, I’m an inductee in the Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame for running, I sit on many boards and committees the united Way being one of them. I very much enjoy the outdoors and you can find me most weekends hiking our many trails around town. I call Fort McMurray my home, but I grew up in rural New Brunswick, I attended UNB for my Bed degree and then moved here in 1983 to teach. Went on to complete my maters at the University of Victoria and have enjoyed a great administrative career.
Why are you running in Election 2010?
The past 15 and a half years have really taught me a lot about municipal politics and how a city should be run, I believe I bring experience to the table and lots of energy. I believe we still must be vigilant in our pursuit for quality of life for all residents and embrace change as it comes. I also believe I am a team player with a genuine concerns for other’s needs and wants. Even after all these years I still believe I’m able to do more from the inside of the council chambers than from the outside and I still have the energy to do it.
What do you want the voters to know going into the 2010 municipal elections?
I want voters to know that I always strive to do the right thing, even though it my not be the most popular thing to do, I always stick to my principles. I am a long way from perfect, but I want voters to know I always do what I feel is best for them. I would also hope that voters have come to know they can count on me being there for them no matter what the issue, I show up for the discussion.
QUESTIONS FROM THE TRIBE
On Aug the 25th, I asked the folks who are engaged around the my oil sands blog and twitter feed for their questions – what would they like to ask municipal candidates. Here are five of the questions and Phil’s answers.
Q: What does the municipality need to be ready for another wave of development? via @OilsandsEditor
PM: Land release by the province and a strategic plan to follow.
Q: What are the candidates views on the possibility of implementing a state-of-the-art waste management program that includes curb-side pick up of both recycling and compost? via Anonymous
PM: I have always been in favor of this program and I feel this needs to be one of our top priorities. I rented in Victoria while going to University in the summer, they did it there and that was over ten years ago. So I think we can do it as well and like all things we do it will be state-of-the-art.
Q: How will the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) secure enough provincial land at once to manage development sustainably? via@KyleHarrietha
PM: We need to have a strong working relationship with the province, I believe our present Mayor has set some great ground work in this area. We will have two MLA’s in the next election and I think we need to make that a campaign issue for both of these candidates.
Q: Is the candidate pro-oil sands, and if so, how would they be proactive in oil sands public relations management? via @TOMCOGroup
PM: The oilsands is our bread and butter, we need to constantly be telling the world of the good things that are happening in the field, like reclamation and oilsands community involvement. Like any other industry we must accentuate the positives and work to eliminate the negatives, this will take all stakeholders and citizens talking positively about our region.
Q: Whenever I drive up Franklin and pass the old Brick building, I can’t help but think about the cost to the taxpayer – it’s over $360k per year. What are your thoughts on this issue? via @MyOilSands
PM: It was a mistake, hindsight is 20-20, we need to be doing something about this and I wish I knew what that was. Sometimes when one sees a need they go ahead too fast, we do need office space, but this was not the venue. I would like to see a greater legal analysis of the situation and bring a close to this issue. The bottom line is, we must do something, we have asked admin to come back with recommendations, there have been some, however, they were rejected by the council of the day in a close vote. This situation must be dealt with early in the new council mandate, enough is enough.