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'Residents want to be heard,' says Oro-Medonte council candidate

Lori Hutcheson vows to listen to community groups, to ensure balanced growth and fiscal responsibility while protecting community safety
lori hutcheson oro-medonte candidate
Lori Hutcheson is running as a candidate in Ward 1 of Oro-Medonte Township.

Editor's note: OrilliaMatters has asked council candidates in neighbouring Oro-Medonte, Ramara and Severn townships to provide a synopsis of why they are running in the Oct. 24 municipal election. The following was submitted by Lori Hutcheson, who is running as a candidate in Ward 1 of Oro-Medonte Township. For more election coverage — including candidate profiles and other election news — visit our 2022 municipal election page by clicking here.

My husband Bill and I have had the privilege to call Oro-Medonte home for over 17 years. We are a blended family with three adult children and four lively granddaughters.

Volunteerism was a value held and passed on by my parents. I have held many volunteer positions. Most recently I helped spearhead the placement of the first AED in an Oro-Medonte park.

Always curious, I love to learn and am currently completing my EMBA. When I retired from my career as a financial services executive, I began to take interest in our municipal government. What I came to understand is how much the impact decisions made by our municipal government affects our communities. I also realized I was not alone in my deep appreciation of our unique community and the fragility of our environment.

In discussions with residents there is a consistent overarching theme. Simply stated, residents want to be heard. Over the past four years, I have witnessed citizens with the knowledge, experience, energy, and commitment to help contribute to our future dismissed and slowly silenced. Engaged citizens have come together to form community groups to create a collective voice.

Citizen engagement in local government should be welcomed and encouraged. Civic and government cohesion arises from shared goals and values. This is the driving factor behind my decision to run for council.   

Development of residential and commercial areas requires careful planning to preserve our agricultural and natural heritage for future generations. Balanced growth which provides housing, employment and support of our farming communities can be accomplished through a consultative planning approach.

Resource allocation through a comprehensive planning process, operational and capital planning alignment and promotion of a sound fiscal climate are my area of expertise. I can make sense of the numbers and ask the right questions. 

Community safety for our children, roads, and expectation of greater municipal and provincial enforcement needs focus. Residents are looking for effective solutions to safety issues.

Forward movement on these issues requires a highly effective governing body. One which can think and act strategically. One which understands and demonstrates the elements of teams and teamwork.  A council where there is an appreciation for diverse experiences, ideas, and respect for others. I may not always agree with my future colleagues, but I promise that I will conduct myself with professionalism, maturity, and respect. Together we can make the right decisions for today and our future.


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