It was my pleasure to meet and speak with newly elected Ward 3 Councillor Chris Fonseca about her recent election and her goals in her new role. Ms. Fonseca assumed office on December 1st with a solid understanding of what lays ahead.
No stranger to life in public service, Councillor Fonseca worked closely with her husband, MPP Peter Fonseca, in his past two successful Provincial elections. But Chris was first motivated to community service, as a volunteer with a variety of organizations, inspired by her parents involvement in the community.
Ms Fonseca believed that this election was ‘the right time’ to take what she had learned from running a small business in the health and wellness sector and working collaboratively with many people in her professional role as a Regional Director of Swim Ontario, and to apply these skill sets to serve the Ward 3 community.
Councillor Fonseca’s enthusiasm to give to the community was very evident. In a very articulate manner she outlined her four key goals for the next four years:
Customer Service & Communication - To respond to community concerns within 24 hours. Continuous dialogue through her website, e-newsletters, surveycards to yield feedback and regularly attending community events such as the Career Night at Applewood which she attended last week. Meeting as many people as possible is paramount to being an effective voice and partner in making improvements in the region.
Neighbourhood Safety - Listening to the community to work towards improvements. Some of these are: better lighting in our parks, smart traffic control systems that adjust depending on the needs of pedestrians and automobiles, pedestrian crossing signals that give a visual countdown and an auditory countdown for the visually impaired, etc.
Seniors and Youth - Developing a win-win system whereby youth earn community service hours by helping Seniors with their various needs such as: lawn care, snow removal, computer training, accompaniment on walks, etc.
Business & Community Improvement - To initiate an effective process where businesses, homeowners’ associations and other parties can work together towards maintaining high standards for visually appealing signage and landscaping, regulation of curbside storefronts and the preservation of community heritage. On the environmental front, every Spring she will organize clean-ups of all parks in Ward 3.
Beyond these goals, Ms Fonseca expressed a desire to bring changes in the way Federal and Provincial governments work with Regions like Peel. Still viewed as a rural region since the 80s, when it comes to funding, Fonseca is committed to working with the Mayor and the Council to seek a fairer share of Provincial and Federal funding allocated for social services and infrastructure. On the positive side, Peel was effective in capitalizing on the federal stimulus dollars. We all saw how much activity there was this past year: resurfacing roads, renovating libraries and pools and upgrading water-main systems.
Councillor Fonseca had high praise for the Rockwood Homeowners’ Association’s ongoing initiatives and accomplishments and stated she has already enjoyed working with the RHA. Councillor Fonseca encourages all residents in the area to join the RHA and get involved. A community is always the sum total of the members’ contributions.
By the end of our meeting, I was convinced that Councillor Fonseca will be a collaborative, passionate and effective leader who will work with true dedication towards improving our part of Mississauga which we all proudly call home. Ms Fonseca got my nod as a worthy successor to our excellent but now retired Councillor Maja Prentice.
Chris Fonseca will meet with Council every week to bring our concerns forward. She can be reached at: 416.821.8587 firstname.lastname@example.org 300 City Centre Drive Mississauga, ON L5B 3C1
*Please note this article was originally published in the Winter 2010 edition of The Rockwood Times.