Roy Avis profile

You have to walk before you run.
That’s the adage Roy Avis is standing by in his campaign to be elected mayor of Fort Frances in the Nov. 13 municipal election.
“It has always been in my mind that someday I would like the opportunity to be the mayor of this great community,” he said Monday. “I always said you must walk before you run, so I have trained nine years as councillor.
“I have ran my business and had set goals that I have met, and developed a team in my business that I am confident will allow me to devote the time needed to be mayor,” added Avis.
“I can offer proven leadership, that I am trustworthy, reliable, and task-oriented. Give me a challenge and I will find a solution,” he vowed.
Avis said it’s already clear there’s many important objectives the future council must achieve over the next four years, and he looks forward to the opportunity to lead that council.
“Over the next four years, we must develop a strong, workable relationship with the Rainy River Future Development Corp.,” he noted. “We must put an action plan in place to deal with the goals and priorities that will deal with infrastructure deficiencies now and in the future.
“We have to develop a Family Health Team legislated by senior government,” he stressed. “This would mean a community-owned, not-for-profit clinic that is run by a local board of directors that provide the best primary health care possible.
“This would be similar to Kenora, Dryden, and Red Lake, to name a few.”
Other top-priority issues that need to be addressed include:
•the protection of the historic power agreement as Abitibi moves in the direction of setting up an income trust company;
•support of local paper, logging, and lumber workers and companies in discussion with the provincial government to develop a plan that will keep the mill competitive now and into the future;
•the resolution of First Nation land claims; and
•the establishment of a sewer and water agreement with Couchiching First Nation.
When asked about accusations levelled by some local citizens about too much secrecy shrouding several significant issues the town has dealt with over the past three years, Avis said that must change.
“I think the public is correct,” he remarked. “I, as a councillor, have been mystified by the many dealings that have gone on without council knowledge. I would say Rainycrest was probably the most prominent.
“When I am elected, this will change,” he pledged. “I will provide a message from the Mayor’s Office monthly that will reflect the position of the entire council.
“When we deal with controversial issues that affect the majority of the residents, I will set up a committee to examine all information and move to a public forum when necessary.
“I will also carry the message of council so the citizens will have an understanding of council’s position,” he added.
Avis also gave a few examples of what he sees as notable achievements of the current council over the past three years.
“To say the least, the last three years have been challenging,” he conceded. “[But] I am proud to say that as the Administration and Finance chairman, our committee worked with administration to develop a plan that corrected the incompetence in our accounting department that put us back on track.
“We also have developed a sewer and water maintenance program, as well as a landfill management and recycling program with the intent of setting up self-funded entities,” Avis added.