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Brandon Houston nominated in Ward 6

Brandon Houston stands outside council chambers at the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre after filing his nomination papers for the 2014 municipal election. Houston is running for councillor in Ward 6. Photo Greg Holden

Brandon Houston stands outside council chambers at the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre after filing his nomination papers for the 2014 municipal election. Houston is running for councillor in Ward 6. Photo Greg Holden

By Greg Holden

Local entrepreneur Brandon Houston filed his nomination papers today with the municipal clerk, seeking to be elected as councillor for Ward 6.

Houston told the CKReview that fresh ideas could be beneficial to Chatham-Kent. “Council could look at things in other ways. Fiscal responsibility is a big one and part of what I can bring to that is my business experience”, Houston said. ”It isn’t about running the municipality as a business, but part of it (what he offers) is to bring in business principles. Being from the business world, I can bring different ideas to the table.”

Houston was born and raised in Chatham, moved away when he was young and has since returned to the community ten years ago. He founded Logix Design Studio, a company he has run successfully in Chatham for ten years.

Another issue for Houston is job creation and economic development. “There are a lot of possibilities that have not been explored. The knowledge based sector is huge now and has a lot of potential for a range of people. We have a large unemployed workforce Not to say that manufacturing won’t come back, but it won’t be in the same vision as it was before. Manufacturing has changed drastically. We need to diversify what our economic outlooks are and what jobs we are trying to bring here”, Houston said.

Houston says accessibility of councillors is another of his issues, pointing out, “One of the things I want to focus on, not as a platform, but I think we need councillors who are more accessible to residents in our community.”

When asked about the divide between rural and urban issues that has sometimes split the current council, Houston said it is not up to one councillor to correct it. “It’s a matter of all councillors working together, recognizing we are not different communities all working against each other. We are all going for a common goal, to make the community succeed, everybody needs to work together”, Houston said. “What is good for one area of Chatham-Kent, benefits the entire area.”

When asked if the municipal services review was enough to bring down costs, Houston thought more could be done. “I don’t think it is enough. I think there is more that needs to be done. There are other ways we can look at with respect to how the funding is working. I am not saying we need to cut service, staffing and wages. We need to look at how to properly allocate some of that funding. There are ways to find some efficiencies in that.”

Houston is determined to have an open line of communication with residents, saying “The ultimate goal is to listen to the residents and make sure we are doing things to improve the community and listen to what their needs are.”

Houston is president of The Ground Floor Centre for Innovation and was recently added as a member of the Economic Development Advisory Committee.