Max Adam fully understands contemporary challenges faced by younger people.
“The era of a guaranteed 20-year job and benefits is pretty much over,” said the 28-year-old candidate for Town of Tillsonburg Council. “We young people have a lot of hard work to do.”
But rather than complaining, he’s hoping to represent part of the solution.
“The voice of young people needs to be present in the council chambers as well.”
Adam has a phys-ed degree backed up by teacher’s college and a masters degree in kinesiology, but is employed as a Home Support Special Services Coordinator with Tillsonburg’s Multi-Service Centre while working a second job (evenings at The Thirsty Golfer).
He is also a volunteer with the Woodstock Area Community Health Centre (WACHC), an entity including doctors, nurse practitioners, and patients, taking a holistic view of health care, encompassing physical and social aspects.
In broad terms, Adam is comparatively young, ‘green’ both in terms of political inexperience and environmental outlook, a supporter of social services and also fiscal responsibility.
“Yeah,” he agreed with a smile. “Have you got any harder questions for me?”
His decision to file for one of five available positions on town council comes in part out of respect for the political process.
“I’m trying to get young people interested in voting, one, and two, municipal politics altogether.”
Plank one of his five-part platform focuses on that subject, aspiring to increase voter turnout, pledging to respond to all constituent inquiries in a timely manner, and thirdly, keeping the public informed. Adam pointed to the recent controversy over the potential disposition (sale, merger, status quo) of Tillsonburg Hydro Inc. as an example.
“I think people felt they weren’t informed, or a decision was being made without their input.”
Adam said traditional and non-traditional channels including social media and public forum can be tools for openness and transparency.
“Getting the word out is great.”
His second plank focuses on accessibility to social services; his third on embracing ‘green’ technologies within the town and support for a form of public transportation.
The latter does not necessarily mean a bus or busses, said Adam, citing a community north of Napanee which has come up with an innovative solution combining busses, taxis and volunteers.
“It’s everyone working together to get people moving throughout the town.”
His fourth plank encourages a safe and caring community (for example, bicycle lanes and safe exercise options) along with volunteerism, and a pledge to spearhead a local socialization project for “at-risk” seniors, for which there will be no associated costs.
Finally, Adam pledged to carry forward the debt-reduction focus of the current council, practising financial restraint and equating good governance to lower taxes and more buying power.
“Why should future generations ‘pay’ for past mistakes?”
In closing, Adam suggested what some might consider weaknesses, youth and inexperience, might actually be strengths in the form of fresh ideas and creative, outside-the-box thinking.
“I bring a lot of energy and I do my homework,” Adam concluded, conceding he would have some catching up to do, as a rookie councillor. “But I’m confident and looking forward to the challenge, if I’m successful.”