Name: Leslie R. Farkas
Occupation: Commercial aviation business owner
Previous political experience: As the owner of a federally regulated commercial aviation operation for 10 years, I have many years of experience working with all levels of government and understanding policy and procedures. Lives count on me following policy and procedures and having a team that feels confident and trusts my leadership. I have been involved locally by attending council meetings consistently and diligently watching the events surrounding our community.
Why have you decided to run? With two sides politically waging war on each other, much to the detriment of our entire community, it is time to create a more unified Wasaga Beach. When the fighting stops, the progress starts. The residents deserve an open forum for them to be able to speak, be heard and feel like they matter, working to move Wasaga Beach forward together. With a large amount of experience with all three levels of government, a very strong leadership ability to create cohesive, productive teams (even in the most adverse of conditions), I can lead our community into a brighter future for all.
How will you embrace and champion diversity in this role? Education. We need business diversity. We have age diversity that we need to embrace for ideas and expertise. Diversity is and always will be a part of our lives. A diversity advisory committee to advise and assist council to implement strategies that will help educate and improve our community.
What are your top three issues? Transparency — Council meetings must be open to the public and the overuse of closed-session meetings must end; Employee retention; Balanced development of our community and the creation of a family-friendly world-class beachfront.
If elected, what do you plan to champion in your first 100 days? Release details of the sale of the main beach to the residents; Employee survey to understand turnover; Implement open council meetings; Protect the property tax cost; Lobby the provincial government to not reassess property valuations by MPAC until the market stabilizes; Short-term rental business plan to be presented to the community.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given, you gave it to you, and why does it stay with you? “Passion without reason is not helpful.” It was given to me by one of my law professors at Queen’s University, and it stays with me as a constant reminder to stay objective and logical regardless of emotion. We are all human, and we all feel, but this advice reminds me to rise above and maintain focus on what is important, achieving the goal at hand.