Entrepreneur and mom of three stepping into municipal politics
PHOTO COURTESY CYNTHIA MASSA
Former West Islander Cynthia Massa and her family have fallen in love with Hudson and the mom of three says she wants to work with the entire council for the betterment of the town.
Drawing on her experience as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and an entrepreneur, designing and selling specialized children’s travelling kits, 41-year-old Cynthia Massa decided the timing was right for her first foray into municipal politics and will run as a councillor in District 2 in Hudson in the upcoming election.
Though relatively new to the area, Massa said she and her family are full Hudsonites and could never conceive of moving back to the West Island. After working in the corporate world for 15 years, Massa refocused on family and on launching her children’s product line this past spring under the name ‘Good Little Company.’
“We moved to Hudson two years ago,” said the former West Islander, “and we’re lucky to have the lake, the beach, and the theatre – we’re constantly discovering things about the town.”
Kids and seniors
Along with her husband, the mom of three kids aged 12 and under fell in love with the town but Massa said there’s a genuine need for more parks with playground equipment for children, especially in comparison to facilities available in neighbouring towns.
Massa said she’d like to further explore the newly-opened Youth Centre in town for kids aged 13 to 17. “I think a lot more can be done with that – kids that age need to be kept busy.” She also said seniors’ and veterans’ issues are important to her and is looking into what additional services are needed for these groups.
Acknowledging that Pine Lake is an issue close to many Hudsonites’ hearts, Massa said the area should be restored to its former state as a lake. “I would definitely repair it, though not at the amount that had been announced. It’s not a $750,000 job.” Massa said she’s open to the different proposals for the lake’s restoration, including those from the private sector. “There are many other options that I’m not sure have been looked at,” she said, saying there’s a need for further research on the project.
“We should have the best roads around with the amount of tax money coming in,” she said. “Obviously, because of the (financial) issues in the past, it hasn’t allowed it. In the next four years, we should definitely get there.” While sidewalks and curbs would ideally be part of that infrastructure package, Massa said it would likely be a project done in phases with finishing touches being addressed at a later date.
“Phase one would be just to make the roads safer,” she said, having the experience of navigating a stroller on Hudson’s streets. “We don’t even have lines on some of our roads.”
“I also think it’s important to support our local businesses,” she said. “They shouldn’t be suffering in a town like ours.” With attractions like Finnegan’s Market and the Auberge Willow, Massa suggests enticing visitors to stay a little longer by periodically closing off a part of Main Road to promote more foot traffic in the downtown core. “Saturday afternoon for a few hours could bring some life back and have people enjoy what the town has to offer.” Though residents’ reactions to this proposal have been mixed, Massa said there aren’t many choices while local businesses are suffering with high rents and reduced customer base.
“(The business sector is) not necessarily my district but as a team, I think the whole council should address these types of things.”
Though her seat, if elected, is in District 2, Massa sees serving on council as a group effort.
“I value the ideas of those who’ve been here for many generations,” she said, “but I can also bring fresh ideas to the town and work as a team to keep the town moving forward.”
Massa hasn’t been scared off by the rough ride the previous municipal council has faced over the last four years and has the full support of her family in pursuing this goal.
She said a priority is bringing the Town of Hudson back to its former status and has been gathering feedback from residents in the district to gauge their respective priorities and concerns, and said it’s important to focus on the nature plan for wetlands and conservation areas, the reason she and many others are attracted to the town.
Massa credits the current council members for the work they’ve done considering the significant challenges they faced, in light of the breached Pine Lake dam and legal challenges from former Director General Catherine Haulard. “Thanks to them, now is the opportunity to help things evolve.”