HONOURED PROMISES AND CONTINUED ACTION:
During my first term, I developed a strong relationship with bylaw enforcement staff and worked with residents, police and neighbourhood groups to protect and improve the health of Ward 9 communities by closing crack-houses, cleaning up eyesore buildings and encouraging efforts to calm speeding traffic.
IMPACT OF LIGHT RAIL ROUTE AND STATIONS:
If re-elected, I will ensure residents and businesses are consulted on the increasing impact of the regional government’s Light Rail Transit system and advocate for increased council involvement in design and planning of LRT stations in and around Ward 9 communities that include Mount Hope, Cherry Park, Victoria Park, Cedar Hill and Mill-Courtland.
I will continue to foster strong partnerships with established communities to ensure that, any time there is intensified development, it is appropriate intensification that dovetails seamlessly with mature communities. I will also make certain residents are directly involved in redevelopment of the former Maple Leaf/Schneiders site.
ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY:
I have been and will continue to be an outspoken champion of open meetings, responsible spending and transparent decision making at City Hall.
In the past term I have worked with other councillors to keep property tax hikes below the inflation rate. At the same time, we have succeeded at controlling salary increases for councillors and top staff members.
COUNCILLOR PERKS & EXPENSES:
I have succeeded at reducing cash spent by councillors on home-office expenses and conferences — efforts I will continue if re-elected.
HELPING LOW-INCOME FAMILIES:
I successfully advocated to increase subsidies for low-income families that help children and seniors participate more in city recreational programs.
I worked to meet the needs of inner-city businesses and stores by serving as a director with the Downtown Business Improvement Association. I also supported council incentive programs to encourage high-tech’ startup companies to remain and expand in Kitchener.
In my next term I will continue these efforts and push council to encourage manufacturing industries to locate in Kitchener and increase the number and variety of full-time, well-paid jobs.
In my first term, I listened and responded to requests involving more investment in trails and parks while making increased efforts to make Kitchener a cycle and pedestrian-friendly city.
ROCKWAY SENIORS CENTRE:
Serving as council representative on a Rockway focus group, I succeeded at keeping the popular centre open. In the next term, I will ensure the building is well maintained and advocate for eventual redevelopment of the centre by using a public-private partnership to add seniors’ housing and a health centre to the facility.
I have been actively involved with residents, neighbourhood association and the park Working Group to oversee lake dredging and cleanup. In the next term I will support upstream remedial work to protect that investmant and help improve water quality in the lake. I will also oversee ongoing development of The Boathouse in order to protect taxpayer investment and nurture Kitchener’s vibrant music scene.
ARTS & CULTURE:
A thriving arts community is central to a successful city. Research demonstrates that cities with a vibrant arts community attract business investment, increased development and tourism.
In my first term I served as a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery board of directors and was a former member of the city’s Arts and Culture committee. I have been, and will continue to be a watchdog of the Creative Enterprise Initiative group, working to make certain more of our arts and culture dollars go directly to artists.
As a supporter of our local arts community, I have achieved increased funding for some of the diverse, grass-root music and theatre groups that reflect the richness of talent found in Kitchener. If re-elected, I will continue these efforts.
I have also written and spoken about the issue of financial transparency at Kitchener’s Centre in the Square and what has been inadequate communication with council. I believe that the next steps in dealing with this issue creates an opportunity for everyone to better use this valuable resource. When that happens, I will ensure that increased attention is given by council to identifying ways small arts and theatre groups can gain increased and less-costly access to the Centre.
As a director of Kitchener Housing, I helped increase low-cost housing in the core while arguing that affordable homes be spread around all city wards. If re-elected, I will scrutinize intensification proposals along the LRT route to make certain affordable rental housing is retained in and around the core.
As council’s only member on the Heritage Committee during the past four years, I have been an outspoken supporter of city actions to protect historic buildings and neighbourhoods. I want to make certain these buildings are not demolished to make way for the LRT.