Final Questions for our Candidates in Ward 10

The MHBPNA Blog appreciates all the questions submitted by our readers. It is close to election day so hard choices had to be made and we now present the last two questions. Apologies to those whose submissions were not chosen but there is still time to query the candidates directly if you wish.

Here are the two questions for this final round:

Question #1: Kitchener just completed a revision to the Parks Master Plan. What is your position on the various recommendations contained in the new Master Plan pertaining to open space, natural lands, parks and trails?

Question #2: Imagine you are elected to council and serve for four years. What is the ONE major goal or initiative you hope to accomplish in that period?

And here are the responses. Thank you to all our candidates.

Gary Ferguson

Question #1: Kitchener Parks Master Plan.

I support the principles and goals for the Parks Master Plan as listed below particularly Conserving and restoring city natural areas, Strengthening and expanding the community trails network., Enhancing active parkland and fostering growth in outdoor sports and Building and renewing our neighbourhood parks. I did find the section on Engaging and activating the community some somewhat short on specifics.

Question #2: The ONE major goal?

I have many goals to accomplish over the next four years, not just one. If I must choose one it would be a that of a responsive caring representative who would ensure that all decisions are cost effective to the ratepayer.

Denis Pellerin

Question #1: Kitchener Parks Master Plan.

I support the recommendations and added investment into our City’s parks, natural areas and trails. It is clear that residents want to see that investment happen and see improvements be made to our community’s parkland and green spaces. I think the new Parks Strategic Plan moves us in the right direction; more trails and cycle paths, more parks, linking up of existing green spaces and better conservation. It reflects an overall public attitude that I share towards a healthier environment and enhanced quality of life.
The Parks Strategic Plan will be more accessible to future amendments and changes. This is key when thinking about the forecasted population growth of our city and region. The Plan will likely evolve further as that growth takes place and new strategies are considered and implemented. If elected to council, I will ensure the Plan is being reviewed responsibly and that the tax dollars allocated for it are spent effectively and efficiently.

Question #2: The ONE major goal?

There are so many important issues facing our community that need to be considered. However if elected; one major goal would be to continue laying a proper foundation for the projected future growth of our City and region. In the next 25 years, our region is expected to welcome in 200,000 more residents bringing the population to 750,000. Kitchener will see much of this rapid growth. It is essential that this growth is considered, managed and planned for properly. Infrastructure and services will need to be updated and expanded; property development and intensification will increase; community programs will need more funding. These are just a few examples of many factors that will need to be addressed because of the rapid growth. If elected, I will work towards smart, sustainable and cost-effective approaches to ensure our community adapts positively to this growth.

Terry Marr

Question #1: Kitchener Parks Master Plan.

I commend the city on this initiative as I feel that the city needs more parks, green space and natural areas and needs to upgrade many existing parks, however I think the plan falls short in some areas. I believe some of the timelines are too long. One example is the concept of a riverside park (which I believe would be wonderful) but the plan calls for a “vision and concept and implementation program” in 2013. I know a huge project such as this can not be rushed but my feeling is that at that rate a park won’t be in place for many, many years from now.

I also feel that unfortunately there are too many projects where the associated costs are vague or non-existant. My concern is that it makes it very difficult to plan and budget when there isn’t any dollar figure suggested (even using today’s costs would be helpful.)
I am sad to see that protecting Hidden Valley was not a priority.
I am glad to see that the city has included performance measurement in the plan so that the work can be properly evaluated

Question #2: The ONE major goal?

It’s VERY difficult to narrow my goals down to one but since I have to choose… If I am fortunate enough to be elected, I would be very pleased if at the end of my four-year term I had met with everyone in the ward who wanted to meet with me during my proposed kitchen round tables and from those get-togethers residents’ ideas or suggestions had been implemented, their complaints had been addressed and at the same time neighbours who did not know each other before had the opportunity to meet each other.

Daniel Glenn-Graham
Question #1: Kitchener Parks Master Plan.
I feel strongly about preserving our existing greenspace and parklands, and the opportunity to improve them with community gardens and playground equipment like climbing walls etc. I have been involved with building and learning about community gardens for two years now, and am impressed with the way it can beautify neighbourhoods and bring people together with only a little money.  It can also help the economically disadvantaged to grow some of their own healthy food as well as teach children about the connection we have to land and food.
I would like to continue a long term investment in the improvement and connection of bike and walking trails, and would be voting to preserve our hard line on development to protect our ecosystem and ensure that growth is done within current city limits.  As a member of the city’s growth management committee, I learned a great deal about the importance of preserving our outlying greenspaces and brownfield development of older buildings in the city.

Question #2: The ONE major goal?
Civic engagement that would take the form of inviting suggestions and complaints from the public via a suggestion box, both in email and physical forms in libraries, community centres and the City Hall, plus regular meetings with citizens at the Kitchener Market on Saturdays, plus inviting groups and neighbourhoods to do events and programming on a closed off section of King Street on Friday evening and Saturdays.  It is amazing what volunteers can do with a small amount of support and money to enliven the downtown, which would be good for businesses also.

One thought on “Final Questions for our Candidates in Ward 10

  1. Pingback: Election 2018 and candidate questions – Mount Hope Breithaupt Park Neighbourhood Association

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