On Oct. 24, voters across Waterloo Region will head to the polls to elect city and regional councillors, mayors and a regional chair.
Residents of Cambridge, the region’s second-largest city, will elect councillors in eight wards in addition to a mayor to form city council.
There shall be not less than three recent faces in place, as Ward 4 Coun. Jan Liggett is running for mayor and Ward 5 Coun. Pam Wolf is searching for one among two seats on regional council. Ward 3 Coun. Mike Mann has chosen not to hunt re-election.
In Ward 8, longtime Coun. Nicolas Ermeta will look to fend off a trio of challengers including Jack Perkes, Vandan Patel and David Hood.
To assist voters ahead of this election, Global News has reached out to all of those running for regional or city council, mayor or regional chair in Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo with available online contact info. Those running for office were emailed a listing of seven questions and in the approaching days, the responses for each candidate who replies shall be shared.
What follows are the responses as received from those running for councillor in Cambridge, with the candidates being listed in alphabetical order. (This page shall be updated if more candidates select to reply.):
Q.1 Please give a temporary background of yourself including what you do for a living and the way long you will have lived in the realm? (When you are an incumbent, please state how long you will have held the position.)
Hello friends, it has been an absolute honour to serve you as your Cambridge City Councillor for the past 12 years. I used to be first elected after I was 26. I actually have lived in Cambridge for the past 29 years. I grew up in Ward 8. I went to St Margaret Elementary School and St Benedict High School. Once I was a child, I worked at Saginaw Parkway and Franklin Boulevard Short Stop for quite a lot of years. I also delivered newspapers within the neighbourhood. The ward helped make me who I’m. I actually have all the time had an interest in city constructing and would often take a look at the brand new homes being inbuilt the neighbourhood back after I was a child. My background is Urban & Regional Planning from each Mohawk College and the University of Waterloo. I’m the eldest of six siblings – have three brothers and two sisters.
Q.2 Why do you suspect you might be the precise person for the job?
I recognize the problems and may get things done. If the item doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of Cambridge City Council, I’ll advocate in your behalf to the opposite levels of presidency.
During my time on council, I readily responded to concerns from organizations and residents regarding a wide selection of issues.
My accomplishments up to now (and it’s a team effort) include and are usually not limited to: many playground replacements, stop light at Townline Road and Saginaw Parkway, lighting on Townline Road, Witmer Park improvements (basketball courts, gazebo, and multi-purpose sports area (with wall that could be used for neighbourhood movie nights)), Franklin Boulevard Sportsplex expansion, treed buffer on perimeter of Saginaw Golf Course development (I still opposed the event because would slightly greenspace), breaking up Saginaw Parkway townhouse facades along by leaving mature forest in-between, more stone on Saginaw Parkway townhouse facades than previously planned, sale of Diwali fireworks in stores, language translators at community public meetings, trees down the center of Cowan and Franklin Boulevards, some neighbourhood traffic calming, pedestrian island seniors crosswalk on Conestoga Boulevard, Conestoga Boulevard bike lanes, and more.
I actually have demonstrated my strong beliefs in diversity and inclusivity in our community by participating in quite a few functions, festivals and parades placed on by members of our ethnic communities.
Q.3 What do you think that is crucial issue facing your ward and the town as an entire?
The associated fee of living on account of inflation and increasing housing costs. We will’t fix inflation on the municipal level nonetheless we are able to try to offer relief by higher managing future tax rates. We’d like to search out other ways to herald money resembling more sponsorship opportunities. I’ll proceed to advocate for this.
Community safety is a difficulty. Residents want more traffic calming measures to scale back speeding. We’d like safer crosswalks. We also need more police on the road in our neighbourhoods to try to scale back break-ins.
While we’ve improved recreational opportunities, we still need more recreational amenities to satisfy the needs of the growing population.
Q.4 Looking down the road, what are your long-term goals for the town?
Complete the long-awaited Cambridge Sportsplex.
Making more progress in attempting to resolve the homelessness issue. Will proceed to advocate for solutions resembling cheaper / transitional housing and expanded programs. It would take all levels of presidency working together to resolve this.
Helping Cambridge reach more of its full potential by making the most of its resources. Would love to make use of the community incentive program to encourage constructing renovations beside the Grand River for riverside cafes and restaurants like they do in Paris Ontario. Wish to see more recreational prompts on the Grand River.
Expand cultural events and make our public spaces more inclusive to everyone.
Plant more trees along major arterial roads to scale back emissions and beautify the town. Sponsorship opportunities can assist with this.
Advocate to upper levels of presidency to finish the Cambridge bypass and convey GO Train service to Cambridge.
Work to be sure that as we grow, we protect the things we like about this City and that of which make Cambridge unique.
Q.5 What’s your platform?
I’ll table a motion to put in additional traffic calming measures in Ward 8. The Conestoga Boulevard and Townline Road crosswalks need a push button light for when people cross.
I’ll recommend a motion to Council directing staff to give you a plan to hurry up the expansion of Fiddlesticks Community Center.
I’ll champion other park upgrades throughout Ward 8. I’d wish to see a splash pad in Witmer Park and somewhere within the Saginaw Parkway & Cowan Boulevard area. I’d like a recent playground built on the Southwest corner of Essex Point Drive & Green Vista Drive. I’d also like a recent playground somewhere within the Lena Crescent area – this neighbourhood was initially planned to be an adult lifestyle community that never got here to be – so now quite a lot of young families haven’t any access to a park – this can be a need that ought to be addressed. There shall be increased development charge funds coming into the City from Ward 8 developments and we’d like a powerful experienced candidate to fight for as many dollars to remain within the Ward as possible.
I’ll advocate for an expansion of our inexpensive housing incentive program and to request the region match city initiatives.
I’m just one vote nonetheless could be a strong advocate!!!
Q.6 What do you wish to do in your spare time?
I’m an outside person – love swimming and climbing the paths. I enjoy watching movies as well. I’m a family man and spending time with family is significant to me.
Q.7 What’s your favourite thing about living in your city/ward?
There are numerous. I like the people, the range, central location in the town, and accessibility to nature. Northview Heights Lookout Park is one among my favourite spots in Cambridge and enjoys stunning views across the town with breathtaking sunsets. As we see more development on Hespeler Road, I’ll make it a priority to attempt to position any tall buildings in such a way as to not block the views enjoyed by the community. We’ve got amazing neighbourhood associations – Fiddlesticks and Greenway Chaplin – that bring people along with many fun & creative activities. I also enjoy visiting Shades Mills Conservation Area and the Portuguese Swamp Hilborn trail.
Global News has also reached out to Jack Perkes and Vandan Patel but has not received a response as of publication. We were unable to locate an email address to contact David Hood. This copy shall be updated as further answers arrive.