EloraFergusToday asked candidates in the upcoming municipal election to tell us a little bit about themselves and their platform.
Name: Dave Kenny
Occupation: After 30-plus years in the community sports industry, I am now a customer service representative at LCBO in Fergus
How long have you lived in Centre Wellington? Since 2010
Do you reside in the ward you are running in? Yes
Why are you running in this election? Over the years in CW, I have seen this community come together in many ways. Whether it is at a community event, supporting one another in times of need, or when an important issue is raised, we all have an opinion and voice. I believe I can bring a fresh perspective to the voice of the people at council. I am in contact with CW residents on a daily basis and I hear their concerns and strongly believe that the silent majority needs to be represented. I am not a politician, just an ordinary resident who wants to bring every day concerns to the table. I am not looking to use this opportunity to further my political agenda. I am interested in representing the concerns of ward 3 to the council.
What qualifies you to represent your ward? Ward 3 represents the downtown Fergus business core as well as a large populous of the town. With the mix of business and residents, ward 3 is defined by that mix. My business experience and involvement in community sports and events has provided me with the knowledge of how to bring those with different perspectives to the table in an integrated way.
Why should people vote for you? I believe strongly that a community that works together achieves great goals.The most important part to me as a town councillor is bringing the thoughts, concerns, and suggestions that residents and business owners have, to the table. I will be their voice. I am committed to working for each family and business to ensure improved collaboration at town council. I believe, with a collaborative focus, and insight from those in CW insight, together, we can achieve an improved level of community -based actions. I am committed to effective and efficient use of tax dollars, examining alternative housing options and discovering new ways to assist local businesses and entice new business ventures for our community. I am committed to protecting local resources, while respecting and honouring the historical importance of the area that is Centre Wellington.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of the ward? In Ward 3, there are concerns with housing affordability and increased traffic on local streets. Additionally, in order to utilize the areas residents and visitors wish to frequent, Ward 3 is struggling with a parking issue, particularly in the downtown core.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of Centre Wellington on a broader scale? Centre Wellington has been struggling with housing affordability for a long time. We are challenged with not having housing that can support a wide range of income and needs, and our community's population is rapidly growing. We have infrastructure upgrades that need to be completed to support growth.
Our natural resources are an ongoing concern. We need to protect these and honour the heritage our community was built on.
The people of Centre Wellington are not always aware of the direction and strategic plans of town council. These need to be clearly communicated with those affected. This includes the use of tax dollars and the direction the council intends Centre Wellington to take.
Centre Wellington needs improved mental health resources. Many of our community members struggle daily with minimal assistance. We are in a mental health crisis, and we need to provide a better support system.
Centre Wellington is also experiencing a doctor shortage. Quality health care is at the core of what people need and our community needs to attract family doctors to our area to support our people, especially as the township is growing at a remarkable rate.
What is the most important thing you want to see changed in Centre Wellington? The people of CW want to hear more from town council. Communication between residents, businesses and council should be improved. With improved two-way communication, the apathy of people in CW towards municipal government can be altered, resulting in more integrated and inclusive decision making and direction.
What services need to be improved in Centre Wellington? Mental Health services, community resources, infrastructure, and parking all need to be addressed in order to improve the lives of those in Centre Wellington.
Is Centre Wellington growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough? The growth of Centre Wellington over the last few years has been exponential. In order to continue the rate of growth we have been experiencing, dedication to improved infrastructure is needed. The growth is currently at a manageable state, and continued attention is required in order to continue.
What can be done at the local level about the rising cost of housing? At a local level, we need to consider alternative housing options including townhomes, rentals, condominiums, and cooperative housing. We should continue to explore tiny housing options as well. An additional consideration is to look at using town-owned land as potential housing development options.
Do you support building a new $27 million operations centre? I believe that a new operations centre is deemed to be essential to the people of Centre Wellington. As our community grows, so too should the resources to support. I have faith in the council’s due diligence to determine that a new operations centre is necessary.
How do we make Centre Wellington an even better place to live? We need to provide additional opportunities to assist our youth population, continue with effective and efficient use of tax dollars and provincial / federal grant monies available, and provide considerations for our growing aged population. Additionally, we need to develop a comprehensive plan to continue to entice businesses and residents to come to the area for work, play and living.
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