EloraFergusToday asked candidates in the upcoming municipal election to tell us a little bit about themselves and their platform.
Name: Jennifer Adams
Occupation: Public servant, privacy and information management professional
How long have you lived in Centre Wellington? 12 years
Do you reside in the ward you are running in? Yes
Why are you running in this election? Local politics is special as it is the level of government closest to the people. I do however, think CW Council needs a change. I would like to see a council that is more focused on seeking to build a consensus on planning the future direction of our community instead of building divisions.
We need representatives from our community that are willing to listen, and ask tough questions and be willing to work collaboratively to make Centre Wellington the best town it can be for all our residents.
What qualifies you to represent your ward? I spend the majority of my time in Ward 4. This is where my family lives, works (remotely) and plays. You can find me walking around Westminster Highland Park or in the winter tobogganing at Vinegar Hill, at the local grocery stores or many evenings at the Fergus Sportsplex.
Why should people vote for you? I am coming in ready to listen and work hard to make an impact for the people of our community. I have been a public servant for over 16 years and have a solid understanding of the decision making structure and powers of local government. I am interested not only in making Centre Wellington a great place to visit but most importantly the best community to live and raise your families and grow old in. A community our children can one day afford to raise their children in.
As a resident of Fergus for over 12 years my husband and I decided this is where we wanted to raise our own two boys. This is a community rich in culture and history and that was important to us when we choose this community. I am registrar for the local minor lacrosse association in which we registered nearly 500 youth and volunteers this past year. One of the largest lacrosse communities in Ontario. I have been a member of my children’s school parent council group. I currently sit as a member on Centre Wellington’s Community Services Advisory Committee that provides advice and recommendations to council on matters related to parks, recreation, culture and tourism.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of the ward? Community and traffic safety, lack of affordable housing, and aging infrastructure.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of Centre Wellington on a broader scale? I believe all of the same issues as mentioned above.
What is the most important thing you want to see changed in Centre Wellington? A council that is a voice for the whole of our community. A council that is willing to listen, ask hard questions and work collaboratively to determine the best decisions for the future of Centre Wellington.
What services need to be improved in Centre Wellington? We need to ensure that we are continuing to have a strong financial plan for the updating and replacement of our aging infrastructure, including our bridges.
We need to ensure that we invest in our open and public spaces that allow for community gathering. Updating our recreational facilities to maximize their footprints and ensuring that we are offering a variety of programming opportunities for everyone in our community.
Is Centre Wellington growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough? Our growth targets have been set by the province but what we are seeing in our community is a situation where it is very difficult to find affordable housing and this has resulted in some people who live in this community looking to move to other communities as they can no longer afford to live here. All levels of government must work together to examine all housing options including condominium buildings, row and stacked townhouses, multi-residential units and even tiny homes. At the local level we will need to look at our local zoning by-laws and come up with innovative solutions.
What can be done at the local level about the rising cost of housing? In addition to the above and in light of the increasingly sparse opportunities to secure affordable housing, all options must be on the table. We are also going to have to push more innovation demands onto developers as there is no one solution that fits all.
We also need to be continuing the work to attract high quality employers and jobs into our community.
Do you support building a new $27 million operations centre? My current priorities would not be to try and reverse any decisions approved to date.
Reports tell us that the operations building would pull services in from seven different sites all which have aging infrastructure or issues with overcrowding.
Retrofits for buildings that are nearing the end of their useful service life and delaying large infrastructure projects can also have their costs.
Centre Wellington needs to continue with their strong asset management planning to ensure we are managing our assets with a good long term vision and maximizing the efficiency of land use and infrastructure.
As a council we need to be sure that we are not just making the best decisions for today but for our community many years from now as well.
How do we make Centre Wellington an even better place to live? Elect a representative Council.
Be open and accessible to our residents.
Continue to value the rich culture existing in our Centre Wellington community.
Increase the quality, availability and accessibility of our parks, trails, open public spaces and recreational opportunities.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself:” Abraham Lincoln
Let’s all work together to create the best vision for the future of Centre Wellington.
Any link to an election website or social media account? Twitter @JenniferCWWard4