Dan Wettlaufer grew up in the small towns and countryside of Huron-Perth, eventually settling down in Stratford.. After a ten years span in Toronto pursuing an education and career in film and video production, he returned to Stratford where much of his family resides. He has spent the last eight years in Stratford working in video production and spent the last five working with the YMCA Stratford Youth Centre, where he is the Supervisor.
Between producing media for for small businesses and community groups and his continued work with the youth and the many social services in Stratford, he has developed a strong sense of the many needs of Stratford residents.
He brings to Council an agenda of open communication, solving problems with tact and consideration, and a genuine love for the city.
Each Candidate was asked to send a bio, photo and to respond to the ten questions below with a limit of 75 words per answer. We have identified any truncated content with “...” Please feel free to reach out to each candidate for more information.
1. Over the last five years, how have you contributed to the City of Stratford (volunteering, boards, etc.)?
In the past five years I’ve had the opportunity to offer my skills to a variety of groups and causes throughout the community. I’ve been happy to fundraise, produce videos and promote for The Multicultural Association of Perth-Huron, The ZONTA Club of Stratford, Community Living, the Stratford-Perth YMCA, All-Wheels Skate Stratford, as well as participating in the Stratford Kidney Walk, Stratford Blues and Ribfest, and the many community groups partnered through the Stratford Youth Centre.
2. What do you believe your unique contribution will be to council (strengths)?
My career paths have always been driven by strong communication skills. Regardless of financial background, education, or age, I’ve always had the ability to explain the hows and whys of otherwise intricate matters. I strongly believe that I can bring a transparency and accessibility to City Hall that will make our challenges and debates succinct, factual, and more easily understood. I want to see members of our community that are often overlooked or left out...
3. What would you like to see achieved over the next four years (be specific)?
- More community involvement and stronger communication with the public. City Hall must not only feel accessible to the people, but genuinely approachable. A well-informed city means a more involved and more invested city.
- More housing options. So many of our problems are tied to lack of affordable housing. The answer: we need to push our developers to create the housing our city needs or we will continue to find our housing situation dangerously imbalanced. Also...
4. What committees do you see yourself sitting on and what experience qualifies you for those committees?
The Social Services Sub-Committee spans many of the issues important to me -- specifically, our public and social housing policies. In addition, several years working with Stratford youth and seeing the challenges they face has given me experience and a strong interest in Ontario Works, child care and day care
Planning and Heritage is also very appealing, with it’s feet planted in the past and future of our city. I have a keen interest in Stratford’s...
5. What means of transportation are you using in the city, and/or in and out of town and what improvements do you recommend?
Living close to work and schools, our family is fortunate enough to do much of our travelling on foot or bicycle. Longer journeys are by car.
However I’ve spent many years travelling on city transit systems, and I feel our bus system could take steps to increase efficiency, punctuality, and ridership. A re-branding and community incentives would go a long way to popularize our transit system with current and new ridership.
6. Describe what you believe the Cooper Site should look like in 10 years?
The Cooper Site redevelopment faces many challenges, from environmental risks to properly recognizing it’s historical relevance. I embrace the model of The Cooper Site as a community hub bringing together Stratford citizens, young and old, on one lively and attractive property.
Alongside the many benefits of a community hub, a usable and even tourism-worthy tribute to the CNR shops that helped define us as a city.
7. What are your objectives with respect to housing and how do you expect to accomplish them?
My current research on the subject is directed at incentives -- incentive to our city’s developers to properly create very specific housing for very specific demographics. We cannot have a city that does not welcome young people and starter families by failing to provide housing options. We need to push for a variety of housing development, aggressively and immediately.
We need to meet with our developers and see what we need and if they can do...
8. If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?
- We need to present a long term plan that the people of Stratford will accept. Nothing is fixed overnight, and Stratford’s residents will understand that, providing they see that there is a feasible plan in place that can clearly prove our deficit will eventually be eliminated.
- By maintaining a policy of eliminating redundancies and inefficient spending, we will see that our vigilance over these smaller instances of overspending will add up to significant savings.
9. How will the new provincial legislation with respect to conflict of interest on municipal councils, coming into effect January 2019, hinder your effectiveness on council?
Presently, I see no immediate conflicts. Should a conflict ever arise, I will recuse myself from the matter and make sure my reasons are publicly known and concisely explained.
10. How will you encourage youth engagement, retention, re-attraction and skills development?
I am the current supervisor of the YMCA Stratford-Perth Youth Centre, giving me a direct line to 12 to 19 year old Stratford youths every day. I give the youth the same encouragement I received: go out and see the world, get an education, gather experience. It is not on our youth to maintain a city that is appealing to them -- it is ours. And if we manage to keep Stratford safe, beautiful, accessible, and...