I was born and raised in Stratford, as was my husband Rob, and now our two children - Sawyer age 12, and Genevieve age 9. My roots in this community run deep, as I have great-grandparents who made Stratford their home. My husband Rob, runs a business on Huron St, and is the third generation of his family to take the helm of this business.
I have worked for the City of Waterloo in Planning Approvals for the past 15 years. Prior to that, I was with the Grand River Conservation Authority in Cambridge, and Scotiabank/National Trust here in Stratford. My post secondary education includes a general degree in economics from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a diploma in Urban and Regional Planning from Fanshawe College. I am the only candidate with municipal and development planning experience.
Previous to my parenting life, I was a competitive figure skater, a singer, competing in many Kiwanis Music Festivals, a certified fitness instructor at the Stratford-Perth YMCA, and a volunteer with the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the people I have met and the items I have worked on over this past term of Council. I brought forward the idea of holding public open houses, held at the University of Waterloo’s Stratford Campus, and look forward to doing more of these should I be re-elected. I work hard and am readily prepared for meetings. The municipal world is my life, and with Stratford being my home, I love working for the people in this community.
Facebook: Danielle Ingram
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. How have you contributed to the City of Stratford over the last five years?
Of the last five years I have spent four on Council working with the Stratford Public Library Board, Heritage Stratford, the City Centre BIA, the Town & Gown Committee, and the Property Standards Committee. I also sat on the Community Services subcommittee and was Vice-Chair of the Planning and Heritage sub-committee. For the first two years, I was a member of ATAC as well. I am a regular parent volunteer at my children’s school(s).
2. What do you believe your unique contribution will be to Council?
My strength lie in making fair and equitable decisions with the best interest of the community as a whole in mind. I am the only member currently on Council with municipal experience, which allows me to think about items differently, or bring another angle to the table. I have a planning background, which is unique to the candidates in this election and the last.
3. What would you like to see achieved over the next four years?
First, I would like to see the Asset Management Plan finalized and an updated budget process put in place in association with the Plan. Secondly, I would like to see the Cooper Site / Community Hub through or under the first phase of construction. Third, I would like to see a “Complete Street” policy in place to assist with sewer and road reconstruction projects.
4. What Committees do you see yourself sitting on and what experience qualifies you for that Committee?
I have loved the Committees I have had involvement in. They are all slightly intertwined, or overlapping, which provides some consistency. I have experience on the heritage committee as the staff liaison, and my background in planning has been helpful on all of the boards I have sat on. My experiences with the City of Waterloo have assisted with the Town & Gown Committee by way of sharing information from Waterloo’s experiences.
5. What means of transportation are you using in the City, and/or in and out of town, and what improvements do you recommend?
While in the City, I generally drive, bike, and walk. I have also taken transit a couple of times each year. My mode is dependent on the amount of time I have to be somewhere, and/or the weather. Out of town I drive. The transit app being worked on will assist with bussing. The “Complete Street” policy will assist with pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. Road resurfacing is needed in many areas of our City.
6. Describe what you believe the Cooper Site should look like in 10 years.
The Cooper Site should look like a phased project still under construction. To do this development well, it will take time. There will be a portion of the site that is active with a couple of units or buildings being occupied, the transit terminal will be fully operational, and the partners for the community hub will be in place. The University of Waterloo will have expanded into at least one of their new buildings.
7. What are your objectives with respect to housing and how do you expect to accomplish them?
The City should stay the course with the Housing and Homelessness plan. We have made strides and will continue make more to reach the goals set within this plan. We also need to make our current housing stock energy efficient, with the goal of reducing energy costs. Including secondary suite provisions in the new Zoning By-law to encourage low rent accessory apartments will also assist with the low vacancy rate.
8. What three steps would you take to put our City on a firmer financial footing?
a) Finish the asset management plan and create an updated budget process for maintenance, repairs, and replacements to align with this plan.
b) Ensure that all reserve accounts have a healthy balance for emergency and unforeseen repairs of our facilities and infrastructure.
c) Create public/private partnerships where it is reasonable to do so.
9. How will the new Provincial legislation with respect to Conflict of Interest on Municipal Councils hinder your effectiveness on Council?
I don’t have any issues with the legislation. The City has a Council Code of Conduct that has been reviewed during this term, which I have no issue abiding by. The Integrity Commissioner should speed up the process of any complaint investigations, and their ability to provide advice to councillors will be a benefit to those elected. I submit that the penalties for contraventions of the Conflict of Interest Act needed to be strengthened.
10. How will you encourage youth engagement, retention, re-attraction, and skills development?
The youth need to feel like they are important and that their wants/needs matter. We need to have jobs to offer them when they complete their education. Jobs which are keeping up with current employment practices of flexible work schedules, work from home options, and transit supportive places of employment. Seeing the benefit of the quality of life Stratford can offer is important.