Katia loves to ask the hard questions. She feels it's time to add divergent voices and experiences to Stratford City Council. Katia has been a journalist for thirty years and in that role she has develop skills that support her run for City Council; curiosity, being able to research and follow leads, not being satisfied with the status quo, pushing through the debris to find the truth, resulting in objective, clear and concise decision making. Katia believes Stratford is at a point where public trust has weakened significantly. It is a desire to make a difference, a willingness stand alone (if must be), a belief that Stratford could be doing a much better job for all citizens, which have brought Katia forward as a candidate. Re-Building Public Trust, Affordable Living and Improving Community are on Katia's agenda for the next four years. Stratford should be a strong example of what works well. Katia wants to bring holistic, citizen centred, informed decision making model to the table rather than what she sees as a scattered approach to moving Stratford forward. Katia is a single parent of six children, five adults and a couple of high schoolers, five boys and one girl. Her passions include working to end domestic violence and sexual violence, supporting seniors and youth, advocating for individuals with challenges and looking at the sum of all parts. Katia teaches at Fanshawe College in the School of Contemporary Media. She also works casual part time with the Stratford Midwives, St.Aloysius School and the Supervised Access & Visitation Programme. Katia is thankful of those who have shown her support as she tries to bring UnCommon Sense to city hall.
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.)?
I have chosen to participate in my community in various ways. Where there is a march or a gathering of something I would like to support I donate and attend. For example our local women's march or Woman of Year. On a volunteer basis, I support women, whether alone or with a partner, during pregnancy and delivery as a Doula and Child Birth Educator (or for cookies). I volunteered with the Local Community Food Centre...
2. What do you believe your unique contribution will be to council (strengths)?
The unique contribution or strength I bring to the council table would be a divergent voice and community experience. I feel it is time to bring new voices and perspectives to council. My life and professional experiences are quite different from those around the table. I speak from a new unique position which informs how I approach people and issues and make decisions. I am able to work through the quagmire, ask challenging questions, listen...
3. What would you like to see achieved over the next four years (be specific)?
I would like to:
Re-Building Public Trust. I want to see clear gains in this area. Right now Stratford is fractured and people have told me they are suspicious of the decisions coming out of city hall. The Tom Patterson Theatre and Market Square are often quoted as situations where citizens did not feel heard. To start, I feel we need to get information out to the public early in the decision making process. Ensure...
4. What committees do you see yourself sitting on and what experience qualifies you for those committees?
I would like to sit on the Stratford Police Services Board. I feel my experiences with police, police services and a historical understanding of police services, provides me with a strong foundation to sit on the board. I also feel it is time to add a diverse voice and experiences to policing decisions in our community.
Energy and the Environment interests me. Life experiences, research and an interest in this area would be what draws...
5. What means of transportation are you using in the city, and/or in and out of town and what improvements do you recommend?
I primarily rely on my car. For the past two years I have not done much cycling or walking, however, I have in the past. Improvements I would like to see include ensuring the city follows through on its cycle plan. It is a solid plan brought forward by stakeholders, active users of the system. Busing is something I am passionate about. I was so pleased to see the bus stop at the Local remain...
6. Describe what you believe the Cooper Site should look like in 10 years?
This is a tough one. I am tempted to say give the property back to Lawrence Ryan. That property has been in limbo. No developer is going to touch that land while the issue remains in limbo. Right now the city is not getting any tax benefits from the land. Some information shows that land is valued at about one million dollars per acre. That's about $20 million dollars. If the city had not expropriated...
7. What are your objectives with respect to housing and how do you expect to accomplish them?
I would like to see our affordable housing waiting list be as short as possible. That means creating a community where upward mobility is possible. As individuals and families are able, they move out of affordable housing, perhaps buying their own home and continuing to move forward. To have that happen, our community must take a holistic approach to improving and building community. Incentive for builders to build more units. A creative look at what...
8. If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?
Have a forensics look at our books. We can't move forward until we have a closer look at what has been going on. 2 & 3 would come after however, I do feel we need to keep our debt and how we service that reasonable. We need to have the ability to respond to something major. I also feel our taxes are high when compared to municipalities of a similar size.
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?
I do not see an impact on my effectiveness on council. Codes of conduct, rules about ethics and obligations have great value in building integrity, holding council accountable and allowing for more transparency. As I have watched conflicts declared, there has not, to date, been an area where I would have a stake or a vested interest in, nor would any family members or friends. I am concerned about what I perceive as possible conflicts...
10. How will you encourage youth engagement, retention, re-attraction and skills development?
This is a huge area and I will try my best. First, I feel, with a community our size, having a youth council would be of great value. We would need to ensure all segments of our youth community are represented. In speaking to young people, they feel there are groups of youth in Stratford; those who have access to activities and services that allow them to develop strong friendships, those who have decent relationships...