Kevin grew up in Winnipeg, where he began his career, followed by a business transfer to Toronto. A young family grew up in Toronto, where Kevin was active in scouting, as well as coaching sports. As his business life evolved, a decision was made to relocate to Southwestern Ontario, and Stratford was chosen. This has proven to be a wise choice, not only in terms of lifestyle and business, but as the perfect place for grandchildren to come and spend time!
He was raised in a family where community service was valued, and upon arriving in Stratford a number of years ago, Kevin became active in the community. He has served on a variety of different committees, which has given him a broad understanding of Stratford’s needs. He is the current chair of the City of Stratford Committee of Adjustment.
During the past 10 years, Kevin has been an active member of The Rotary Club of Stratford, sitting on the Board of Directors, and serving a term as President. He is active on a number of Rotary committees, and chairs the annual Craft Show Committee. The Rotary motto “Service Above Self” reflects Kevin’s views.
While involved in the Stratford community, Kevin has continued to be active in his trade association, where he is a two time Past President, and current Treasurer.
Kevin believes in consensus building, has proven leadership skills, experience in strategic planning, strong communication and team building skills, and will approach all issues in an informed, sensible manner.
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.)?
During the past 5 years the key contribution has been as a Board Member, and term as President, of the Rotary Club of Stratford. This involved chairing the Rotary Craft Show committee, as well as volunteering on many fundraising events benefitting Stratford programs, such as the Rotary Hospice, skate park, food banks etc. I was appointed to the Committee of Adjustment, where I was elected Chair. We also opened our home for fundraising events supporting...
2. What do you believe your unique contribution will be to council (strengths)?
While working with a variety of different groups, boards and committees, other members have recognized my leadership strength (Rotary President, elected chair of various committees, elected trade association President and current Treasurer) and have commented on my ability to bring issues to a consensus. Extensive experience as a successful business person, broad based knowledge through participation in a variety of activities and interests, along with vision for the future, will all contribute positively to council.
3. What would you like to see achieved over the next four years (be specific)?
I would like to see the completion of the community hub, that will help bring all aspects of the community closer together. I would expect to see an additional emphasis put on continuing programs in job training to fill the employment openings currently existing, as well as those projected for the future. In addition, we need expanded options for housing and other services required by new residents, and most importantly “wise use of tax dollars”.
4. What committees do you see yourself sitting on and what experience qualifies you for that committee?
- Bringing to the table extensive experience as a successful small business owner, often referred to in terms of honesty and integrity, serving on the Finance and Labour Relations Committee would be a logical fit. Elected as a trade association President, and current Treasurer, as well as being elected as a Board Member, and President of The Rotary Club of Stratford, add extensive additional financial knowledge that would be of benefit.
- My extensive experience with strategic...
5. What means of transportation are you using in the city, and/or in and out of town and what improvements do you recommend?
Primarily due to business activities, my primary mode of transportation is by automobile. There appear to be many roadways that require improvement, and there needs to be a short, as well as long term plan to keep the roads in the best condition. We also need to be cognizant of the increasing demand for safe access by cyclists, and small motorized wheelchairs etc. Safety should be an ongoing consideration when reviewing all vehicular activity.
6. Describe what you believe the Cooper Site should look like in 10 years?
There are many examples around the world of successful conversions of industrial buildings to multi use facilities, and I would like to see us adopting some of those ideas. Although there has been discussion about different components in the potential facility (YMCA, space for seniors’ activities, University etc.) there needs to be an overall master plan that addresses core city needs for the future, including residential.
7. What are your objectives with respect to housing and how do you expect to accomplish them?
Through coming to consensus with all the interest groups involved, we need to understand what the projected housing needs will be for the next 10 - 20 years (seniors, students, families etc.), and what this means in terms of types of housing, price ranges and accessibility issues. We then need to maximize the current space available within the city for housing development (services already in place) and be pro active with land owners to build what is required.
8. If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?
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?
The new provincial legislation will require those with conflicts of interest to identify the conflict, along with specifics, in advance of meetings. As I do not anticipate many instances taking place of having to declare a conflict, I do not expect the legislation to hinder my effectiveness.
10. How will you encourage youth engagement, retention, re-attraction and skills development?
The current Connect2Skills Program should be expanded, along with the accelerator concept that will ensure young entrepreneurs have the opportunities to start new businesses. We also need to address what the housing and service needs are to retain youth in the city, or to attract them, to fill those needs. We can probably do a better job of communicating with city youth in schools, as well as through youth groups, to keep them engaged.