I feel so fortunate to be able to call Stratford home! I spent my formative years in Lemington before moving here to start my family. Like all small cities, Stratford is a close knit community where changes have a broader impact. Every city has its challenges and I am committed to my community and to being a driving force in making it a better place for everyone!
In terms of employment experience I have worked as a child and youth worker for a regional school board with a population of special needs children. The primary goal in this was to ensure that each child felt safe and that their voice was heard. I want the same for our citizens. While no one can assure that all demands will be satisfied, everyone should feel like their input is valued and heard. My goal is to be available; to listen and to be approachable well beyond the committee level. I believe there is wisdom to be found in listening to the knowledge of the people around me. Be it life experience or experience with the transit or housing system.
I currently run a small home business alongside my partner who is an active entrepreneur. Together we enjoy time with our young daughter. As most young mothers can attest, by necessity, I am organized, energetic and simply put, I have the luxury of time to devote myself to this position. I have run marathons and I am driven towards personal excellence. I do not claim to have extensive experience in civic politics but most of those who do, started at one point themselves. Perhaps it is time to inject some new ideas and energy to the council! I am seen as a quick study, prudent and and practical. My early years have taught me to be careful with the hard-earned dollar and to be aware that there are people that need our support and consideration with policy and spending. I am diligent and I have never taken anything on half-heartedly. I want to serve as your representative in trying to make Stratford a better place for all of it’s citizens! I would welcome your support at the polls and any questions, thoughts or issues of concern.
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.)?
Given the fact that I have a young child, I have been able to connect with other parents at the early years centre as well at connecting with them about their funding. I have also worked with fundraisers for Community Living through events like beer fest and contributed to fundraisers for Stratford Summer Music. I have also donated goods and services to the Art Gallery as well as the Local through my home business.
2. What do you believe your unique contribution will be to council (strengths)?
Every job I have held has been front line; advocating and lifting people up. Working with and supporting individuals where their current needs are has been an imperative part of every roll. I feel that my connection with people, my approachability and consistency are all qualities that will better city council.
3. What would you like to see achieved over the next four years (be specific)?
First, I would like to see consistency and transparency between council and the community. I would like to see more programs for youth to encourage them to stay in our community. I would like to see seniors feeling more heard and supported. I would like to see facilitation in our community to encourage growth in Stratford. To see our citizens feel as though that growth is possible and encouraged.
4. What committees do you see yourself sitting on and what experience qualifies you for those committees?
Accessiblity, Spruce Lodge nonprofit, social services sub committee and the police board. The majority of my work experience has been with children and adults with special needs, so accessibility is something that makes a big difference in the daily lives of many. I have four generations of women in my family living in Stratford, the oldest being my grandmother.; Spruce Lodge and the senior population is something that is very important to me. Social service....
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 live in the downtown core of Stratford and primarily walk. That being said, our cities sidewalks and roads are not fully accessible in many areas of town, even for a stroller. The sidewalks are in disrepair or you must cross a street to continue on the sidewalk. Before my family moved to town I also frequently took the train. Although I do not take the bus, I often see the busses are quite empty...
6. Describe what you believe the Cooper Site should look like in 10 years?
I believe a 10 year goal for the Cooper sight is a far reach without funding objectives being realistic. I believe it will be difficult to achieve any goals without private funding being contributed and the responsibility not falling upon the citizens of Stratford. I feel there will be more clarity on this question after January.
7. What are your objectives with respect to housing and how do you expect to accomplish them?
Adding accessory units in homes could alleviate a lot of the problems we face with housing. Many people who own homes in Stratford have spaces that could easily be turned into rental units; but zoning doesn't allow it. I have space in my own home that would be suitable for a rental, but zoning does not allow it.
8. If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?
Reducing steps for procedures. This would mean having one less step and meeting, when the same outcome is earned.
Duplicating roles; ensuring that the right people are performing the correct tasks. Analyzing the cities current assets. Looking at land that could be sold off.
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 don't feel as though it will change my effectiveness as it encourages transparency and consistency; which I feel are two imperative qualities in council members.
10. How will you encourage youth engagement, retention, re-attraction and skills development?
Stratford already has some great programs in place for youth, so it would be about building on and addings to those. There is also a program out of Essex county called the Youth Coalition of Canada. Its hopes are to encourage youth council across the province and encourage civil and social responsibility. This helps gives the youth a better understanding of the community and a greater respect for the area in which they live.