More than just a Vision

Addressing Current Priorities

Ken’s campaign will provide a clear voice to the current concerns Ward 6 constituents are seeking answers for. Ken understands that healthy public discourse starts with elected representatives modeling a willingness to listen, learn and provide next steps.

What we hear from you

Elected and public officials need to engage with residents first

I am concerned with new development and affordability

Our Ukranian community needs support

The City and developers need to cooperate with residents on planning and development issues

Community non-profit groups and institutions need help directing resources to end-users in need

We need to protect and enhance our open spaces

Small businesses and local entrepreneurs need more startup support

The South End Community Centre is overbudget and keeps getting delayed

Stronger Public Representation

In this new era of mass information and digital media, information needs to be easier to understand. Ken will work closely with City Staff and neighbourhood associations to promote initiatives in an effort to distill important issues that are being discussed at City Hall. This will be achieved by developing new, creative and innovative ways to engage the general public. Ken is committed to:

Guiding Principles

How we will lead

Regular working folks simply do not have time to be actively engaged in detailed discussions taking place at City Hall. Council meetings are long and meeting minutes are tedious to review. It is therefore important for elected officials to actively reach out to constituents by keeping them informed on the issues. Ken holds the fundamental belief that ordinary working people care about the City’s affairs and the low rates of public participation in recent years are not caused by public disinterest, but rather due to a lack of creative outreach. Ken is therefore committed to:

  • Actively informing residents and local businesses on how community issues at City Hall are being handled
  • Utilize social media and newsletters in a robust and effective way to update constituents
  • Host regular in-person and virtual town-halls with residents
  • Provide ongoing updates to residents on the Guelph’s annual satisfaction survey
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The development review is a process with strict timelines mandated under the Ontario Provincial Planning Act. There is constant pressure to get developments approved quickly and while public consultation is encouraged, participation is often low. Ken is committed to:

  • Work with the City planners to inform residents early on as soon as new development is submitted to the city
  • Develop simple summary notes with staff to inform residents of nearby development
  • Encourage and gather feedback early in the process before major business and design decisions are made
  • Improve awareness and information access to staff recommendation reports, briefings and Council proceedings
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Building strong healthy communities starts with transparent financial models that reflect the needs of the residents and businesses. Staying on target with the City’s annual budget is integral to maintaining good credit that will keep reserve funds at a healthy level. Ken believes the City is positioned to maintain it’s recent AAA+ credit rating and is committed to:

  • Not raising property taxes as a way to increase public expenditures
  • Oversight and public transparency for capital project timelines
  • Monitor the South End Community Centre project timeline so delays do not cost further tax dollars
  • Provide summary reports to constituents on the Guelph Annual Budget for increased public transparency and literacy
  • Investigate additional revenue streams for the City through building intergovernmental relationships and securing external grants
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Guelph is the 5th fastest growing city in Canada and everyone should feel like they have a sense of belonging. There is a lot more we can do to welcome folks into the community fabric, from new homeowners to students. Ken is commited to:

  • Work closely with the University of Guelph and Central Students Association clubs to make students living in Ward 6 feel at home
  • Partner with institutions, established Guelph residents and Immigration Guelph-Wellington to provide direct resources to newcomers
  • Improve the Refugee Pilot Support program by evaluating direct feedback with the City’s Community Investment program
  • Connect with philanthropic businesses and community leaders to assist newcomers effected by the Ukranian Refugee Crisis
  • Ease the cultural transition for newcomers by promoting community support groups
  • Partner with local intergovernmental offices to expand local services (e.g., visa, sponsorship, work or study permit, refugee claim)
  • Promote local destinations, businesses and tourism to encourage fun within Guelph
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A large percentage of health care professionals, educators and parents reside in our Ward 6 community. Many have been working around the clock especially during the uncertain days of the pandemic. As we emerge into the post-pandemic, we must continue to make the effort, as a community, to recognize the dedication, sacrifice and commitment our healthcare professionals, parents and educators make on a regular basis. Ken is committed to:

  • Partner with local businesses to deliver small thank you gifts and discounts to healthcare professionals and educators on appreciation days
  • Work with healthcare associations, the school boards and parent advisory councils to promote public awareness, empathy and compassion
  • Coordinate with the local MPP to deliver community input towards the expansion and procurement of the GGH Emergency Department
  • Foster strong relationships with healthcare professionals and educators in the neighbourhood to discuss community initiatives
  • Be a reliable City liaison to neighbourhood residents, schools and their Parent Advisory Councils
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Strategic Economic Development

Strategic economic development means finding creative ways to promote life and vibrancy in our healthy communities. Doing so requires us to actively seek intentional ways to foster commerce and social linkages within our neighbourhoods and commercial centres. In elected office, Ken is committed to working closely with residents, business associations and the City’s Economic Development department to stage vibrant initiatives and attract unique businesses never seen before in Ward 6.

Guiding Principles

How we will lead

The South End deserves vibrant community events to promote neighbourhood unity and cohesion. With the combined forces of grassroots initiatives and private-public partnerships, together we have the ability to secure event grounds and attract participation for eager residents and community leaders to organze vibrant activities. Ken is committed to:

  • Establish pop-up vendor and night market to create an alternative destination to the Guelph Farmer’s Market and Aberfoyle Antique Market
  • Provide resources to residents for promoting informal neighbourhood events (e.g., block-wide garage sales, art exhibits)
  • Partner with religious institutions, and commercial land owners (e.g., in Clairfield Commons, Pergola Commons and Clair Marketplace)
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Locally owned and operated businesses are the physical expressions of the community’s culture, economy, and social life. Ward 6 has a large inventory of commercial units for prospective businesses to lease and operate. We need to support existing businesses and attract new tenants that have a vested interest in the community, in order to increase the vitality of our commercial centres. Ken is committed to:

  • Attract new businesses through media spotlights, the Business Centre Guelph-Wellington and Guelph Chamber of Commerce
  • Encourage more diverse businesses to come to Ward 6 through external networking and lobbying efforts
  • Establish a cost-free South End Business association pilot for increased cooperation between existing businesses and residents
  • Explore the creation of a South End Business Improvement Area under the provisions of the Municipal Act and…
  • evaluate funding structures for sustainable long term area beautification and businesses recruitment projects
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Established co-ops and non profits in Guelph are reflections of the community’s care, generosity and desire to serve others. It is important for municipal leaders to support private organizations by empowering our local community leaders. Ken is committed to:

  • Establish formal relationships with leaders of co-ops and non-profit groups
  • Offer clear information on existing and new grants, incentives, and best practices
  • Direct organizations to the City’s Community Grant
  • Help build organizational capacity of non-profits through referring active community members to volunteer and lend expertises
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Federal, provincial and municipal cooperation is integral to delivering tangible results to the local community. Allocation of funding for programs are dispersed throughout all levels of government and it is important that we work with government agencies and elected representatives (M.P. & M.P.P.) to ensure resources are allocated directly to the community. Ken is committed to:

  • Celebrate philanthropic individuals doing good within the community
  • Connect with charities and non-for-profits to encourage more community initiatives
  • Work closely with the Guelph M.P. Lloyd Longfield and M.P.P. Mike Schreiner’s constituency offices to discuss ongoing partnership strategies
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Creative City Building and Design

The City has an inherent duty to evolve it’s planning practices to sustain public and private confidence in planning decisions. The new Provincial Bill 109, More Homes for Everyone Act, has citizens in Ward 6 anxiously waiting for the City to respond to the choir of growing concerns regarding the influx of development activity taking place across the City. With Ken’s experience as an urban designer, he is committed to providing strong council leadership towards planning matters. Ken recognizes that successful city building requires genuine consensus from all in order to build confidence towards a more prosperous Guelph and Ward 6.

Guiding Principles

How we will lead

The City of Guelph has a robust Official Plan that provides a clear framework for new development and supplementary guiding documents that are informed by extensive public consultation. The Official Plan also lays out clear direction that prioritizes responsible environmental stewardship and building healthy complete communities. Ken is committed to keeping stakeholders accountable to the OP by pushing for consistent interpretation that enhances our neighbourhood character and respects the surrounding context. Guelph must be in control of it’s own destiny and Ken is committed to:

  • A strong vision for new and mature neighbourhoods in Ward 6 through regular design engagement exercises
  • Offer developers with neighbourhood engagement field notes, to increase on the ground context awareness for infill projects
  • Advocate for strong environmental stewardship of our prestine parks and natural heritage systems
  • Bridge the social divide between temporary, new and long-term residents by building mutual trust, respect and dialogue
  • Ensure that mixed-use, mid and high-rise development respects the existing neighbourhood context
  • A balanced approach to transportation planning that is inclusive of pedestrian, cyclist, transit and vehicular circulation
  • Promote a clear vision for development and growth through the Official Plan
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We must be better stewards of our natural heritage systems. The City of Guelph inherits a rich network of trails, parks and open spaces that make up the ecological and recreational network and Ken believes that the built-form and natural systems can co-exist. In Ward 6, we have everything from the open plains of Preservation Park to the meandering trails that interlace throughout Westminster Woods. It is a rare privilege to see deer frequent the meadows so close to our urban environment and we must do everything we can to preserve this precious ecosystem for our children. Ken is committed to enhancing our natural heritage systems through the prioritization of cost-effective capital improvements and educational programs via intergovernmental and regulatory partnerships.

  • Work with the Parks department and GRCA to create robust beautification projects (e.g., wayfinding and signage programs)
  • Identify provincial and federal grants for external funding towards programs
  • Encourage development in proximity to the natural heritage system to creatively integrate the built-form and natural landscape
  • Lobby local developers to view the natural environment as an asset rather than an obstacle to business development
  • Promote tree planting and clean-up events held by local organizations and neighbourhood groups
  • Foster a culture of Responsible Stewardship of our Natural Heritage Systems
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The development review is a process with strict timelines mandated under the Ontario Provincial Planning Act. These timelines are set in place, in part, to expedite the decision-making process for private development. As a result, there is constant pressure for development planners to get developments approved quickly. While public consultation is encouraged, participation is often low and uninformed. Subsequently delays occur because the community at large is not properly aware or consulted. Residents over the years have grown increasingly disillusioned by the process and engage too late into the process. This results in unnecessary delays, costs and unfortunate escalations to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT). To cut costs, address community concerns and ease work pressure off City Staff, Ken is committed to:

  • Work with City Staff and development stakeholders to actively inform the public early in the review process
  • Facilitate goodwill neighbourhood engagement exercises with constituents and developers
  • Promote context sensitive design through planning pre-consultations to properly evaluate the site context
  • Actively engage neighbours and stakeholders early in the review process
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The Urban Design Review Panel is an initiative set up by many leading municipalities in Canada that aims to provide constructive design feedback to City Council, Staff and developers. This body, if set up properly, will not only provide objective, evidence and context-based design feedback to the development file, it will also expedite the development review process. As Guelph undertakes more infill intensification, it is important that proper design expectations are set to raise public confidence in the City’s handling of development. Ken is committed to:

  • Introduce the initiative to Planning and Development Services department
  • Provide feedback for a draft Terms of Reference
  • Prioritize thorough review for projects along the Gordon St. Intensification Corridor

Why support an Urban Design Review Panel

  • This advisory body will be a great tool for the public’s interest and better inform design decisions for intensification projects in the City
  • The design feedback will complement the development review process and reinforce key directions from the City’s urban design guidelines
  • Community leaders and distinguished design professionals will be able to provide objective design feedback as independent third parties
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The City of Guelph operates on a smaller operating budget than most urban municipalities in Southern Ontario. Guelph is no longer a small town, but an emerging city that requires resources to perform the functions of a healthy city. Public servants in Guelph are working at over capacity and are not provided with the necessary tools to make balanced decisions. Often project timelines are extended because of staff continuity and capacity challenges. The public places high expectations on the City to implement high quality services with efficiency. Therefore we must have compassion over our public servants and provide staff with the tools necessary to perform the City’s priorities with excellence and distinction. Ken is committed to:

  • Provide clear council directions and expectations to Staff at the onset
  • Find efficencies to streamline the workflow and decision-making process for complex community-sensitive infill projects
  • Empower staff through building mutual trust, respect and relationships
  • Organize professional networking events for City Staff and professionals at City Hall
  • Encourage staff to participate in professional development and continued education through organizations (e.g., OPPI, OTC, OAA, OALA)
  • Support increases in staff capacity during the annual budget review and lobby for increased provincial funding
  • Support City Staff and Build Internal Capacity
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The City currently generates revenue from development approvals through two streams: development charges and parkland dedication. The Province has set aside the Community Benefits Charge, as an optional revenue stream, that has yet to be fully implemented in Guelph. The CBC is a modest contribution the developer of higher density sites would make to the City that will provide investors with more clarity and certainty when evaluating business costs. Ken is committed to:

  • Provide transparency and oversight towards the CBC implementation after the launch date on September 18, 2022
  • Collaborate with City Staff on strategies to help developers integrate this expected charge into their business plan
  • Ensure the CBC funds are being properly spent for capital projects through committee oversight
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The City of Guelph is committed to intensification along Gordon St and transit improvements. This planning direction however should not supersede the everyday reliance people have with the automobile. While it is imperative we invest in transit and active transportation, we must still include a plan towards equitable access to parking. Currently, the City has no plan to address the public parking supply and Council has yet to provide staff with clear direction. From May 2020 to 2022, “the city has received 13,485 parking-related complaints. That includes 8,361 related to on-street parking, 4,399 for parking on private property, 544 incidents of front lawn parking and 181 parking sign issues.” 1 We must find creative ways to address the issue together and build towards parking equity for now and the immediate future. Ken is committed to:

  • Encourage Council to evaluate the City’s parking capacity in the South End
  • Partner with community and religious institutions to explore shared parking strategies
  • Promote transit ridership along the Gordon St. corridor for students and young professionals with the affordable bus pass
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In 2015, the Province of Ontario introduced the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act as a way to promote design excellence and strategic long term planning. Part of the Act includes Regulation 588/17, Asset Management for Municipal Infrastructure. The City of Guelph introduced it’s Asset Management Program back in 2017. This relatively new program is integral for ensuring critical infrastructure are being maintained. As Guelph continues to grow, it is important that the City invests in this program to ensure costs towards the City’s physical and digital infrastructure are organized and allocated wisely. Ken is committed to:

  • Promote the importance of asset management to constituents
  • Inform the public about this new management concept
  • Ensure that asset management strategic direction, including vision, mission and objectives are met
  • Encourage collaboration between internal staff departments to improve the evaluation and monitoring process
  • Monitor investments towards affordable housing, transit mobility, active transportation and climate change mitigation
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