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Ken Seiling : The life-long resident from Elmira was councillor for Woolwich township for two years before he was elected as mayor for seven years. He was the first directly elected regional chair in 1985 and has continued to serve in that position since then. He has served for many institutions and organizations such as: Waterloo Collegiate Institute, Board of Governors of the University of Waterloo, Wellington County Museum and Archives, Executive of the Ontario Museum Association, including a term as President, Chair of the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board and Chair of Regional Chairs of Ontario. He is also serving as Chair of the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario. Ken and his wife Kathryn have five children and eight grandchildren. Finally, Ken was a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to the community and was also chosen as one of Wilfrid Laurier University’s 100 Alumni of Achievement.
Bob Oberholtzer: Ken Seiling’s contender this year is a man who considers himself a “no sugar-coating” kind of guy. This is Bob Oberholtzer’s first time running for regional chair and he told 570News that he “has lots of engery for it.” “I’m bored. And I’ve got so much business experience to offer that I just felt it was in myself to share it with the region,” he said.”Oberholtzer’s roots in Waterloo go back to 1802 when his mennonite family moved from Pennsylvania to the region. The 78-year-old has been involved in the community for many years through his 40-year experience of owning and operating several business in the area. He explained to 570News that he “wants to run the region like a business”. Part of that business includes putting a stop to the LRT. He also plans on campaigning without a budget, in hopes that he will receive donations from his business connections, friends, family, and other supporters. Oberholtzer said that he “would ok” a casino for the region to bring back the money that goes toward busing people to casinos in other areas of Ontario. “We have 25 buses a day leaving for other communities to go to casinos, and thousands of cars per month going and we get no benefit from the profits. So why not keep it here?” he said. Oberholtzer also noted that he would “get handle on increasing budgets, and freezing at zero per cent is a must.”
City Councillor Daniel Glenn-Graham: Kitchener has been this councillor’s home for 20 years. He and his wife Bev live in a designated heritage house in the Civic District area. Glen-Graham works downtown Kitchener as a return to work specialist with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, and is also a certified mediator. He has been president/chair for both Old Berlin Towne Neighbourhood Association and the Downtown Neighbourhood Alliance. He has also been active with the Leadership Waterloo Region on the Alumni Committee, and as the President of St. Mary’s Church Finance Council for over 10 years overseeing their budget and capital projects.
Carl Zehr-expected to announce next month:
The Baden native had an early career of accounting and corporate positions for businesses such as Hybrid Turkeys, Mercedes Developments, K-W Hospital, and University of Waterloo. Living in Kitchener, from 1981 until 1998 he was a partner in the accounting firm Mercer, Hildebrand and Zehr. He first ran for elected office in the fall of 1985, and served as city councillor for the Chicopee Ward between 1985 and 1994. During that time he served as a councillor for the Region of Waterloo, from 1988 through 1994.
In 1997 he won the election with a mass of community support. Since then he has been re-elected the past four elections, making him the longest serving mayor for Kitchener. And since 1974 he has received numerous awards including Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 and Top 100 CGA’s in Canada in 2008.
Scott Davey: Councillor for Ward 1:
Davey is a recent member to the Kitchener council, but he has come through “a steep learning curve” and says he’s ready for a second term. As someone who has lived in Kitchener his whole life, he remains as involved as he can in the community, participating in local sports and advocating for the Humane Society and animall protection.
“I love this community,” he told 570News. I’m very tech focused and I am loving what I’m seeing in terms of growth in the tech community in downtown Kitchener.”
Davey has been an IT worker and continues to work as the chair of finance, making sure that the city “runs with increasing efficiency as inexpensively as possible.”
He adds that Kitchener is in a very strong financial position and that the debt is “set to decline significantly over the next 20 years.” But he notes that the city should look into budgeting more aggressively for extreme weather disasters.
Todd Cowan has been part of the Woolwich township for about 12 years, and has already served a four-year term as mayor. The Kent-County native plans on running this upcoming term with “a vision of moving forward”–on top of his current platform of making Woolwich a greener, safer place that’s friendly to business, builds its community and has a responsible government.
“I made 23 committments on my website and I was able to complete 21 of those goals last term,” Cowan told 570News.
Cowan plans to ensure better communication with the community, especially since the gravel pit issues that occurred. He also emphasizes on better crime prevention since the Woolwich Community Centre vandalism, and “creating more things like skate parks and after school programs to keep kids busy.”
Cowan adds that Woolwich has been the fastest growing community in the region for the past 10 years, and that growth “needs those services to match, so we need more programming at our facilities and more staff to keep up with the demand. We also have secondary plans for Brezlaw and St. Jacobs, and we have a large subdivision in Elmira.”
Cowan also notes that he plans on keeping taxes down for the township since they are the second lowest for taxes in the region. He says this is also important because the township needs to look for alternative ways to tackle the infrastrucutral deficit of $65 million dollars.
Finally, Cowan plans to look for an alternative agreement in Woolwich’s involvement with the LRT discussions because the construction, and delivery of materials for the light rail will affect many of the township’s businesses.
Sandy Shantz for mayor:
Also an Elmira-native, for almost 30 years, Sandy Shantz has been involved in the Woolwich community in various capacities. A former chair for the school board, Shantz is now finishing a project as her role of chair for Woolwich Community Services. The project is setting up a new building for the community and the committee has raised over a million dollars for the project.
“It’s a great place to live and a great place to raise a family,” Shantz told 570News. “It’s just a very generous and caring community.”
The former council member hopes to make a difference as mayor. She said she feels she can improve the way the township is run and the way the council interacts and listens to the public.
“I hope to give more towards what the community wants. My next few months will be going out to the community and doing that listening,” she said.
If elected mayor, Shantz wants to emphasize on keeping Woolwich a “healthy community”, by maintaining and improving areas such as bike trails and keeping the water clean.
“We have a lot of towns and we’re a bit spread out, but we’re connected. We call ourselves a community of communities,” she said.
Mark Bauman: Councillor for Ward 2:
Bauman has served four terms serving as councillor for Ward 2, and plans on continuing to do so. The 57-year-old has lived in St. Jacob’s his entire life, where he’s worked for Meadowmart Contractors since high school. He’s also been a volunteer firefighter for 37 years. Bauman has been active on serving for trail and environmental committees to emphasize his concerns about the environment.
“Past term we had a lot of gravel pit issues. But the big thing for next terms is that Breslau and stockyard are going to have secondary plans, which the government has been challenging,” he said.
Bauman says he’s confident for the upcoming term because he “know’s he’s been consistent and people know where he stands.”
Craig has been Cambridge’s mayor since 2000, but has been part of council since 1976 when he was an alderman for Hespeler for two terms. He has been living in Cambridge with his wife and two sons for over 36 years. The former elementary school teacher was also elected both a city and regional councillor in 1991, and served three terms until 2000. During that time he was chair of the City Planning Committee and served on the Youth Task Force and Contaminated Sites committees. The University of Toronto graduate served four terms on the Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro Commission, and one term as chair. He also hosted the program “Municipal Affairs” for nine years on Rogers Community Cable, and was an urban affairs columnist for the Cambridge Times for four years. In addition to his column writing Craig also creates short stories based on the Cambridge community, which he is publishing as separate small books.
Cambridge City Council:
Rick Cowsill: Ward 2 (incumbent)
Brian Santos: Ward 3
The 27 year old has lived in Cambridge his whole life, and recently fell in love with the Preson area.
“When I went door-to-door speaking with the community I just fell in love with the area and decided to make it a permanent residence,” he said.
Santos works in automotive sales as a digital business development manager for Ford. He’s been involved in organizations such as chair for the Youth Festival,
“That was sort of how I got into municipal affairs,” he said. “I’ve also sat on the Arts and Culture Committee, and I’m currently president on the Liberal Riding Association.”
This will be Santos’ second time running for Ward 3 for Cambridge City Council.
“The first time I didn’t really expect much at 23,” he told 570News. “But I got such a great response that this time I’m more prepared and made sure I was the first person to register on January 2.”
Santos is currently working on his platform, as he wants to make sure he reflects the values and expectation of Cambridge residents. He plans to release his platform in two months.
Donna Reid: Ward 1 (incumbent):
Reid has been a part of Cambridge since she was 16-years-old, and had a fulfilling career as an elementary school teacher. After she retired she decided to enter into politics, and now she is running for her second term as councillor for Ward 1.
“I think we need all councilors to look at the budget, that’s top priority for me,” she said. “I want to keep services levels up, but also plan for some capitol projects such as the Old Post Office which is going to be renovated and provided with library space and a restaurant.”
Reid added that she is looking forward to the Siler Hutch Neighbour Association having a staff member. They’re going to be housed in the new Catholic school on Guelph Avenue.
“My wish list is to see Preston Heights have a grocery store,” she told 570News. “There’s a number of low income people there who don’t have vehicles and have small children. So there’s not really any food available to them in an easy way.”
Finally Reid encourages women to participate in politics.
“We have a Municipal Campaign school from February 1 to March 1, and hopefully more women come out to take part,” she said.
Frank Monteiro Ward 7 (incumbent):
The former police officer has lived in Cambridge since 1966, and has promoted community causes such as Cambridge Memorial Hospital’s Tree of Caring, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Children’s Wish Foundation and Say No to Drugs. Monteiro held a supervisory role in the W.R.P.S since 1990 and also received the community policing award in 2010 for “dedication and excellence to his community”. As councillor for Ward 7 Monteiro would empahsize on advocating for a safe community, along with other pursuits such as: putting pressure on the provincial government to change the high hydro costs, reducing water consumption through flow restriction devices, installing more roundabouts in the Cambridge area, and attracting new businesses. According to his website bio Monteiro does not support the light rail transit proposal because the “cost versus the return for Cambrige does not justify the investment.”
Nicholas Ermeta Ward 8 (incumbent)
Eldest of six siblings, the 30-year-old has been a Cambridge resident for over 20 years. Ermeta has been a part of a long list of volunteer work in the community. From helping organize Cambridge Youth Awards, hosting town hall neighbourhood meetings every other month, and helping out with Canada Day festivities, to acting as council representative on the Cambridge Youth Advisory Committee, the Cambridge Budget Task Force, and taking on the role as acting mayor for six months, Ermeta looks to use all this experience to make Cambridge attractive to new businesses and build the community. He also looks to address issues such as: speeding issues in the neighbourhood, expanding recreational opportunities, putting emphasis on getting a GO Train to Cambridge, and “getting Cambridge out of having to pay for the regional light rail system.”
Cambridge representatives on Regional Council:
Helen G. Jowett:
This president and CEO of McDonald Green came to the Cambridge area when her family immigrated to Canada 50 years ago. Since then Jowett has been involved in many levels of leadership. She currently chairs for CTT–which is a foreign direct investment arm of the economic development for the region, and she sits on the Prosperity Council. This is her first time running for council.
“I just felt like now was the time to have a stronger voice for Cambridge,” she said. I’m interested in looking at the LRT and economic development to see where we go with it in the region. I want to make sure Cambridge still has a significant place here and make sure our spending and services look after our residents.”
MacDonald grew up in Vienna, a small town just outside of Tillsonburg. Moving to Kitchener Waterloo in 1968, he became a well-respected local media personality for 42-years–reporting the weather. His involvement in the community also includes working with World Vision, Waterloo Region Food Bank, Hardy Hearts, and as celebrity ride captain for the Motorcycle Ride for Dad. The founder and regional manager for Faith FM often speaks at local events. If elected mayor, he told 570News that the city needs to find ways to attract new businesses, and to put a stop to the LRT project.
Jaworsky is a well-known tech industry executive that volunteers for the technology and non-profit sectors, economic developmnent, physician recruitment and minor sports such as the Waterloo Minor Hockey Association.
The Waterloo husband and father of two plans on focusing on three key themes: “creating a robust economy, a caring community and responsible government all under the theme of strong leadership in which I hope to provide the people of Waterloo,” he told 570News. The University of Waterloo graduate sits on the board of the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, and was recently on the boards of Communitech and Great Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.
While working at Blackberry Jaworsky led the Canadian Government Relations group and later founded the Global Corporate Social Responsibility team.
The Cambridge native moved to North Dumfries because “it’s such a vibrant community, so I became involved right away,” and so she could be closer to her hockey team which she played on for many years. Foxton has been a councillor for Ward 1 since 1997, only losing one term, and also works as an inventory planning coordinator at Dimplex North America. She told 570News she always wanted to run for politics but before Mel Robb retired, she thought “he was too good to run against.” This election marks her first time running for mayor and she looks to tackle issues such as the budget.
“I want to keep a positive attitude and keep things going but maybe with a bit more caution,” she said.” But the previous mayor and councillors have done a great job and I think the community is very pleased. I just hope to serve my community because they have provided me with a wonderful place to live.”
This is Hergott’s eighth year as councillor for Ward 4 in Wellesley, but now he wants to take the next step and act as mayor for the township.”I’d like to be more open with public so they can have lots of input,” he said. “We can educate them and they can educate us.”Born and raised in the township, Hergott has been involved with the Optimist Club, which helped built the Optimist Pavillion in St.Clemons, he’s been on the Rec Services Board, and before he became councillor he was a volunteer fire fighter for 15 years.”I just want to give the tax payers the best bang for their buck,” he said.
Waterloo Regional Council:
Cameron Dearlove: Kitchener representative for Waterloo Regional Council:
Born in Cambridge, The Family Centre coordinator spends most of his time working within various community organizations such as the Local Health and Integration Network, to work on “bringing the community together and coming up with solutions to the problems we face.”
Dearlove plans to focus on three different areas. He first plans on improving fiscal responsibility, making sure money is spent, or cut, in ways that are beneficial to long term plans. Second, he emphasizes social compassion and making sure that “everybody has the opportunity to meet basic needs in our community and have the opportunity to succeed and flourish.” And finally the cultured candidate plans on working on environmental sustainability, making sure that areas in and surrounding Kitchener are maintained as well as “protecting farmland for future generations.”
Mitchell has been a regional councillor for Waterloo for the past 13 years and is currently chair of the Employment and Income Support Community Advisory Committee, and vice chair for Community Services Committee. The councillor has overseen water quality and quantity in the Grand River Watershed as chair for the Grand River Conservation Authority. Mitchell recently wound up her internet business Arachneweb Consulting and Design, however she continues her interest in information and technology. She also expresses concerns for the continuation of the LRT and ION. “It’s being built now. My concern is people who are saying they can stop it when we’ve already been discussing it for 10 years, and the majority of councillors have voted for it,” she said. “If we put a stop to the LRT it will cost us $600 million for nothing. It will be like the gas plant for the Liberals.”
Mitchell notes that the LRT will also bring more jobs to the city and keep the city a compact region so that our agricultural regions are protected. Finally, the grandmother also wants to focus on the importance of affordable day care and affordable housing for those who are struggling.
In general she plans on tackling problems related to sewage, transit, roads, waste disposal, and affordable housing and emergency services. The already published author is getting another book ready for publication. She currently lives in Waterloo with her children and grandchildren also in the region.
Diane Freeman for Ward 4:
Freeman has lived in Waterloo since 1986 but originally came from the Woodstock area. The active mom works as a consulting engineer and environmental engineer in air quality for Conestoga Rovers and Associates. Because of her passion for family, she helped built the Butterfly Learning Centre Services–which is a not profit child care centre in Waterloo that provides subsidized daycare. When she’s not playing music, skiing, biking, or going to her sons’ sports games, she tries to “bring her background in engineering and as volunteer, and as a mother” to her decision making in council. For the past four years Freeman has been involved in helping to see the Transportation Master Plan realized for Waterloo which builds on completing streets and “look at our transportation network as corridors for all users.” Freeman also avidly participates in the community, especially those who service the community such as fire-fighters, by attending workshops and training services–such as the fire fighting training academy. She told 570News that this “help her understand the perspectives of those who serve the community”.
Karen Scian for Waterloo Regional Councillor:
The former City of Waterloo council member is now taking on two incumbents for a Regional Council seat. Scian, 48, has many plans to work on such as supporting the LRT and being transparent with the public on the project’s finances.
“I have a unique set of skills between my experience in the community, my experience as an educator, the connections I’ve made, my proven work ethic — there’s a lot of really great reasons that I belong at that regional table,” Scian told the Record on Sunday. Once an educator, now for the past four years she has been acting as current chair of the city’s finance and strategic planning committee, guiding the city’s budget process. Scian also plans on focusing on programs that supports the region’s most vulnerable, such as food hampers and dental care for the poor. As part of this, she works as chair of Community Justice Initiatives, which looks for alternative ways of dealing with crime and punishment.
This long-term Kitchener-Waterloo resident has been heavily involved in the community, acting as chair of the Community Services Committee, and has served as Waterloo city councillor and regional councillor. The Canada 125 Medal recipient has coached soccer and hockey, acted as a school board trustee, and was on the board of governors for Grand River Conservation area. Now he currently woks in the construction business as the CEO of a trade association. Strickland looks to keep property tax increases to a minimum to give the community relief “from the high costs of home ownership.” He also supports investments in road repair, transit growth and new roads, such as placing a link to the 401 on the west and and a new Highway 7 on the east side. He supports the concept light-rail project, but feels it needs to be re-evaluated because of the high taxes it would create.Canadian households are spending more of their disposable income on the costs of home ownership than ever before it is vitally important to keep any property tax increases to a minimum. We must be fiscally prudent but also wise enough to make strategic investments in our community.
“I cannot support the current plan due to its heavy burden on local taxpayers but remain open to more affordable options,” Strickland said in his online biography.
What are we all voting for?
Director of corporate communications and marketing for the City of Cambridge, Linda Fegan, told 570News the election ballot has the list of wards–so one person per ward. And there are seven mayoral positions to be filled in the entire Region of Waterloo.
“Mayor in our city is considered ‘at large’ and citizens would vote for mayor,” Fegan said. “Regional chair is on the ballet, as are regional councilors and Cambridge has two. School board trustees are also on the ballot.”
North Dumfries 4
There is one regional council–which has been Ken Seiling since 1985.
Waterloo Region District School Board trustees:
Cambridge North Dumfries 3
Waterloo Wilmot 3
Wellesley Woolwich 1
Waterloo Catholic District School Board trustees:
Kitchener Wilmot 4
Cambridge North Dumfries 3
Waterloo Wellesley Woolwich 2