Four years ago, I had the opportunity to engage with so many Londoners as I campaigned for Council in Ward 13. On election night, I congratulated Councillor Park on her victory, and looked at various paths moving forward. One was to step away from politics and focus solely on my business, my team, my family. In the week that followed the election, that option sounded appealing in so many ways.
Instead, I became more determined to make a difference. As a proud member of the Committee of Adjustment, I am honoured to have worked with other community leaders to preside over hundreds of applications and property standards. To be a board member and treasurer of the London Downtown Business Association has given me first-hand experience on the concerns and achievements of the Downtown Core. Probably one of my proudest moments over the past four years has been the beginnings of a Community Association in the Downtown. Throw in the Chamber of Commerce, London Executive Association, and multiple other charities and committees, my time has been pleasantly packed. All the while it may seem at times I have forgotten my day job, but the reality is that these commitments have revitalized my passion for this city, and the people I work with.
As we move into 2018, the decision on whether to run for Council was an easy one. After thirty-eight years of small business in London, I am ready to move those skills to City Hall. With the blessing of my wife Nancy,I have formally put my name forward to run for Council in Ward 13. This is an opportunity I don’t take lightly, and a commitment that deserves my full attention. For me, the chance of a lifetime to work with people who want to make a difference, who see the city an opportunity, not a hinderance.
First, I would like to both congratulate Councillor Park on her decision to run for Mayor and thank her for the years of service to the people of Ward 13. It is my belief that both Councillor Park and myself worked well together while not always aligning on issues. I have a great deal of respect for her and wish her all the best in the future.
It is also important to acknowledge everyone who puts their name forward and chooses to run for municipal politics. All committed and for the right reasons, realities are that someone in the end will win out. Let that be the best person to serve the of City of London, in the hopes that we will move forward in a more respectful, more positive manner.
Now, the big question . . . why? What changed from that cool October evening in 2014 when I thought about putting the politics of the city behind me? Londoners are starving for a Civic Pride from their representatives and their leadership. A pride, that in my opinion has been sorely lacking. A leadership that is committed when it needs to be, flexible when necessary, and can instill a pride that residents can thrive on.
My platform will address ten key points:
- RESPECT: far too often considered a weakness, but invaluable at achieving success
- COMMUNICATION: it’s not about public participation, it’s about listening
- WELL-BEING: a healthy city is a vibrant, caring city
- EQUALITY: never request it, always demand it
- PROSPERITY: a strong economy is something to be proud of
- SAFETY: perceptions and realities need to be addressed to create a safe environment for all
- CIVIC PRIDE: always striving to make London better
- COMPASSION: a community with a hand up, not only a hand out
- MOVABILITY: to be progressive, it needs to be about more than BRT
- IDENTITY: we are uniquely London, not the “other London”
Whether it’s a commitment to keep staff at their jobs, work with communities and developers to build inward and upward or engage with our children as to why London is the better alternative, I’ll be there. Working hard to ensure all are proud of the future we are making for our children and grandchildren. While there will be other questions and concerns as the campaign progresses, I offer anyone the opportunity to sit down and chat. Tell me about your achievements, your challenges, and what you believe will move this city forward. No, we won’t always agree . . . but if we want a better city, I will tell you we are better served to start the conversation.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent the people of Ward 13. I am truly a Londoner to the Core and would be honoured to represent you at the horseshoe in 2018.
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