At one point, it appeared that Ward 7 was destined to have Jake Smola as its city councillor–and then uncertainty entered the race. The beneficiaries are the residents of Ward 7 where three of the four candidates are strong.
I must admit that I had forgotten that Jake Smola was on Regional Council. He had fallen off of my political radar screen due to his low profile in that role. That gives me cause for concern when considering his desire to return to Kitchener City Council. If he has been relatively anonymous at the Region, how can he be expected to contribute more in a similar role with the city?
In another Ward, Smola’s experience might have swayed me to support him. But given his track record and the fact that he now as strong challengers in Bil Ionnidis and Susan Koswan, he would not be my choice.
Ward 7 would be very well represented by either Ionnidis or Koswan. I liked what I saw on Ionnidis’ website very much. Ward 7 is clearly where his own personal centre of gravity is found and he has a solid platform. Working out of downtown Kitchener, he evidently understands the downtown and wants to see it prosper to benefit all of Kitchener. While he would like to reduce costs of the LRT, he supports this critical project. In another ward, I would easily recommend him however he is not my choice either.
If I lived in Ward 7, I would vote for Susan Koswan.
While Koswan is best known as a dedicated environmentalist, what I like best about her is that she has a strong vision for a better Kitchener.
Koswan cares deeply about the environment but she is not a one issue candidate. Her approach is much more rounded in a way that I agree is the best for building community. For example, some of her ideas are:
- Kitchener catching up on putting enough money into parks, greenspaces and trails.
- Holding firm on the protected countryside line in Kitchener’s SW corner.
- Encouraging independent, local, green businesses.
- Building infrastructure to support active and public transportation.
- Urban planning for walkable communities.
I think we can count on her to enhance our quality of life by moving Kitchener in the direction outlined by these ideas. An unsolicited endorsement Brock Stanley – former Director of Planning and General Manager – Kitchener Planning Department demonstrates that she is not simply an idealist but someone who has substance.
Best of all, I love her enthusiastic (but conditional) support of the LRT!
A final reason to support Koswan is that it would mean one more woman on City Council. As I have indicated in other Wards, I would not support someone based solely upon their gender but it would be great to see half of the councillors be women. So strong female candidates must be carefully considered and in this case recommended.