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Oshawa votes 2018: Ward 4

The Oshawa Express continues its in-depth coverage leading up to election day with a look at the candidates in Ward Four and will follow with coverage in consecutive order of wards during the weeks to come. We have reached out to all candidates and asked them what they see as the main issues in their ward. We will continue through the city’s five wards mapped out in the system approved last year, then move onto candidates for mayor and regional chair and CEO.

REGIONAL CANDIDATES

Rick Kerr

Profession: City councillor, Oshawa (former professor at Durham College)

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

Ward 4: Revitalization and development of our downtown.

The following are all linked in the solution to the issue: housing issues, social service agencies’ location and relative effectiveness, “Feet On The Street” (needed increase in permanent residents downtown), branding/development of the downtown as an ACE Hub (Art, Culture, Entertainment) to create an attractive quality of life for potential new residents of all ages and income levels, opening of the GO station, development of office buildings to draw new jobs, creation of effective and additional parking solutions, creation of effective and additional parking solutions, opening at least one or more grocery stores for walk-in business for downtown residents.

I have a detailed plan for all of this on my election website. Please visit:  ElectRickKerr.ca

This plan has been developed through consultation with both residents and City Staff.

I look forward to helping you make this happen.

Thank you, Rick

 

Doug Sanders

Profession: City and regional councillor for the City of Oshawa

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

I’m running in this election to continue the changes (improvements, growth, attracting jobs and investments). I want to advocate for improvements for tenants and to improve processes to eliminate red tape for residents.

One issue is our downtown. It has changed over the last seven years. As the council representative, I have been part of these changes.  Currently there is over $120 million being invested for businesses, jobs and residential housing. I would continue with Plan 20/20, streetscapes, widening of sidewalks, beautification, arts, culture and heritage. By listening to others and having common goals/vision, we will change our city for the better.

Second issue is housing, there are many developments going on in Ward 4 for seniors, students and families. I would continue to support the development of residential growth for safer, accessible and affordable housing for all.

 

LOCAL CANDIDATES

Derek Giberson

Profession: Music industry professional

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

In Ward 4, the main issue is the number of people in and around the downtown struggling with socioeconomic marginalization, including the highest rates of urban poverty and mental health and addictions issues in the entire Durham Region. We need to develop a cohesive community strategy with all levels of government and stakeholders to improve the lives of people in this area, and my experience in and knowledge of the non-profit housing sector as vice-president of Parkview Place and my work with the marginalized as Back Door Mission president give me the resources to provide positive leadership in moving the community forward on this issue. Our downtown can be improved without dehumanizing and displacing people who need the support of the community, and I know that we can work together to make health, dignity, and stability the outcomes for people here.

 

Michael Goodmurphy

Profession: Youth counsellor

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

Revitalization of the Downtown.  Continue to invest and support projects that will enhance the downtown, and bring more businesses and investors to the downtown.  We currently have many great shops, unique restaurants, and entertainment venues in the core.  We should also encourage many more events in the downtown.  Festivals, Public Markets etc.  This would also encourage more foot traffic downtown and people can get out enjoy all the downtown has to offer.

Growth & Prosperity in the downtown although a great vision for the city, would have to be done responsibly over a period of time.  Being fiscally responsible and transparent to the taxpayer, with ongoing input from the community.  We are off to a great, and if elected I would continue to support this vision that is responsible and accountable to the taxpayers.

 

Catherine Hawthorn

Profession: I have owned my own business for 18 years (Framing Dames Gallery)

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

Oshawa’s downtown is a shell of what it could become. Businesses are the heart and soul of the downtown area and need to be taken care of, protected, and new businesses to be attracted downtown. The placement of beautiful light standards, amazing planters are the start of looking forward and growing downtown. The Oshawa BIA is a strong innovative organization, and needs to be commended for their progressive, innovative methods of attracting community involvement and participation. With the support of a strong City Council, we can achieve a progressive, vibrant downtown where people want to work, shop and play.

 

Elizabeth Jamischak

Profession: I’ve held several positions concurrently recently which include Operations & Business Development Manager for a process improvement consulting firm, event coordinator, private music teacher and a graphic designer.

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

I believe Oshawa is at a critical, and exciting, point in its development as a world class city.  This is the reason that I am asking to serve Oshawa as a City Councilor to help move us to the next level in our growth by building upon our solid foundation to also become recognized as a cultural and innovative hub. By expanding the reputation and profile of our city we will attract new businesses, encourage residents to work here instead of commuting, spend their entertainment dollars here and provide opportunities for graduates to invest their skills here – all of which will significantly add to the economic growth within our borders and provide more resources to improve and expand services to all residents.

 

 

Matthew Kotsopoulos

Profession: Facility supervisor within the City of Oshawa which I am on a leave of absence for during the election season.

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

The two main issues in Ward 4 to my belief is one, affordable housing. People are struggling to find adequate housing in this city and I believe the city needs to work with the region to help fix this issue. To do so we need another committee to work with all outside agencies to tackle this issue.

Secondly is our parks. They need to be modernized for today instead of the being dated past 20 or more years of age. We need to get the drugs out of our parks (this includes needles). Our parks need to be a place to enjoy and not a place to be fearful of.

 

Greg Milosh

Profession: Currently retired, previously worked for 32 years including 25 years at Durham College as purchasing manager

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

There are a variety of issues in Ward 4.

Some of them are specific to Ward 4 and others are a city-wide problem.

The downtown area needs massive redevelopment which requires investment by private enterprise and by public-private-partnership‘s.

There is also a worsening safety(fire)concern pertaining to the downtown area because of the age of the buildings.

There is also a problem with the level of homeless and addicted which must be seriously addressed.

In my opinion, the most overriding issue not only in Ward 4 but thought the city is the level of property taxation which disproportionately relies on residential property taxation and inadequately on commercial and business property taxation.  The obvious solution to this imbalance is a concerted effort by the City and Region to attract more industrial/commercial business thereby shifting more of the property tax burden to business.

 

Dave Thompson

Profession: Retired

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

I want to effect changes in the Ward 4 district, namely Policing for downtown Oshawa and a Fire master plan. Since I reside downtown, I am concerned about the downtown Urban Growth Centre. I support development, but am opposed to Ritson and Richmond developments that would affect local residents negatively. Being the only candidate that has been previously elected, my experience would be of significant asset to council.

– Policing, Cops on Blocks. My plan would include the Tavis System for Ward 4, downtown core, to deal with crime and the homeless. In Ward 4 we have St. Vincent’s Kitchen, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Social Services, and Cornerstone living facility. And now, a second methadone clinic downtown. It is my position to demand that the other Wards step up to the plate.

– Urban Growth. Supporting developments that are on the horizon, and supporting our Parks Department Plan, specifically at Rotary Park and Glen Stuart Park. I would be open to hearing from all residents who support or negate my goals.

 

Chris Topple

Profession: Ontario Paralegal Conduct appeals at governmental tribunals for injured workers

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

In my view the main issue in Ward 4 is economic development.  The ward contains the Oshawa Centre and the downtown, and has main roads as King, Bond, Stevenson, Simcoe and Ritson.

Oshawa has one of the highest property and business taxes in the GTA.  This burdens property owners and businesses, and combined with very high electricity prices, causes people to have to choose between paying their bills or buying food and medicine, and causes some businesses to not locate in Oshawa, or close down.  Oshawa has a reputation of being difficult on new businesses, and more needs to be done.  We also have a serious homeless crisis due to several factors including federal immigration policies causing a dominos effect on homeless shelters from city to city, with a federal carbon tax pending.  We must lift the burdens on people’s finances and work together to bring relief.  I pledge that.

 

Mark Logan

Profession: President/owner of Avalex Housewares Sales Limited

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

Thirty years in sales and marketing at the executive level for well-known international brand companies positions me as the right candidate at the right time for Oshawa.

Our city needs the investment that new and existing businesses provide. You need councillors who can find investors.

There have been improvements to the downtown core, but not nearly enough to successfully market and sell our city. Otherwise attracting new businesses will be a much greater challenge.

Business investment is the catalyst to reducing homeowners’ tax burden. Our workforce gets long-term opportunities. Oshawa-based businesses reduce our dependence on commuting. Graduates of Durham, Trent and UOIT have the option of living and working within our community. There is a stimulus for new, affordable housing for all income levels. And just as importantly, our obligation to the less fortunate can be sustained, a must in an inclusive and caring community like Oshawa.

 

Editor’s note: The Oshawa Express extended its invitation to all candidates in Ward 4. Local candidate Clayton Paterson did not respond to The Oshawa Express’ request by our press deadline.