We march forward into a bright future

Saturday's Record revealed the "official" election results and, as we've known for a few days, Ward 10 was won by Daniel Glenn-Graham. The MHBPNA would like to thank all candidates for running. All four candidates offered their vision of our great neighbourhood and all put time into lawn signs, web sites, promotional material, meetings and going door to door to meet all of us.

We would also like to thank the candidates for responding to the MHBPNA Blog's questions and thanks to those of you who contacted us and came up with those queries.

So now another term begins and Kitchener will address issues of LRT, Weber Street widening, parks and bike plan, infrastructure decisions, flashing lights at intersections and the many other topics that evolve in a busy city. This BLOG will continue to update everyone as events occur. Please email us if you have story ideas, or questions we can help with.


Mystery and Progress in Duke Street Playground

Neighbours, parents, casual wanderers, gossiping teenagers needing a place to congregate all gasped in astonishment as they wandered through the Duke Street Playground this week. In utter disbelief they said things like "where did it go?" "what is happening here?" "How can this be?"

I have included this picture so everyone can view the "mystery of the disappearing swings". The slide and the cool funnel for throwing balls into are also gone! Oh, the memories.....

The city was contacted about these disturbing events and apparently they are all part of a master plan towards progress and revitalization. The swings are gone for now but will soon reappear at the front of the park where the slide used to be. And at the back of the park, they will be installing a larger play structure of some sort. The work is scheduled to be completed in the next week or two (or prior to Halloween). So come to the park in a couple of weeks and see what has happened. Feel free to do some swinging or climbing.

BTW, if your child lost their jacket, it's hanging from some equipment (see photo).

Now we are just wondering how many more years it will be before they finish paving our street.


Final Questions for our Candidates in Ward 10

The MHBPNA Blog appreciates all the questions submitted by our readers. It is close to election day so hard choices had to be made and we now present the last two questions. Apologies to those whose submissions were not chosen but there is still time to query the candidates directly if you wish.

Here are the two questions for this final round:

Question #1: Kitchener just completed a revision to the Parks Master Plan. What is your position on the various recommendations contained in the new Master Plan pertaining to open space, natural lands, parks and trails?

Question #2: Imagine you are elected to council and serve for four years. What is the ONE major goal or initiative you hope to accomplish in that period?

And here are the responses. Thank you to all our candidates.

Gary Ferguson

Question #1: Kitchener Parks Master Plan.

I support the principles and goals for the Parks Master Plan as listed below particularly Conserving and restoring city natural areas, Strengthening and expanding the community trails network., Enhancing active parkland and fostering growth in outdoor sports and Building and renewing our neighbourhood parks. I did find the section on Engaging and activating the community some somewhat short on specifics.

Question #2: The ONE major goal?

I have many goals to accomplish over the next four years, not just one. If I must choose one it would be a that of a responsive caring representative who would ensure that all decisions are cost effective to the ratepayer.

Denis Pellerin

Question #1: Kitchener Parks Master Plan.

I support the recommendations and added investment into our City’s parks, natural areas and trails. It is clear that residents want to see that investment happen and see improvements be made to our community’s parkland and green spaces. I think the new Parks Strategic Plan moves us in the right direction; more trails and cycle paths, more parks, linking up of existing green spaces and better conservation. It reflects an overall public attitude that I share towards a healthier environment and enhanced quality of life.
The Parks Strategic Plan will be more accessible to future amendments and changes. This is key when thinking about the forecasted population growth of our city and region. The Plan will likely evolve further as that growth takes place and new strategies are considered and implemented. If elected to council, I will ensure the Plan is being reviewed responsibly and that the tax dollars allocated for it are spent effectively and efficiently.

Question #2: The ONE major goal?

There are so many important issues facing our community that need to be considered. However if elected; one major goal would be to continue laying a proper foundation for the projected future growth of our City and region. In the next 25 years, our region is expected to welcome in 200,000 more residents bringing the population to 750,000. Kitchener will see much of this rapid growth. It is essential that this growth is considered, managed and planned for properly. Infrastructure and services will need to be updated and expanded; property development and intensification will increase; community programs will need more funding. These are just a few examples of many factors that will need to be addressed because of the rapid growth. If elected, I will work towards smart, sustainable and cost-effective approaches to ensure our community adapts positively to this growth.

Terry Marr

Question #1: Kitchener Parks Master Plan.

I commend the city on this initiative as I feel that the city needs more parks, green space and natural areas and needs to upgrade many existing parks, however I think the plan falls short in some areas. I believe some of the timelines are too long. One example is the concept of a riverside park (which I believe would be wonderful) but the plan calls for a "vision and concept and implementation program" in 2013. I know a huge project such as this can not be rushed but my feeling is that at that rate a park won't be in place for many, many years from now.

I also feel that unfortunately there are too many projects where the associated costs are vague or non-existant. My concern is that it makes it very difficult to plan and budget when there isn't any dollar figure suggested (even using today's costs would be helpful.)
I am sad to see that protecting Hidden Valley was not a priority.
I am glad to see that the city has included performance measurement in the plan so that the work can be properly evaluated

Question #2: The ONE major goal?

It's VERY difficult to narrow my goals down to one but since I have to choose... If I am fortunate enough to be elected, I would be very pleased if at the end of my four-year term I had met with everyone in the ward who wanted to meet with me during my proposed kitchen round tables and from those get-togethers residents' ideas or suggestions had been implemented, their complaints had been addressed and at the same time neighbours who did not know each other before had the opportunity to meet each other.

Daniel Glenn-Graham

Question #1: Kitchener Parks Master Plan.

I feel strongly about preserving our existing greenspace and parklands, and the opportunity to improve them with community gardens and playground equipment like climbing walls etc. I have been involved with building and learning about community gardens for two years now, and am impressed with the way it can beautify neighbourhoods and bring people together with only a little money.  It can also help the economically disadvantaged to grow some of their own healthy food as well as teach children about the connection we have to land and food.

I would like to continue a long term investment in the improvement and connection of bike and walking trails, and would be voting to preserve our hard line on development to protect our ecosystem and ensure that growth is done within current city limits.  As a member of the city's growth management committee, I learned a great deal about the importance of preserving our outlying greenspaces and brownfield development of older buildings in the city.

Question #2: The ONE major goal?

Civic engagement that would take the form of inviting suggestions and complaints from the public via a suggestion box, both in email and physical forms in libraries, community centres and the City Hall, plus regular meetings with citizens at the Kitchener Market on Saturdays, plus inviting groups and neighbourhoods to do events and programming on a closed off section of King Street on Friday evening and Saturdays.  It is amazing what volunteers can do with a small amount of support and money to enliven the downtown, which would be good for businesses also.


Several All Candidate Meetings Posted

Check out the Blog's Calendar to view several Candidate meetings for Ward 9, Ward 10 and Regional Council.

For a greater visual treat you can look at this poster prepared by the folks at the Working Centre. Click on the image for a larger view.


Questions of the week for Ward 10 Candidates

Here are responses from our four candidates to the Blog's two questions of the week. We would like to thank all candidates for responding to these questions and we hope to post a couple more before the election. The answers are posted in the order received by the Blog.

First the questions, then the answers:

#1: It has been reported that Kitchener's population is expected to grow by 100,000 in the next 20 years. What is your position on increased residential density in Ward 10 and how larger, multi-story, buildings will affect our neighbourhood? How would you address this issue if elected?

#2: What ONE word would you use to describe Kitchener's relationship with Waterloo?
Daniel Glenn-Graham:
#1 Population Growth
Thanks for the very relevant question that goes to the very fabric of our neighbourhoods.
We need increased density in the core of our city to make it vibrant to live in and for our businesses to thrive, but we should not have buildings in areas surrounding the downtown that are 20 storeys, but more modest 4-8 storeys, stepped back from the street where they are in a neighbourhood around homes.
I support the idea of a mix of housing types, from brownstones to townhomes to low rises.
I am the only candidate running that was part of the city's Growth Management Committee and the concept of complete communities was very powerful to me, being able to reduce reliance on cars by having stores and services and entertainment within walking distance.
I would want to involve neighbourhoods in the decision making process before there is a development, so that people have a say in the density that will be around them and the type of housing.

# 2 Relationship with Waterloo: "friendly"
Gary Ferguson
#1 Population Growth:
I agree with intensification and increased density however the homeowner should come first. While multi storey buildings makes sense it should have an adverse impact on existing residential neighbourhoods.

# 2 Relationship with Waterloo: Cooperative.

Terry Marr:
#1 Population Growth:
Ontario’s Places to Grow policy and the Region’s new Official Plan means that Kitchener must meet specific intensification targets for new development. I agree with the plans as we can not continue to destroy farmland. However, I think the plans will greatly effect Ward 10 and that the development coming to 30-40 Margaret Avenue is an example of what we will see more of in the future. 
I feel very strongly that any new development should fit into the character of the existing neighbourhood and that intensification must be wisely planned and managed so it has a positive impact on the existing neighbourhood, not a negative impact.
I believe it is essential that the plans for any new intensification projects be presented to the surrounding neighbourhood at the beginning of the project so if there are concerns they can be addressed then. I believe if developers, city staff and neighbourhoods work together from the beginning it is more likely that concerns can be addressed co-operatively.

#2: Relationship with Waterloo:  Cordial
Denis Pelerin
#1: Population Growth: 

I believe that the projected growth is more in line with an additional 200,000 to 250,000 people which some developers have told me that this may in fact be a conservative number. Densification which is a directive from the various levels of government is seen as being focused mainly in the corridor areas of the cities of the Region. We have many prime locations in the Kitchener core available for development that will handle this growth. One example is the redevelopment of the properties at King and Louisa. Here the COA have approved minor variance changes to permit a multi storey build with underground parking. This is where I see the development of tall buildings happen. I see very little impact to our area as it will be build-centric to main arterial areas and not in the residential areas. Being assured that we permit development of this type in areas that will have minimal impact on our residential areas is my goal. The option of not welcoming growth and development is regressive in nature.

#2: Relationship with Waterloo:  Effervescent