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.

8 thoughts on “My recommendation for Ward 7

  1. I had figured Ward 7 was a two-horse race between Iannidis and Smola and hadn’t really considered Koswan as much of a candidate. My friend said she seemed too “green” for City Hall. I feel Smola is a good candidate and like his idea of eliminating the two-tier government (regional and city councillors). However, my wife and I are turned off of him because of his child support fiasco. If he can’t take care of his own family how can he take care of my ward? I had considered voting for Iannidis. If Susan Koswan lives in Ward 7 I will give her some serious thought. I feel it is important that a candidate lives in the ward in which they are running. I know you feel differently, but I respect your opinion.

  2. According to what I’ve been able to determine, Koswan lives in Ward 7 so please take a closer look.

    By the way, I agree with Smola on the issue you highlighted but unless there’s new leadership in Cambridge, it’s not even going to be considered over the next four years which is why I suggest we look first at the advantages and disadvantages of merging with Waterloo.

  3. Thanks for the site James and for your insight.

    Unfortunately as I watch the debate between these candidates (on my PVR from earlier this morning) I’m highly disappointed in Koswan’s response to the FIRST question asked. The question posed was about property taxes and her reply was to laugh and say she needed to do further research. …Susan, this was your prime opportunity to speak to the voters of Ward 7: exactly what questions/issues were you preparing for? I can’t confidently vote for someone to represent my family and my neighbourhood over the next 4 years who couldn’t muster a valid response (even one on the fly) to what I consider to be a reasonable question.

    On a separate note; I appreciate the level of respective shown by Koswan, Ioannidis and Windley in response to the question about child support. However I have to agree with your other reader about the decision note to vote for Smola because of this.

    It’s easy enough to read the candidates’ websites and promotional material, but I think that information like you’ve posted here on your blog helps fill in the big picture about who the candidates really are, and in turn, helps voters like myself make an informed decision on Oct. 26th. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks Andrea! I did not see that debate but you make a good point and have identified a cause for concern. However I won’t change my recommendation based upon that one response especially considering that there are 10 other votes around the table. I expect Kitchener to be in good hands financially.

      I’m pleased that you have found value in the attention I have placed on the election through this blog and the opportunity provided for people to engage in a conversation on the issues. You’re welcome!

    2. To Andrea:
      If I may, I’d like to address your concerns about my response to the tax question during the Rogers debate. I was nervous, plain and simple, and I blanked. Nervous laugh. Worst nightmare happened and then it was time to move on. The wording of the question was weird and threw me. One of my goals is to work within the budget. As so eloquently expressed by Greg Degroot-Magetti in The Record a few days ago, we do receive a tremendous number of services for a relatively small percentage of our income. I also don’t think any candidate can honestly promise you not to raise taxes.

      1. Thanks Susan for sharing your position on responsible use of our tax dollars. The DeGroot-Magetti column was great!

        I had expected that your response in the TV debate was the result of nerves. Many candidates seem to be nervous from what I saw.

      2. Hi Susan – I wanted to let you know that I did have a chance to read your post prior to yesterday’s election …. I just didn’t get a chance to respond.
        I did, however, want to thank you for taking the time to reply. I appreciate that you care enough about people’s concerns to do so. And although you were not the chosen candidate for Ward 7, I’m sure we’ll be seeing/hearing more from you within the community; your voice to support and fight for a sustainable, green community is an important one and I thank you for that.

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