As a 38-year resident of Aurora, I have seen much. I married my wife Eileen who is a lifelong resident of this community and we have raised our family in the same home in the Town Park area in Ward 1. Both of us are proud of these deep Aurora roots.
Most of my professional life has been spent as Professor in various faculties at Seneca College; the last 10 years prior to retirement in 2015 at King Campus in Applied Health Sciences. This academic experience allowed me to work locally, provincially, nationally and internationally in sport administration, organization and delivery. It exposed me to various cultures, values and operations elsewhere. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with people with different needs, skills and who had varying resources and learned from those experiences. They are invaluable assets when considering the Council position I seek.
But my ‘avocation’ as a community-builder has been the most personally rewarding part of my life. Support from family and friends has allowed me to expand my interests and serve the community. I am not unlike many Aurora residents who extend themselves beyond their professional lives and pursue those activities that are personally meaningful for them and their families. Whether they are involved in the arts, culture, recreation, faith or numerous other community services, I value their contribution and the ‘human capital’ they give to our community. I am proud to have worked in the volunteer and not-for-profit sectors for three decades and have been directly involved in successes that bring people, resources and expertise together for community benefit. As a community-builder I have worked with numerous local non-profits and charities to help them identify strategies to exceed expectations of their stakeholders. Founding successful service organizations such a Sport Aurora and the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame has provided rewarding unique Aurora experiences, learning from and helping other leaders and volunteers. Creating programs such as Activate Aurora and our unique All Kids Can Play Program are just two examples of program design and management that required the relationship-building needed for success from a variety of sectors. Participating in Town Advisory Committees to advance the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, the Sport Plan and various other focus groups led to improvements and community benefit that continues. I value people and know the power of advocacy and commitment that motivated volunteers bring to every community. I support each one and will so at Council to ensure that this human capital is harnessed to make Aurora a better place to live, work and play.
As an experienced grant-writer I have secured over $1.3 million of provincial and local grants for Aurora and have procured sponsorships to sustain all not-for-profit start-ups that have become valued additions to our community. Non-Profits and Charities are businesses after all and need sustainable revenue to do their good work. If you work with one, or benefit from one, you know the impact they create in the community and the importance of support.
The Ward system being introduced in the 2022 election is an opportunity to truly collaborate and manage the unique issues that matter in each Ward. However, it requires leadership, commitment and drive to accomplish goals and I look forward to the opportunity to work with my friends and residents in Ward 1 who face numerous challenges and opportunities. It is critical that the lives and livelihoods of residents are preserved while encouraging progress in this culturally sensitive and historically significant part of Aurora. I am committed to providing that leadership and being an advocate for Ward 1.
Vote for preservation of our lifestyles and progress in our goals. I value what matters to Ward 1 residents and ask that you let me serve.
Running for office often results in promises to attract votes. It leads to cynicism and mistrust when they are not met.
Mine are simple…
A promise made is a debt unpaid.
I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.
Every promise I make is a bond, not a slogan.
I will not stop until the job is done.
Town Council is forever dealing with competing options in almost every issue that comes before them. Managing these options is a difficult task but is made easier when principled decision-making is used. For this to occur there needs to be a framework in place that is relied upon to make those decisions.
Here are mine:
As a long-time volunteer and one who develops community deliverables, valuing and respecting the contribution of knowledgeable and committed people is critical for success. This takes some time and patience, but the outcomes are always better when stakeholders are consulted, and their positions valued. Residents who join organizations are committed and the human capital they provide is almost immeasurable. You can count on me to listen and value the contribution of people and respect their lived-experiences and support talented, skilled, and motivated volunteers.
Every resident in Ward 1 chose to live here for a reason, indeed all Aurora residents. Those reasons matter personally and deeply to each. Preservation of the assets they own and the lifestyle they have built is important. I can be counted on to use ethical principles to support the preservation of the resident interests in this Ward. Numerous issues are present in this Ward and respecting the rights of residents is critical for Ward progress.
My wife remembers playing tennis on the streets out front of her house on Wellington. Those days are gone. Replacing them are pressures of growth that have been imposed by the provincial government and of course the influx of talented and industrious residents to this community because it is a great place to live work and play. Progress is defined however as a forward movement to a defined goal. Without the defined goal there is no real progress. It can be chaotic. Count on me to help our residents build their goals and target progress; achieving gradual betterment for the Ward.
Vision is important beyond the borders of Ward 1. Issues will arise that are important for the future of the Town and to all residents. Too often decisions are made that have a four-year term when forward and long-term thinking is better for the community. For Aurora to build for the future, issues such as affordable housing, food insecurity and employment opportunities need to be addressed and lead by those with principles and vision so our children and grandchildren have Aurora as a place to live, work and play. Fiscal responsibility is important. Aurora was the only Town in York Region this past year to raise taxes when fiscal restraint was accepted everywhere else. Not acceptable. Finally, Diversity Equity and Inclusion is not just a catch-phrase but something that has to underpin all governance. We become a quality community only when all opinions attitudes and abilities are represented.