Mayor of Waterloo

The mayoral race in Waterloo is probably the most interesting in the region. None of the candidates are perfect, but none of them are really that terrible either. But I’ve got to pick one, so…

This blog endorses Jan d’Ailly for Mayor of Waterloo

[Jan d'Ailly]

Honestly, I wouldn’t be upset if Brenda Halloran was re-elected. I like how she’s been able to reach out to groups like students and so forth. She’s a good, touchy-feely politician. But I don’t get a sense of substance from her. The pillar of her campaign four years ago was a promise to prevent development on the Waterloo Moraine. It was a promise should couldn’t keep. And she should have known she couldn’t keep it.

Jan d’Ailly is not nearly as touchy-feely as Mayor Halloran, but I feel he’d be a more effective manager. His take on the issues most closely aligns with mine out of the four candidates. He’s the only candidate who sees the long-term need for the LRT, even if it’s politically untenable to go ahead immediately. As councillor for Ward 6 (which encompasses Northdale), I’m not going to claim that Northdale has been expertly handled, but I respect the difficulty in having to deal with bad neighbours (not the students) using a lazy and gullible media to force council to change zoning in order to score a big payout from developers. He didn’t immediately cave to their selfish and disastrous demands. I respect that.

Dale Ross is the only candidate who I categorically would not want to have as mayor. His website headline states why more succinctly than I could: “I believe we need to fix what’s wrong before you can look to the future.” I think that’s a terrible attitude for a leader to have. But as conservative candidates go, he’s no Rob Ford. So there we can be grateful, I suppose.

Franklin Ramsoomair is probably my favourite candidate, even though I’m not going to vote for him (sorry, Franklin). His lawn signs have him rocking some kick-ass shades. His twitter feed is strange and wonderful. He’s a trained hypnotist. His son draws an awesome webcomic. All in all, awesome. But he opposes the LRT, so I’m afraid we’ll have to part company there.

I’d really like to get out to a debate, because I think it’d be fun to watch.

6 thoughts on “Mayor of Waterloo

  1. Deb

    I’d love to have a chance to talk to you in person, Darcy. Please feel free to contact me. Jan has misled you terribly. In 2004 Jan, while on council, approved the SAS Final Report. The city promised the residents of Northdale: 1)proactive zero tolerance enforcement (safety and security of students and homowners alike) 2) a traffic study of Albert Street 3) annual monitoring to see whether the neighbourhood was stable or houses were converting to rentals. We met with him over and over, telling him house after house was converting to rentals, asking him to help us stabilize this race to 100% rental properties. Did he care? No. Instead he repeatedly talked about expropriation – Ellen will not be able to live in her house if that happens. He talked about driving down property values – why? So people who can’t afford houses can buy them in Northdale? Is that fair to seniors in big houses on some of the biggest lots in the city? c) The annual monitoring was not done – they did it once and were supposed to do it two years later, but I recently emailed Brenda asking her if it was done and I got no reply. d) He actually does not believe in proactive zero tolerance enforcement; he sat on Town and Gown while the exact opposite policy was in place – one that a police officer told us was the biggest mistake the city of Waterloo ever made. The city had a warnings only policy which drove homeowners out of the neighbourhood. We had to go past the city of Waterloo and beg for help at the Regional level to get the fair and equal treatment under the law that we get now. Repeatedly we asked him to explain his comments about expropriation – for whom, by whom, to what end? He refused to answer us. (Universities have the authority to expropriate.) Jan was charged with spousal assault. The charge was withdrawn in return for compliance with a peace bond and attending classes on anger mgmt. or spousal abuse or some such thing. I hope you will give more consideration to your support for this man. I too love the lrt and wish Waterloo would move in that direction, but I also understand, particularly with Waterloo’s dire financial state, the hesitance at this time to move forward with it. Finally, I bought my house in here to live in for a very long time. I am not after a cash grab. I have, frankly, been absolutely disgusted with the way the city has treated the seniors in this neighbourhood. They are marginalized in their neighbourhod, were deprived of safety and security in their own homes, the city refuses to give them licenses equal to so many of the properties around them while the city continues to give licenses, the right to dupelx, and variances to convert garages to student rentals to developers and landlords. This is the issue that brought me into this fight. I hope that this clarifies some of the thoughts you have and those of Ryan, whose blog I found through your link, who seems to have closed off comments on his assumption-laden blog. Never mind the lack of rational thinking on property values. I’d welcome a conversation with you, as a opportunity to share facts Jan has clearly left out.

  2. Darcy

    Deb, Maybe.

    Rest assured Jan hasn’t brainwashed me or anything. I formed my opinions of the groups you represent solely based on how they represent themselves in the local media. If anything, Jan talked me down a bit.

    I don’t think he’s a perfect candidate by any means. But I don’t get to pick the perfect candidate. I only get to pick one from a field of four. And I think he edges out Mayor Halloran just a little bit, based on things I think are important. It doesn’t surprise me that you disagree. That’s okay. We each get a vote.

    We could argue about it, but I doubt I’d be able to get you to see my point of view.

  3. Christine

    Darcy,

    Everything Deb said is true. When we bought our house it wasn’t a cash grab. It was the house we bought to live in until we had to go into a nursing home. My husband and I fought as hard as we could to perserve the Northdale Neighbourhood as a diverse residential neighbourhood- a mix of senoirs, students and younger families. The City made us promises and they did not keep them. It wasn’t about money- we just wanted to live in our family home.

    Jan, chair of the finance comittee, voted not to release the funds that Northdale was promised for the neighbourhood’s preservation. The City failed to enforce the zoning, adopted a policy of not charging people for breaking the law from 2000-2007. And the neighbourhood rapidly tipped into its current state. Families failed to move in and developers and landlords bought the houses cheaply off seniors and packed them with students. Many of these houses were duplexed and renovated without building permits. They most certainly do not have licenses. And the senoirs were not paid a fair price in my opinion. Jan played a very big role in the decline of Northdale. He has stalled the process of the Northdale Albert Resident’s Coaltion getting help for the neighbourhood while developers have been making money off the backs of the senoirs. This is immoral. And every politician and City official that played a role in the destruction of Northdale should be ashamed of themselves.

    I understand that you would find the media attention that Northdale has recieved to be offensive. Ryan has suggested that I lied. I did not. What happens here has been accurately depicted by the media. This neighbourhood is a disaster at the moment. And I think you need to think long and hard about your choice for Mayor. Ellen stands to loose a great deal of money on her house if Jan has his way and properties are severely devalued in Northdale. Ellen is simply not safe outside of her house at night in Northdale. I have lost track of how many sexual assaults, beatings, stabbings etc. have happened in Northdale. The most recent potential sexual assault (the woman got away but was hurt) was quite close to Ellen’s house. And I know that our house has been vandalized multiple times here, we have had people trying to break into our house multiple times and we have had our property stolen multiple times. I can’t imagine Ellen has an truly happy existance at her house. Honestly, Jan has been the worst councilor that we have ever had. He would be a disaster as Mayor. Waterloo deserves better. I would be happy to talk to you about the history of Northdale and how we got to where we are anytime.

  4. Deb

    Hi Darcy I only represent one group – the Northdale Albert Residents’ Coalition. We had 66 signatures on our petition to council in 2008 in favour of a land use study. This request to rezone came about after promises from city staff that the zoning was not set in stone and that the annual monitoring would show whether the plan was working or not. Annual monitoring was subsequently not done. We put forward all sorts of ideas to help stabilize this area as a diverse safe neighbourhood, and they were rejected by Jan and the Town and Gown committee. Helping the area did not mean getting rid of students, only seeing that the promises of the 2004 SAS were kept. We fought and fought to see them implemented, but Jan blocked us all the time. That is the truth. I don’t want to debate you, only inform you. You clearly haven’t heard the whole story. I voted for Jan last time, and would never vote for him again. Feel free to contact me. Deb

  5. Christine

    Darcy,

    Whether you like me or not is not relevant.

    The police have been out twice recently going door to door warning people to be careful in Northdale, to lock their doors and windows and not walk alone at night. I have read and heard about too many young women being assaulted in this neighbourhood. Warning people is the best way to prevent more assaults.

    I don’t think you get this- I am not some morally corrupt individual that spends my time trying to fix Northdale to hurt people. What I said about the crime in this neighbourhood is true. Unfortunately, crime is one of the biggest problems Northdale faces. Just like Kingston’s Student area, Northdale has started experiencing the same sort of crimes. People are preying on the population of Northdale. It was a predictable outcome of allowing the situation in Northdale to degrade to its current state.

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