In their own words, candidates tell us a little bit about themselves and where they stand on the issues. A different ward will be featured each evening this week.
Name: Billy Cottrell and yes I still go by Billy. Kurt Vonnegut had the right idea in that regard.
How long have you lived in Guelph? I've lived in Guelph since 1996 after my mother moved us out of subsidized housing in Cambridge.
Occupation: I've worked many jobs in my years here from, a Timmies drive-thru to bars and pubs, a dojo, warehouses and now the night shift at one of Guelph's leading manufacturers.
Do you reside in the ward you are running in? I've lived in various parts of Guelph but always find my way back to the area we know as Ward 2. It's always felt more like home and is where I currently reside.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of the ward? When it comes to the issues facing Guelph, I don't see them as separate issues. Almost every major issue is connected to the next. The affordable housing crisis that has been plaguing Guelph since long before the pandemic, and can be directly linked to the mental health crisis being seen not just in Guelph but all over the province. The over-inflated housing market can also be directly linked to the aforementioned affordable housing market and mental health crisis.
Is Guelph growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough? As Guelph continues to grow it seems completely unsustainable and irresponsible for the city to not address the growing disparity in housing vs. median income. Yet our city representatives voted to raise property taxes, which were passed on to tenants in most cases, and to allocate $67 million for a library project that addresses none of the city's needs. Seeing our city making such out of touch decisions is what led to me throwing my hat in the ring.
Guelph has the potential to continue growing and be a cultural hub. But that doesn't happen if we continue to simply build atop the bones of what made this city great.