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MEET WARD 4 CANDIDATE ... Brendan Clark

In their own words, candidates tell us a little bit about themselves and where they stand on the issues
Screenshot 2022-09-15 4.16.21 PM
Brendan Clark, seen here with his fiancee and two children, is running for a seat on Guelph city council in Ward 4.

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: Brendan Clark

Occupation: Co-owner with my fiancee of a design/build construction company and real estate agent

How long have you lived in Guelph? 28 years.

Do you reside in the ward you are running in? Yes.

Why are you running in this election? Our current councillors promised affordability four years ago, and then went on to vote in favour of a $67-million library, when many residents were living paycheck to paycheck just trying to pay their bills.

There is little to no proactive engagement in Ward 4, and residents are left feeling a lack of representation at city hall.

We believe this needs to be changed.

What qualifies you to represent your ward? I have lived here since 2000. I grew up here with three younger brothers, and now live here with my fiancee and two young boys (three-years-old and three-weeks-old).

We want to see more of a safe, community feel in the west end, along with connections to the rest of the Guelph community.

Having lived here so long we've seen the good, the bad and the ugly and want to see the west-end thriving again.

Why should people vote for you?

I will work extremely hard to make sure Guelph, and specifically Ward 4, are affordable and safe for everyone.

I will make the tough decisions, working to proactively engage residents of Ward 4 to find a balance between getting important issues dealt with and funded, while remaining fiscally responsible.

What do you see as the main issues facing residents of the ward?

We would love to see work done with developers to finally develop the land beside Costco and between Zehrs and the rec centre.

More park land, shopping, restaurants and a splash pad are all things we are desperately lacking in the west end. Working to connect the trail system to the west end, and making transit more efficient from the west end to the rest of the city are key as well.

We should not have to drive, or take long bus rides to enjoy the nice trail systems Guelph has throughout the rest of the city.

What do you see as the main issues facing residents of Guelph on a broader scale?

  • Affordability: Our current council has shown no regard for the ever increasing property taxes and affordability crisis in the city.
  • Safety: Crime in this city has become a real issue, and the root of the problem needs to be addressed.
  • Lack of a second hospital: We need a council that will advocate strongly to upper levels of government to fix this. We can not be demanded by the provincial government to grow by 40,000 people, when our hospital can not handle our current population as is.

What is the most important thing you want to see changed in Guelph?

Affordability. We need a council that will make the tough decisions on what we can and can not afford to do. The easy thing to do is to just keep spending. The right thing to do is to spend efficiently and ensure our residents can continue to afford to live in our great city for years to come.

What services need to be improved in Guelph?

Transit in Guelph, especially for west end residents, is broken. We too often see buses running empty while routes that could use greater support are left unfunded.

Access to information. It is not easy for residents to find where their hard earned tax dollars are being spent. Councillors should be working hard to provide residents easy to find updates, and what is going on in their community and where tax dollars are being spent.

Is Guelph growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough? Simply put, without a second hospital Guelph is growing too fast.

We need to find the balance between affordability and growing recklessly. With my background in real estate and construction, I believe I will be a strong asset on council in creating smart, sustainable development that allows Guelph to maintain the feel many of us love while ensuring that we can still afford to live here.

What can be done at the local level about the rising cost of housing? Less red tape. We need to work with not just developers but home owners, to add new dwelling units for people to rent and buy.

Streamlining the process for accessory dwelling units and basement apartments is a key way we can tackle this at a municipal level. Having gone through the process multiple times, I am confident that I can work with staff to streamline this process and create more legal dwelling units, thus making housing more affordable.

What can be done locally about the homelessness issue? Continuing to support the county to fund addictions and mental health centres is key to helping people stabilize their lives and reducing homelessness. Working with private companies to co-fund these initiatives will be key moving forward to ensure that we have the funds to support these programs as well.

How do we make Guelph an even better city to live in? Engaging residents, and finding out what they want is the most important way we can make our city better.

Too often, council has voted based on what they want to see, while forgetting that they have been elected to represent their constituents' wants and needs. Community engagement, information sharing and fiscal responsibility is what I will bring to make this city great.

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