Collingwood council candidate, Ian Chadwick, would like to encourage more input from residents if he’s elected as a councillor for the next term.
One of the key parts of a councillor’s, Chadwick said, is getting the public involved.
“Council’s role is to guide the community,” he said. “A councillor’s role is also to listen to, and engage the public.”
To fulfil that role, Chadwick wants to establish public advisory committees tasked with informing council in specific areas such as parks and recreation, drinking water, and economic development.
He’d also like to see more communication from the town that isn’t via the internet or town website. He said there should be more resident information sent out with water and electricity bills, which are currently sent by Epcor.
Chadwick served three terms on Collingwood council between 2003 and 2014. He ran for councillor, then deputy mayor, in the 2014 and 2018 elections but was not elected.
He worked at the Enterprise Bulletin, was the owner of the local UPS Store, and was a communications coordinator for the Ontario Municipal Water Association. He is currently a freelance consultant in communications, public relations and media.
Chadwick is a blogger and often posts highly critical opinions about municipal council decisions, meetings, and personalities. He prefers to classify his blogs as “outspoken.”
“I’ve kept a close watch on [council],” said Chadwick. “I watch all of the council meetings on video … I read the agendas … I’m not engaged in politics in the sense that I’m not participating in politics, but I am paying attention to it.”
He plans to keep blogging on local political matters if elected. However, if he’s in office, he said he will stick to council’s code of conduct, but still wants to share his opinions.
Chadwick views housing as the most difficult issue facing council in the next term.
“Housing is difficult because the municipality does not have a lot of the legislative tools it needs to make developers do things, but there are some things we can do to help encourage it,” said Chadwick. “You can’t bonus anybody, but maybe we can look at rental properties or reducing or deferring the development charges for rental properties, such as apartment buildings.”
He also said he’d like the town “look seriously” into tiny houses, but not to build them. Instead, he suggests the town partner with a developer for planning and financing tiny home construction.
“I think there would be a lot more public support for, say, a tiny home development inside a subdivision than there would be for an affordable housing development,” said Chadwick. “We have to do something … we don’t want just people who can afford to buy the current range of single-family dwellings.”
Over the next term, Chadwick said he’d push for more emphasis and money in infrastructure for maintenance and improvements.
“That includes a wide range of things, including some of the roads in some of the areas that are in really bad condition,” he said.
He also included traffic calming in his wishlist for infrastructure improvements.
“Collingwood was designed in the 1850s on a grid system that didn’t predict having 25,00 people here … so a lot of the streets are not designed for the volume,” said Chadwick. “We have to look backwards and say, ‘OK, this was designed for that, how can we make sure it stays that way?’”
The former councillor who has campaigned in every local election for two decades said his motivation “comes down to a basic thing.”
“I’m doing this because I care,” said Chadwick. “If you’ve got a council full of people who care, even if you don’t agree with them, it makes a huge difference.”
This is Chadwick’s sixth election campaign in Collingwood.
There are 12 candidates running for the seven available councillor seats for Collingwood in the 2022 municipal election taking place Oct. 24. The candidates include: Chris Baines, Steve Berman, Ian Chadwick, George Dickenson, Deb Doherty, Cam Ecclestone, Brandon Houston, Kathy Jeffery, Steve Johns, Steve Perry, Chris Potts, and Rob Ring.
You can find out if you’re on the voter list by visiting the town website here.
Advance voting starts Oct. 8 with internet or paper ballot voting options available. You can vote at the library in-person starting Oct. 8, or online anytime after Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. Library voting will take place Saturday and Wednesday, Oct. 8-22 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Voting will close on election day, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m.