Welland Pelham Chamber of Commerce organized an all-candidate meet and greet on September 24th at Club Richilieu.
On September 24th I, along with fellow-candidates had the pleasure of participating in an all-candidate meet and greet organized by the Welland Pelham Chamber of Commerce. The event took place at Club Richilieu with tables set out for each of the wards, regional council, the mayoral race and the school board candidates. It was a great opportunity to meet with local residents in Welland and also chat with the other candidates and existing elected officials.
I was a little dismayed at
- not all candidates attended,
- the event was also not well attended by local Wellanders looking to find out more about the candidates looking to represent them, and
- the lack of willingness for some candidates to talk to other candidates.
I get it is a competition among candidates, but isn't it really about the welfare of our City and its citizens. What good will a cold shoulder do now, and should it continue if elected - well, that will serve no good at all. Why did not all candidates attend, I can only speculate... Why the lack of attendance by Wellanders -- I think it boiled down to not enough people knew about the event. Many I spoke with had only heard about it the day of the event.
That being said, for those who did attend, it allowed them the opportunity to meet with the candidates for their ward, the mayoral race, school boards and those hoping to represent the City of Welland at the Regional Council.
In the past few weeks, I have noticed a definite increase in the number of people requesting information of me, submitting their problems and concerns and asking for a one-on-one. I am only too happy to respond. I have met some great people, and have been made aware of problems I have been working diligently to get answers for.
I have had emails from a few 'first-time' voters really doing their homework before voting for the first time. It is fascinating the types of questions asked. A friend brought his daughter out to the all candidates meeting Monday as she is one of those first-time voters. Her father commented that while she listened intently to what each of the candidates in her ward had to say, she was more concerned with how they spoke to her and treated her as a 'young' person. It is factors like these that play a role in the decision making of voters. It isn't always about 'the issues'.
The Change Movement
I have heard from others they are not satisfied with the existing council and will not be voting for any of the incumbents with the exception of the Mayor, Frank Campion. Most feel he is doing a good job and will continue to support him.
Will the 'change movement' that has taken place in the Ontario elections this year be reflected in the municipal elections?
It appears people everywhere are ready for change, but the real question is will those who want change actually come out and vote to effect that change? In the 2014 municipal election only 35.8% of the eligible voters voiced their opinion by voting -- and we had a strong mayoral race at that time. For Ward 2 in 2014, we had the strongest showing of voters at 40.1% was it because this ward had 10 candidates running or because it is one of the highest density wards in the City - I am not an analyst, so it is hard to say... The only other ward at the time with 10 candidates was Ward 3 having a 35.8% voter turnout.
I hope to encourage many more to vote in this election, after all it is your vote that puts your elected officials in the positions they seek.
This election in Ward 2, we only have 5 seeking the position of Councillor:
- Serge Daoust
- Myself - Debi Katsmar
- David Macleod
- Brad Ulch
- Leo Van Vliet
With two incumbents running, it will be a tough race, but ultimately the residents of Ward 2 will determine the outcome.
I look forward to meeting as many residents as I can get to throughout this campaign. You can learn about my platform here, and please reach out, if I have not spoken with you yet. I will be happy to discuss how I can help you and help 'make it happen today for a better Welland tomorrow'.
I can be reached at:
My Office: 905-734-8273
My Cell: 905-321-5097
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Voter information can be found at www.welland.ca/elections.
Photo Caption: Debi Katsmar exchanging literature with incumbent, David McLeod at the Meet the Candidate Night on October 24th.
Photo Credit: Andy Harris www.lev8.ca