Candidates set sights on Ward 2 council seat
For the upcoming City of Waterloo council election — set to occur in October — many new faces will be popping up on ballot sheets.
Most recently, Ward 2, currently held by long-time councillor Karen Scian, is up for grabs.
Ward 2 is bounded on the west and north by the city boundary, on the east by centre lines on Roy Schmidt Road and Beaver Creek Road, Laurelwood Drive, Fischer-Hallman Road, Columbia Street West, Erbsville Road and Ira Needles Boulevard. It’s also connected south by the centre line of Erb Street West.
Ward 2 has been frequently been referred to as Waterloo’s fastest growing ward in the city. It encompasses numerous subdivisions, schools, and developing neighbourhoods.
And for Helen Kaluzny, Janice Moore and Hardy Willms, the opportunity is too great to pass up.
The Cord spoke to the three councillor hopefuls and asked them to outline their life before election, platform and reasons why they stand out.
Helen Kaluzny has lived in Waterloo for 15 years — all of them in Ward 2.
“All of the things that I’ve done since we moved in Waterloo has been getting out and volunteering in the community,” she said.
Kaluzny has been president of her neighbourhood’s association, where she also sat on the umbrella association called the community council for a number of years.
Currently, Kaluzny resides on the board of the Waterloo Public Library.
“So for me this sort of seems like the next logical step,” she said when asked about why she was running for council.
Some of her major platform points are traffic-related, namely the widening of Ira Needles.
“We have a large subdivision going on there and I really want to make sure that all of those issues are addressed at city council.”
What separates Kaluzny from her competitors is a journalistic perspective; she had previously worked for Rogers television and also holds a degree in broadcast journalism for Mohawk College.
“Having been a journalist, I have been around politics for a huge chunk of my career,” she said.
“You see a sense of things that are done and where people make mistakes.”
For Janice Moore, a retired chartered accountant, the prospect of being in a chaired position is not something new.
Currently the president of the Kitchener-Waterloo Diving Club, Moore also served as the president of Dive Ontario for a number of years.
For her, she sees a connection between recreation and leisure and its upmost importance to the community.
“I want to continue that work,” she said. “I think [rec and leisure] needs to have involvement from council, staff and citizens all working together.”
“I want to see that communication in the whole city.”
A large item that Moore wants to convey in her platform is the emphasis to expand Waterloo’s arts, culture and sports.
She wants to make sure that locals experience the great variety available in the city.
“I’d also really like to see more students stay here,” she said. “I feel like a lot of students go away when we have great post-secondary programs here.”
Looking ahead to a summer filled with lots of campaigning, Moore has no problem going door-to-door and introducing herself to the community.
Her biggest asset? “I listen,” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to doing that in council.”
Life-long resident of Waterloo, Hardy Willms has a skill that would definitely be of use in city council — finance.
Willms currently works as an international finance director for a local distribution company and wants to bring his expertise to city council. He also sits on the board for Waterloo Minor Hockey and has been the chairman for Parkwood Mennonite Homes for a total of eight years.
“I want to make sure that we have a strong voice at city hall for all of the changes that are going to be happening,” he said. “Currently when I look at the current council there doesn’t seem to be anybody there with financial backgrounds.”
Willms told The Cord that the city has been increasing local taxes at a rate that surpasses the cost of inflation.
“And that just isn’t sustainable,” he said.
Willms would like Waterloo to become more focused on its finances, namely budgeting.
He explained that increased taxes inevitably affect students in the area, as landlords will have to increase rent prices if they are subject housing and property taxes.
“Just understanding how the government works, I think my financial background would be important,” he said.
“I know how finance work and I know where we can look for savings.”