Jeff knows leaders work best when they work with others. As only one vote on Council, Jeff has had to build consensus and support among his colleagues for decisions that strengthen our city. And since a city is only as strong as the community behind it, Jeff believes in working with residents and neighbourhoods to build a vision for the community we want and to find the right support to make it happen.
There is still much to do. Jeff will work hard to make sure every resident can contact city hall and receive seamless and helpful service. He will also work to develop a realistic and sustainable plan to address the enormous infrastructure challenges that Waterloo, like other Canadian cities, is facing for the coming decades.
Jeff lives in Ward 6 with his wife, Kate. He has a long history of community service in Waterloo. Most recently, as president, he guided our local Canadian Mental Health Association branch through a merger with another organisation to provide better service for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
Jeff would be honoured to continue to serve Ward 6 in this vital role. As always, Jeff wants to hear from you.
Over the last four years, Jeff has worked hard to support neighbourhoods across Ward 6 and strengthen the City of Waterloo. Jeff’s accomplishments include:
Making neighbourhood solutions a reality in Beechwood
Jeff has secured City support for Beechwood homes associations to implement their plans for safety and fiscal sustainability at their local neighbourhood facilities.
Many of the neighbourhoods in Ward 6 have had covenants covering their neighbourhoods that have recently expired or will expire in the coming years. Residents and community leaders have been working to find the right solutions for their own neighbourhoods to preserve community facilities, like pools and tennis courts, that were funded by these covenants. Beechwood II and Beechwood South have been able to implement special levies with overwhelming support from their communities and support from the City.
Some associations have also been dealing with safety issues due to parking problems near their facilities. Jeff worked with the neighbourhoods and the City to implement parking restrictions to support safety in Beechwood North and Beechwood Park.
Finding a way forward in Northdale
Jeff has worked with residents and stakeholders to design, approve, and execute a new plan for Northdale, a neighbourhood that has been facing enormous challenges associated with rapid growth and demographic change. The plan is already creating a greater diversity of housing types and sizes as well as bringing cafes and offices into the neighbourhood.
Protecting neighbourhoods and renters across Waterloo
Jeff fought for the needs of neighbourhoods and the safety of renters as the city brought in an updated rental housing licensing by-law.
More than three thousand applications have been received under the program so far. Licensed properties have property maintenance and parking plans as well as a local contact the City can call whenever there is an issue. Crucially, in the first year of the program, about 80% of properties failed their initial Electrical Safety Authority inspection, which were corrected before licenses were approved. The bylaw and licensing program helps to ensure that renters can live safely in their homes without fear that their property is dangerous for them and their families.
Jeff has also brought staff and neighbours together in living room meetings across the ward, helping the city work hand in hand with neighbourhoods to ensure compliance with the bylaw.
Reorganising City Hall for efficiency and effectiveness
Jeff has supported a successful reorganization of staff at City Hall. The reorganization has reduced seven departments to three, and positioned Waterloo to meet new challenges more efficiently and effectively with the same resources. This is allowing the City to work with businesses to retain in and attract jobs to Waterloo, communicate better with residents, develop a heritage plan to balance our past with future growth, prepare to manage the impacts of the Region’s LRT project, and provide the leadership our community expects of us on the environment.
Keeping tax increases low
Jeff has voted to keep tax increases low. During Jeff’s term, Waterloo’s tax increases have been lower on average than its neighbours’ in Kitchener, Cambridge, and the Region, and generally in line with CPI-X, the Bank of Canada’s core inflation index. The city has also published an annual report and a financial dashboard, making it easier for residents to see our strengthening financial position and our key accomplishments.
Protecting our environment
Jeff has voted for taking action on climate change. Local councils agreed to set a 6% community greenhouse gas reduction target, for which the City of Waterloo has already accomplished its part and will accomplish even more by changing its operations.
Jeff supported storm water rebates for residents and businesses who take action to reduce storm runoff and the creation of a new fund to help clean up after unusual storm events.
Improving public transit, walking, and cycling
A transit user himself, Jeff served as the City of Waterloo Council representative on the Region’s Transit Service Improvement committee. He has worked with the City and the Region to improve transit service across the city, and ensure that on-the-ground needs of transit users are being met. This includes two new express bus routes that connect the west side with the universities, major commercial centres, and RIM Park.
Jeff also voted to support the City’s first Transportation Master Plan. The plan includes a new “complete streets” philosophy so that all road users are considered when roads are rebuilt. He also supported allocating funding to expand and connect Waterloo’s on- and off-road cycling network.
Building a more inclusive Waterloo
Jeff has worked hard to make it easier for everyone to participate and feel like they belong in Waterloo. He has supported grants offsetting development charges for new subsidized housing projects in the city. He has also voted to increase fee assistance so that everyone can access recreation programs while supporting the expansion of our public library and our public parks.
Jeff has also worked to build a community that is inclusive of people of all ages. Jeff fought to maintain a bus stop in Ward 6 that provided a vital link to the community for a large number of seniors. Jeff also supported the creation of the skateboard park, shaded green space, and accessible playground at the newly renovated entrance to Waterloo Park, to ensure people of all ages and abilities can gather to enjoy our public facilities.
Jeff believes strongly in the need to enhance arts and culture in our community because it is critical to our economic prosperity, our quality of life, and our sense of who we are. He helped secure unanimous Council support for the City’s first Culture Plan, which looks at culture as more than just art galleries and symphonies to recognize the value of all creative endeavours, from sports to gardening. He guided staff on presenting actions that could mostly be accomplished within existing resources, which is important as the City does not have substantial new resources available over the plan’s ten year time frame.
Jeff’s commitment to an inclusive community has gone far beyond his role as councillor. While serving as Ward 6 councillor, Jeff still found time to serve as President of the Canadian Mental Health Association Grand River Branch, shepherding the organisation through a merger with another non-profit organisation to create better service for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.