Municipal Elections 2018: Ward Two Candidates

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Civic Centre

Get to know your candidates!

Here’s who is running for Ward Two in this year’s municipal elections.

Ward Two Candidates

Sam Cistaro

Bio:

2014 – current Parks and Recreation committee member
2014 – current Sports Hall of Fame committee member
2016 – current Sports Hall of Fame event emcee
2016 – current Splash Pad subcommittee member
2016 – current Best for Kids committee member
2014 – 2016 Walk of Fame committee member
2010 – current Stork + Bundle co-owner
2008 – 2012 High school soccer coach

Husband and father of two.

Why are you running?

I lived in the boundaries of ward 2 for 20 years. In my current roles on the Best for Kids and Parks and Recreation committees, I have been able to work in a team environment to continue to bring new and improve existing programs to our Summer Program held at Etienne Brule Community Hub.

What are the issues you care about?

Three of my goals for my first term include building on the great work spearheaded by Mayor Provenzano, Josh Ingram and the Downtown Association with regards to the revitalization of the downtown. My family runs a small business downtown and we know that it takes a community effort to improve opportunities for everyone downtown.

Secondly, using my committee experience and connections, I will work to bring another recreation attraction to the downtown core. This will be free and inclusive to our residents and visitors that will come and stay and shop in our downtown core.

And finally, limiting the amount of consecutive terms we as councillors will be able to hold. I will put forward a motion stating that all councillors can only run in back to back elections. The community needs new voices and new ideas, not complacency.

What strengths do you bring to the campaign/council?

The residents of Sault Ste. Marie have asked for change – I am that change. I’ve demonstrated my commitment to my community by volunteering on numerous committees to learn the proper processes and protocols to effectively introduce positive change. I am very personable, passionate and persistent in the tasks that I take on.

Luke Dufour

Bio:

An Algoma University graduate, Luke Dufour was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. After spending two years living abroad, Dufour chose to return to the community that he calls home to start a family and to manage JL Builders, a local small business. Luke, his partner Elise and son Calvin are all Ward 2 residents.

Why are you running?

I am running for City Council because I have committed to Sault Ste Marie as being the place where I raise my family, help to grow a small business and enjoy my leisure time.  I am invested in the future of this City and I want to have a voice at the table where our issues are being raised.

What are the issues you care about?

The issues I care the most about are fiscal responsibility, jobs, and support for our Downtown.

What strengths do you bring to the campaign/council?

I bring my experience from two previous strong campaigns for Council in 2014 and 2016.  I knocked on thousands of doors and met with many residents of what is now the new Ward 2. These campaigns taught me the value of putting the time in to listen to the concerns of everyday people.  I have spent the time in between staying involved in the community, sitting as a trustee on the Public Library Board and helping to run a volunteer group at St Vincent’s Place.

Ted Hallin

Bio:

I have lived in what is now Ward 2 since I arrived in Sault Ste. Marie in 1966 to begin teaching Ted Hallinat the old F.H.Cleargue Public School.
Ironically, when the Municipal Election was held, I was not allowed to vote although I was 21 years of age and a resident. The reason given was that the room where I slept was not assessed for municipal taxes more than $1500 in 1945 dollars.
This woke me up to Municipal Politics.

Since then, rules have been changed for almost every election.

Later, I worked at Algoma Steel for 10 years, becoming an Inter-Provincially Certified Industrial Mechanic and Construction Millwright.

I was active in the union, in local and international union reform; in the local anti-nuclear-weapons effort; in campaigns supporting the Provincial and Federal NDP.

In municipal affairs I tried to guide the James St. Urban Renewal mess towards something more sensible; tried to improve the city transit system; assisted in efforts to end the longest municipal strike in the history of Canada.

I have been involved in many local stage productions, especially musically, with the Sault Opera Society, the Sault Musical Comedy Guild, the Sault Barbershoppers, the BlackStocking Review, and Community Living Algoma productions.

I took a thirty-year haiatus while working as a Construction Millwright traveling all over Ontario, but still active in the Sault and throughout Ontario.

I have had my house on Queen St. West since 1975, and since retirement a year and a half ago, I now have time to devote to a position on the Sault Ste. Marie City Council.

Why are you running?

What are the issues you care about?

There are many issues that need to be addressed:
– lack of local employment opportunities
– the perennial pothole, road-repair problem; – the escalating costs of electricity;
– the increasing costs of staffing;
– the excessive cuts to sidewalk plowing;
– the permissions to expand subdivisions outside of the serviced portions of a city with a shrinking population;
– what to do with a waterfront ship that is recently growing in popularity and income;
– the growing death-toll and disruption from opiods and addictions;
– public transit problems (I’ve made over a dozen suggestions for improvement);
– tendering contracts without adequate guarantees;
– … … …

Many aspects of issues will be made clear by voters in the future. There must be methods we can develop to encourage more public input and delegations to council.

I look forward to hearing and acting on them.

What strengths do you bring to the campaign/council?

I believe that my unique background can contribute much to an efficient and humaine operation of this city.

D.J Thyne

Bio:

Why are you running?

DJ ThyneBeing on city council would be a way for me to give back to the community that has supported and encouraged my family and I for the past 20 years. I believe that I can relate to most of the people through my past and understand that all of our needs and issues deserve to be listened to. I am running for Council because I want to represent the public’s views, and their voice on this Council. I want to ensure that when decisions are made here at the council table, they are a reflection of the entire city. I want to recognize that people are far more informed these days and wish to participate more by taking greater control over their own lives and their communities. I want to be a Councillor who can return that element of power to the people. I truly believe that the strongest communities are anchored in a spirit of collaboration. The more people I talk to, the more I am hearing that people feel there is a strong disconnect between city and citizen. I believe we can make positive changes in our community just by addressing that one relationship. I want to re-establish relationships with our community.

What are the issues you care about?

Jobs and economic growth is by far one of the main issues that need to be addressed here in the Sault. A much better effort needs to be made to attract new business. The high taxation levels for business property, especially industrial properties, make the Sault an undesirable place for prospective new business. Our city needs a model for sustainable development. I believe that together we can work towards finding innovative yet attainable solutions.

A much better effort needs to be made in addressing the drug crisis. We need a real long term treatment centre, with proper counciling/therapy and real rehabilitation, not just more methadone clinics.

A much better effort needs to be made to revitalize our tourism. So many places that are so much smaller than the Sault excel in their tourism development. People pass through our city all the time. We need more reasons to make them stay longer and want to spend while they are here.

Also as a parent of two young children I can appreciate the utmost importance of living in a community that is safe and affordable, while still offering the amenities that young families require. I believe it is important for the younger generation to get involved with the development of the Sault. Everyday we lose more young leaders and professionals to other cities because they believe there is no future here for them. I want our children to raise their children here and not feel like they must leave in order to succeed.

What strengths do you bring to the campaign/council?

My 21 year career in customer service and public relations have provided me with skills and insights that I believe would be useful at the council table, in both serving the public, and in dealing with our neighbouring municipalities. I am able to promote conversation without feeling the need to control it. I can listen to criticism without being defensive. I conduct myself with integrity and commitment, and I intend to be true to that in all that I do. I am a hard worker. I am not afraid to speak my mind or ask the tough questions that will be needed. I also have an enquiring mind. I think a councillor should at times be a scrutineer for their ward. I want to question why things are implemented in the way that they are. I will inquire why something has not been addressed in our community. I will be your voice in making our Sault Ste. Marie the prosperous, most amazing city as it’s meant to be.

Lou TurcoLou Turco

Bio:

Why are you running?

What are the issues you care about?

What strengths do you bring to the campaign/council?

Lisa Vezeau-Allen

Bio:

Lisa Vezeau-AllenI am proud to be a candidate in the upcoming Municipal Election, and would be honoured to serve the Constituents of Ward 2 and our city at large. I grew up on Pim Street and have fond memories running down the laneway to reach my old elementary school, St. James. I know those streets well. I was fortunate to raise my young family
on Forest Avenue, until my departure in late 2014. I have had the opportunity to live in and explore new cities and new opportunities, always remaining true to my commitment to community involvement and my hometown.

I joined my first Board of Directors at the age of 18, never looking back, and have
consistently been on a Board in various capacities for over 32 years. While I have
made my mark primarily on youth, people with disabilities and the arts – due to my own
loss of my mother back in 1996 to Cancer and sitting in a dreary hospital room, I joined
the Transition to Betterness organization back in Windsor, Ontario where I remained an
active volunteer for over 6 years. T2B as it is known has raised millions of dollars to
refurbish both oncology and palliative care rooms at Windsor Regional Hospital, you
could also find me weekly pushing the “Comfort Cart” supplying free refreshments to
patients and families on the floor. Upon my return to Sault Ste. Marie in late 2006, I was
moved by the building of ARCH and supported the Hospice with my involvement on the
Saultlicious Committee that contributed proceeds from the events to ARCH and other
local organizations.

I constantly strive to create positive change and opportunity for communities, using my
leadership skills and years of experience in the Not-for Profit and Private sectors. I was
honoured to represent Sault Ste. Marie at Queen’s Park in 2009 where we received the
Playworks Designation for a “Youth Friendly” city and while at the helm of Sault Youth
Association I tripled our funding income from $100,000 to $300,000 in under a year,
and started initiatives such as: The Community Closet, Roots to Youth Healthy Living
Program, The Fresh Art Project, Art on the Street and secured a $90,000 Trillium Grant
to continue the research into Youth Outmigration. In total, I have contributed to the city
from 2007 until 2015 in both public and private sector funding applications, over $1.0
million dollars. These range from small grants for summer students and interns to a
private sector Software Development Company that was awarded $200,000 from
Human Resources Skills Development Canada. I have a keen understanding and
expert skills in the funding environment in governmental, non-governmental and private
foundations and funds. I currently am the Director of Fund Development for the YMCA
of Boulder Valley and lead all the granting for this $12.0 million, 4 facility organization.

I believe in the power of collaborations, and while the Executive Director of the Arts
Council, was the lead of the “Arts, Culture & Entertainment Employment Sector
Development” committee that had representatives from: Cultural Corridor, Sault
College, NORDIK Institute, Algoma Workforce Investment Corporation, SSM
Community Career Centre and Thinking Rock Community Arts. I know, that as a city
we need to grow and build our knowledge based workforce, and from my time in
Boulder, Colorado, I have seen how this strengthens a local economy and quality of life
for its residents as a whole. Together we can make this happen.
I will use my experiences, my knowledge of other cities, and my years working both in
the Nonprofit Sector and owning a small business on Queen Street to build our capacity
as a city. I will listen to my community to create opportunities. While we have
challenges ahead, I believe it is through partnerships and leadership that we can create
a balance in our community of economy, culture and social supports.

Why are you running?

I am running for my family, for your family, for those that don’t have a voice. I am running because I care about the well-being of our city and want to use my many years experience with committee work, forging new initiatives, and creating new partnerships that will benefit shaping the future of our city and its residents.

What are the issues you care about?

The issues I care about or the same issues that our friends and neighbours care about:
Health
Safety
Economy

The Health of a community is not just rates of disease or medical related issues, It is our wellbeing – the Canadian Index of Wellbeing and the Ontario Healthy Community Coalitions work toward those very questions as to if we are better off. While at Sault Youth Association, our target youth were primarily low-income and not able to afford or have a keen understanding of healthy living – so we collaborated with the Art Gallery, Pauline’s Place, Club Calabrese and local fitness instructors and chef’s to create the Roots to Youth initiative – it was further funded by the Healthy Communities Fund. Health at its most basic is reliable housing, access to fresh food, regular healthcare visits , social engagement and physical activity. Not everyone in our community can easily access these basic components of health. Our seniors need supports to combat loneliness and isolation, families need healthy food and social supports, and individuals need to be able to successfully work and live in our community. My goal is to continue the work started, so that we have citizens who thrive, this can only be done by working together from all levels of government as well as local organizations, such as the Neighbourhood Resource Centre, the YMCA, and the Soup Kitchen (and many others) to ensure we can support and maintain a healthy
community.

Safety is a key factor for our city. People have had multiple break-ins and that is an issue, and I have seen it first hand in Ward 2. I was visiting friends and while on their front porch we witnessed a person running down the back laneway with stolen equipment – full daylight. This has brought the neighbourhood together with meetings and consultations, however it is not just specific to one street or area. As city council it is our duty to work with the law enforcement and the residents to have a plan to make them feel safe. It is not just additional patrol cars, it is examining the reasons behind the crime and why people are
so desperate. We cannot just react, we need to be proactive and work with agencies to address the social issues that are the underlying determinants of our crime problem. Our current crime rate is moderate at 52.50 ( https://www.numbeo.com/crime/in/Sault-Ste-Marie ), together as a council we must work toward lowering this statistic and the overall increase in crime the past three years.

Economy is based on both having a city that is safe and healthy. When those basics components are functioning well, then organically your economy has the ability to grow. I witnessed the start of a international software division grow from one remote staff to a highly component office of over 25 staff in our city (all part of a 1,200 + staff organization) – innovation can happen. We are “open” for business and my work in the funding sector will be an asset to council and to our city at large. I have experience and keen understanding concerning what start-up business needs and also the parameters and loopholes that
can hinder growth. We need to be current and knowledgeable concerning market trends and emerging industries. The connection of education, training and employment sector needs is also critical in growing a economy – we need the skilled workforce for this sector to grow.

What strengths do you bring to the campaign/council?

I listen to my community to create opportunities. From my time in Sault Ste. Marie from 2007 to 2014, I successfully submitted over $1.0 Million in granting for both private sector and Not-for-Profits. I see a need and create a solution – that might involve new collaborations, funding opportunities or private sector investment. I have an ability to bring the right people together to make positive impact happen. I have continuously volunteered my time in all the communities that I have lived in. In Windsor I volunteered for an Oncology and Palliative Care organization, in Boulder I was Vice President of the Autism Society of Boulder County and was on the Children’s Rehabilitation Algoma Foundation (now Thrive) for over six years, as well as other organizations and causes that I have supported and volunteered for. I believe it is important to give back and support your community and will continue to that on Council.

Jason Young

Bio:

Jason and his spouse Esther (Gartshore) met in the last graduating class at Lakeway Collegiate in 1986. They pursued educational and employment opportunities in the Ottawa area, but returned to the Sault for good in 2004.

Jason graduated from the Sault College Aviation Machining program, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, and a Bachelor of Education. He and Esther are both teachers with the Algoma District School Board.

Why are you running?

Ward two has had solid civic leadership in the time I have lived here. With Terry Sheehan’s election to Parliament, Susan Myers’ shift in focus, and Sandra Hollingsworth’s change of Ward, I felt an obligation to commit my time and effort to continuing a tradition of competent, focused leadership for the voters of Ward two.

What are the issues you care about?

A good councillor cares about the needs of their constituency. Ward 2 is diverse, and has diverse needs. Our population is aging, our tax base is shrinking, and our best and brightest face significant challenges if they wish to build a future here. Progress, growth, and opportunity are great goals, but first we need to ensure we’ve met the needs of our residents. To do this, we must be prudent managers of the resources we have and be 100% focused on achieving realistic goals in both the short and long term.

What strengths do you bring to the campaign/council?

I came back to the Sault so I could be a part of its future. Securing a bright future sometimes calls for visionary leadership and drastic change, but more often it needs people willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done. Education and work experience are important, but commitment and drive get things done. I have that commitment and drive, and will be a strong voice for the people of Ward 2.


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For Ward Five candidates, click here.