Robert Parent for Ward 1
I have worked and lived in KW for 34 years and Waterloo Ward 1 for 32 years. In that time I/we have seen phenomenal growth in population and traffic. Fortunately, Waterloo has maintained its rural, small-town “feel” all while incorporating city accommodations and facilities.
Locally, I have taught at KCI for 26 years instructing in my favourite subject matters: History, Civics, Physical Education and English as a Second language. I have been fortunate to earn a living doing what I have always enjoyed: Working with kids, coaching and volunteering. My running for city council is simply an extension of volunteering and why in part, I will not ask for donations (see Donations).
At the same time, I choose not to be defined simply as a “teacher". There is so much outside the classroom to note and experience that is invaluable when observing the city council at work over the years. One example is in the area of finance. I am a self-taught, self-directed investor. One’s personal quest and motivation for financial security can also be adapted to public spending and accountability.
Local councils have as much effect on our pocketbooks and standard of living. My task is to bring measured local accountability to the role of city councillor.
I believe an active community is a healthy community and therefore will advocate for recreation. Like parks, baseball diamonds, and fields of play which are essential for all kids and adults alike.
Community Service & Affiliations
KW Optimist Club - President 2020 - Present
An Optimist member since 2017, I have served on the Board of Directors and President. In that time, I have overseen Budgeting/Financing recommendations, chaired sub committees, organized a number of fundraising events sponsored by KW Optimists and oversaw a major real estate sale to ensure the financial stability of KW Optimist in the years ahead. KW Optimist Club in Heidelberg works closely with the Waterloo Regional District School Board and hosts the WRDSB Outdoor Learning Program. Over 5200 kids a year enjoy the camp.
Westvale Community Association
Serving on the executive committee of the very active and longstanding WCA since 2017. Working with executive members, planning and organizing some of the most fun and traditional events in Westvale (Family Skate, Corn Roast, Annual Fireworks, Baseball) has given me the opportunity to meet with many citizens and appreciate the value of volunteerism in the community. Liaising with the City of Waterloo and their community staff is of great importance to ensure our events continue.
KW Chamber of Commerce Regional and Municipal Affairs Volunteer Committee
A member since 2017, I would suggest this Committee as a pre-requisite for anyone wishing to be a candidate for municipal government. This is an informal and very informative discussion group led by members of KW Chamber. It is a great opportunity for meeting with municipal planners, city staff, accountants, and business leaders from KW. The Committee evaluates how current policies from the province can potentially affect the city and region going forward.
Waterloo Regional Landfill Liaison Committee
As a member, this is a learning opportunity to observe and listen to those members on the committee who oversee the environmental workings and administration of our landfill site in Waterloo. As a councilor, understanding the process of waste and recycling will assist in making good environmental decisions in KW Region.
Confederation Club of KW
The Confederation Club of KW is a local speaker's bureau that provides a listening/learning opportunity to hear invited guests from various professions: politicians, musicians, business personal, etc. as they give their opinions on issues of the past , present and future.
The geographic area of Ward 1 is bounded by Columbia St (N) to University Ave (S), Ira Needles ( W) and Fischer Hallman (E). Ward 1 is distinct in that it is “divided “ into two communities: Beechwood and Westvale. Each community is supported by their own community-based volunteer associations.
Beechwood residents are represented by the following associations: Upper Beachwood, Upper Beachwood 2, Beachwood West 1, and Beachwood West 2
Membership of the association is by neighbourhood or a limited number of associate members. Recreational facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, and clubhouses, are supported by mandatory fees/levies to preserve maintenance and applied to those residents living within their respective neighbourhoods.
Volunteers in both communities ensure social events like BBQs, Corn Roasts, Swim Lessons, Baseball and Fireworks are scheduled and continue throughout the year. Each neighbourhood is blessed with a number of parkettes, walking trails, bike paths and green spaces.
Many of the above accomplishments and standards require volunteers and a certain degree of cooperation and communication with the city of Waterloo. Again, councillors play a vital role in speaking on behalf of residents so that funding, grants and facility upgrades are noted if and when available.
* Property Tax Rates and Spending.
* Water Rates.
* Developer's Fees and Zoning.
* Accountability of Overbudgeted Infrastructure Projects.
* Costs of paid parking.
* Review the use and placement of bike lanes.
* Response times when contacting city hall.
* Leash-free dog park.
* Leaf and Waste Collection.
* Parks Maintenance.
* On-street overnight parking.
* Noise By-Laws.
* Mid-size apartment construction.
As do most communities, Ward 1 has particular wants and needs that are unique and often brought forward to the city council via their local representative. The councillor’s role is to meet, listen and present community concerns to the appropriate personnel at City Hall for clarification and problem-solving. However, if for whatever reason, issues cannot be resolved, community members or delegates are invited to present their cases to councillors via Council meetings.
At times it can appear somewhat intimidating for those not familiar with the process. This is an understated role of the counsellor. Indeed, an important role for city councillors is to assist citizens in navigating the process of communicating and presenting to the city council.
Here is a list of concerns that have been presented to me by way of a survey and speaking with residents of Ward 1. I have divided them into City Wide (pertaining to all residents of Waterloo) and Ward 1 ( pertaining to locals). These items are not exhaustive, and are liable to change over time but serve as small sample sizes during the campaign period.
Voting day is officially Monday, October 24th , from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
*Don't forget to bring an official form of identification*
Vote EARLY at the Waterloo Advanced Polls:
Oct. 8 10am - 4pm (Rec Complex)
Oct. 11-14 10am - 3pm (Waterloo City Centre)
Oct. 15 10 am - 4pm (Rec Complex)
Oct. 16. 10am - 4pm (RIM Park)
See the City of Waterloo website for more details
Voters with disabilities are encouraged to vote at the Waterloo City Centre on all advance voting days and on Voting Day.
Respectfully, I will not ask for nor will I accept, campaign donations or monies raised during this campaign.
In lieu of financial donations, supporters may wish to volunteer their time in that we could meet and/ or canvass together! Others might also choose to donate to their favourite charity. All I ask is for your support October 24, 2022.