Helen Jowett, candidate for regional council (Cambridge Times)

Cambridge Times
By MrKenn | SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 05:15 PM

What is your background with community involvement? Volunteer work, committees, boards, etc.?

Chair Canada’s Technology Triangle, Chair Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Chair Junior Achievement Waterloo Region, Chair Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation, President of Sunrise Rotary Cambridge, Executive Vice Chair Conestoga College, Board Member Greater KW Chamber of Commerce, Member of Barnraisers, Prosperity Council and have sat on task forces through out the community Such as Waterloo Region Employment and Immigration. I have volunteered because i want to impact change in a positive way in my community.

What do you believe to be the role of a regional councillor in this two-tier municipal government?

The role as i see it is to steward the voice of the people i am to represent. To educate myself and provide transparent information so that taxpayers can make informed input to the community that they live, work, play in. I believe that as a responsible councilor it would be important to advocate for Cambridge in a meaningful and respectful way ensuring that the appropriate level of investment and fiscal prudence is achieved through governance of service delivery.

What skills, insight and/or ability would you bring to the table that would be most beneficial to the municipality as a whole?

I am a human resource professional with a passion for positively impacting our community through the power of people. As a business owner i care passionately about prosperity here. I understand budgets from small business to big government because of the leadership roles i have enjoyed contributing on and learning from over my career. As a professional mediator, i bring formalized devils advocacy around issues so that discussion is intelligent and thoughtful because relationships are important. I understand acutely that there are times in our community when we must collaborate with our regional partners and times when we must compete and we should transparently endeavor to do just that.

What three issues most need attention in the region? Why do you believe them to be the most important issues and how, if elected, do you propose to resolve them?

For me Taxation prudence, the debt load and understanding the demographic change that could result in less dollars for investment.

2. Infrastructure we need new ways of moving people around and living daily lives. We have aging systems (water pipes, roads, bridges, recreation facilities etc. This burden must be addressed in new ways. We must engage all levels of government in order to provide smart decisions that will not over burden tax payers.

3. Jobs. Through such avenues as economic development and planning, we need to harness interested investors and growing business in our community to help them attract and retain employees, capital investment and good governance that balances our need to plan and develop with our need to protect the natural beauty that is in Cambridge.

What do you propose to help attract/retain businesses in the community and create jobs?

I want to strengthen the relationships between government, education and business in Cambridge so that we can identify champions that will have a will do attitude for engaging foreign direct investors from all over the world and right here in Canada. I want to ensure that we find ways of ensuring that businesses right here in Cambridge get the support and encouragement they need so that they continue to choose Cambridge as the place to make products and deliver services in diversified sustainable industries.

Cambridge continues to experience growing pains – traffic congestion, new subdivision construction, facility needs, etc. – what can be done to address them?

I believe that we need to engage in more far reaching ways to transport people as Cambridge continues to grow. Technological advances are hard to keep up with. I agree with our desire to get Go Train into Milton. I hope that with the leadership changes in staff at the city they will look to other communities that are growing and see what would work for our unique city. There are new and unique ideas coming from intelligent communities everyday the trick is to find the ideas that work for us.

Source: http://www.cambridgetimes.ca/news-story/4883348-helen-jowett-candidate-for-regional-council/