EMC Meet the Candidates: Mark Taylor

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Bay Ward incumbent cites renewal

Bay Coun. Mark Taylor has already filed his nomination papers for the 2014 municipal election. Taylor said many new families are choosing to live in Bay Ward, which increases pressure for new infrastructure.

Ottawa West News

Bay Coun. Mark Taylor has filed his nomination papers to run in this fall's municipal election, fulfilling a promise he made to himself (and the public) to run for two terms.

Taylor was elected as representative for Bay Ward - an area he grew up in - during the 2010 election. As of publication time, no challengers have filed to run against him. He said running again will allow him to see through projects that began during his first term in office.

"We had the opportunity to start or re-start things in our ward that had been dormant a long time," said Taylor, adding that many of the community renewal projects were long overdue.

"There have been a whole lot of park renewal projects (in Bay Ward), and in many neighbourhoods parks serve as the hub of the community. We have the ongoing Michele Heights park (renewal). We created the first new park in the ward in 25 years at Winthrop Court, and there is the Bayshore Park renewal that is just getting underway."

Taylor touted the economic development plan the city is creating for the underutilized strip of Carling Avenue between Pinecrest Road and Bayshore Drive as another project he was able to support.

"The plan is in its infancy, but we want to see it happen - I'd like to see the strip transform," said Taylor.

That project aims to bring incentives to business owners to invest in their properties, with the goal of creating more employment opportunities for youth and adults living in the area, while making maximum use of existing space and facilities.

The Ottawa on the Move project associated with the city's LRT plan opened up opportunities for communities to get ahead of the game with needed infrastructure improvements, with Taylor saying his ward can and should see improvements from it.

"We want to push further into neighbourhoods with projects such as water main replacement and road paving," said Taylor. "This is not sexy stuff, but it is the infrastructure residents count on every day. I'd like the next four years to be all about renewal. Renewal isn't just for the downtown core, and it's not for brand new communities. As a 50-year-old area, we're right in the middle, and the problem with having an 'if it ain't broke' mentality is that it does break."

Taylor said that with many new families choosing Bay Ward to settle down and have kids, many communities are looking around their new neighbourhoods and identifying needs that aren't being met. Renewal projects - especially with parks - help make these neighbourhoods liveable for a new generation of residents.

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