It didn’t take Ottawa Councillor Mark Taylor long to get back on the campaign trail.
Not even two weeks after registration for the city’s upcoming municipal election opened, Taylor was pounding the pavement, meeting with prospective voters in the Bay Ward – chatting transit, snow removal and redevelopment.
“The best kind of consultation is at people’s doorsteps,” said Taylor, leading a team of a dozen volunteers as they canvassed along Kelly Street Sunday morning. “It’s when people are at their most unfiltered.”
Resident Bob Phillips was pretty unfiltered when telling Taylor about how he feels that Francophones are being better served than Anglophones. When asked about priorities, Phillips said he wants council to cut back on taxes and save money.
“You can’t just keep on going: spend, spend, spend,” he said.
Dawn and Mark Schmidt have been in the ward since 2006 and worry how development will impact the neighbourhood. With the Bay Ward going through rigorous redevelopment – like the Bayshore shopping mall renovations and the Carling Avenue Community Improvement Plan, which aims to make Carling Avenue a “destination” spot, the couple fears some neighbourhood character could be sacrificed.
“We are in a neighbourhood where there have been a lot of house sales, where the development is starting and they are replacing single family homes with doubles,” said Dawn Schmidt, while shoveling ice off her driveway. “I guess I am concerned about seeing all the property disappear for big homes.”
Taylor is seeking his second term as councillor and says his goal is to rejuvenate the entire ward with parks and infrastructure and boost the business community – especially along Carling Avenue near Pinecrest Road, an area he calls a “no man’s land.”
“That’s a perfect stretch of road to benefit from some economic redevelopment,” said Taylor.
Taylor said if he wins in the October 27 election, it will be his last four years as councillor.