2018 Stratford Municipal Election Forum
Thursday October 4th, 2018

5:30pm – 9:30pm
Stratford Rotary Complex

If you weren’t able to attend the Stratford Municipal Election Forum, you can still watch all the action on Rogers TV and Wightman TV. Broadcast days and times are as follows:


Rogers TV

Mayoral Debate

Saturday October 13th at 6:00pm

Sunday October 14th at 4:30pm

Thursday October 18th at 11:00pm

Saturday October 20th at 8:00am

Monday October 22nd at 9:00am


Councillors Debate

Thursday October 11th at 9:00pm

Friday October 12th at 10:00pm

Thursday October 18th at 9:00pm

Saturday October 20th at 12:00pm

Sunday October 21st at 5:00pm

Monday October 22nd at 6:00pm


Wightman TV, Channel 6

Both Mayor and Councillor Debate

Monday October 8th at 7:30 PM

Tuesday October 9th at 5:30 PM

Thursday October 11th at 5:30 PM

Friday October 12th at 9 PM


Mayoral Candidates

Andrew Fraser

Dan Mathieson

Tom Drake

Councillor Candidates

Bonnie Henderson

Bonnie Henderson is a devoted and proud Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother. 

Why you should vote for BONNIE

If elected I will just be a phone call or email away 519-271-4545 bonnie48henderson@yahoo.ca

If elected I will be YOUR voice on Stratford City Council.  I will continue to ask the questions that need to be asked.

I have had many years of experience on various committees and boards which help me in the role of Stratford City Councillor.

I am a team player.

I have been recognized  for my work in the Community with the  2006  Outstanding Achievement Award  for Voluntarism in Ontario, 5 year Volunteer Award for Stratford City Council, Woman of the Year, and Safety Awards.

I’m retired so have the time and commitment to work on behalf of you and your concerns to make our city an even better place to live and work.

Currently I’m still involved with CBEAC, OEN, Retiree Committee for Unifor 4451, the United Way Campaign steering committee, the Huron/Perth Autism Chapter.

I sit on the following committees for Stratford City Council – Infrastructure, Transportation & Safety, Planning & Heritage, Chair Social Services.

I also sit on some advisory committees and boards on behalf of Stratford City Council and they are – AAC (Accessibility), Parks Board, CIB (Community In Bloom), Energy & Environment, MSSC (Municipal Shared Services Committee), Perth & Stratford Housing Corp, Perth District Health Unit PDHU, Property Standards Committee, Town & Gown.

What I bring to the table for experience are the following list of committees, boards, events I’ve organized over the years before being elected to Stratford City Council.  

Member of SWEC (Storm Water Advisory Committee for City Council)

Energy & Environment sub committee for City Council

Pesticide Use Committee sub committee for City Council

Integrated Pest Management / Plant Health Care sub committee for City Council

City Emergency & Safety sub committee for City Council

CBEAC – Civic Beautification & Environmental Awareness Committee

Dandelion Festival – Groundswell

Perth County Greenworks – Energuide, Green Home Visits, Solar Panels at Optimism Place

Falstaff Advisory Foundation Committee

Volunteered for the Red Cross

Earth Day presenter with the National program “Earth Day in the Schools

Founding board member of the Huron/Perth Legal Aide Clinic

Steering Committee Member of OEN (Ontario Environment Network)

Negotiation and Grievance Committee for the union CAW 4451

Joint Health and Safety Committee & Safety Trainer

Newsletter Committee

Union Executive

Trustee for Stratford & District Labour Council

Women’s Committee Chairperson

WRED Board

Optimism Place Board

c.a.r.e. (Common Action for the Restoration of the Environment) committee

Huron/Perth Autism Stratford Chapter

Brad Beatty

“I have lived and worked in Stratford and area all my life and I have a strong commitment to the city and its future. Over the years, those who have served on Stratford City Council have been instrumental in initiating many of the elements that make this a wonderful place to live. It has been my privilege to serve our City for the past eight years, and playing a part in making decisions that affect all of us.”

A native of Stratford, Brad is a graduate of Northwestern High School and of Carleton University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree.  Brad has a diverse work career, most recently as the General Manager of the Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce.  Prior to this he was employed with a community agency assisting individuals with their job search and obtaining employment.

Brad’s current appointments includes serving on the board of Stratford Economic Development Corporation as well as Festival Hydro.  He is the Chair of Community Services, serves on the Finance, as well as the Infrastructure Transportation and Safety committee. In addition he is the Chair of Communities in Bloom and also the Civic Beautification and Environmental Awareness (CBEAC).  Past involvement has included serving on the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and the City’s Boar of Parks.  Brad is a member of Zion Lutheran Church and has served on its executive committee.  

Brad has been married to his wife, Sherri, for 22 years and has two wonderful sons who are in Grade 11.

“As Stratford continues to grow we need to ensure that our community stays focused on realizing the opportunities that our City can bring.  But we must also recognize the financial challenge of spending within our ability and reducing accumulated debt through stringent accountability and responsible budgeting.”

“My primary concerns are sustainable economic development, enhancement of our tourism potential, strategic long-term planning and financial accountability.  These are the essential foundations on which we can ensure the enviable quality of life for which Stratford is rightly famous.”


Tel: 519.276.0393

E-mail: bradcbeatty@hotmail.com

Carla Coles

Carla was born in St. John’s Newfoundland, never quite making it to the delivery room she came into this world on the elevator of the Grace General Hospital. Her family moved to Toronto where her dad found work at Canada Packers. She is the oldest of four and the only girl. About an awkward grade seven her father was transferred to Hoffman Meats in Kitchener this brought them to Haysville and then New Hamburg where her parents still live.  She went to St. Davids C.S.S. in Waterloo but fell in with theater kids from the nearby Stratford.

She moved around after graduating, spending time in Stratford, Waterloo, St.John’s and London where she went to Fanshawe for fine art. About that time she left Taco Bell to start her own business. Some of you may remember her as Stratfords rose girl, carrying her basket of flowers around your favourite bars.  

Pregnant with their first child she moved back to Stratford and in with her now husband Scott. Where both her belly and her business continued to grow.  The birth of their daughter Jessica also brought with it the revelation that this is where they really wanted to be. This is where they wanted to set down roots and raise their baby.  Jessica was soon joined by her sister Alison and a few years later a brother Kevin.

Happy as the young Coles family was there were rough patches. Scott works in the automotive industry and not immune  to all that brings, layoffs, plant closures and general unstableness. There were some tight times. Scott is still making automotive parts and up until last year Carla was the day clerk at Mornington Variety.

Shorty after the birth of their son Carla was diagnosed with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss.  She is completely deaf in her right ear. This was a game changer. It was scary. It required a whole life adjustment.  Normally this kind of statement it followed by “these were dark days” . But they weren’t terrible. Carla had a fantastic and supportive tribe to help her through. They were understanding and compassionate. And she had her art.

When life throws a big upheaval at you you have an opportunity to figure out what really matters. Her art and her writing became a focus. In the bits of her everyday not filled with job and family she started to carve out time for these things. Between customers at the store,  after kids were in bed, then at the cafe…. She wrote, she sketched, she painted and as the kids got older there was wiggle room and little by little there was progress. Sometimes, success isn’t a big break but banging your head against something so often that cracks form and something’s got to give.  On those small successes she build a foundation for something bigger. This year she got accepted into art in the Park for her painting as well as showing in town. She has three books out with more on the way. She is an active member of the local arts community and co-founder of O.W.L. Events & Happenings who packed the house last year bringing you the 481/2 film challenge.

It’s this get it done attitude that will serve her and Stratford well.

Cody Sebben

Four years ago as a candidate I personally visited over 3000 homes and I’m working just as hard this time around.

After living in Kingston for four years and graduating from Behavioural Sciences in 2010, I moved back home to Stratford with my wife and we have since started a family. I have worked for the past six years as a Rehabilitation Counsellor for individuals who live with a brain injury in Stratford. I was a 2014 candidate for Stratford City Council and came within approximately 300 votes of being elected.

City money is no different than other money, so why is it sometimes treated like it is? I am a firm believer that governments should spend money as if it were their own -and Stratford is no exception.

We need smaller, more cost-efficient buses as part of our transit fleet. We need to budget ahead for roads, sidewalks, and infrastructure, to keep Stratford running smoothly and to avoid increasing our debt. In short, like any responsible household, we need to spend smarter. No one person has a monopoly on good ideas, that’s why it’s so important for council to be open to suggestions, ideas, and even criticism.

Being accessible is key to representing people, that’s why I’m making a pledge that if elected I will host monthly forums with the public. This will allow people to easily stay up to date, ask questions, and provide feedback in an informal setting. This is what I believe Stratford needs, and I need your support to make it happen.

Dan Graver

Dan Wettlaufer

Danielle Ingram

 I was born and raised in Stratford, as was my husband Rob, and now our two children –
Sawyer age 12, and Genevieve age 9. My roots in this community run deep, as I have
great-grandparents who made Stratford their home. My husband Rob, runs a business
on Huron St, and is the third generation of his family to take the helm of this business.

I have worked for the City of Waterloo in Planning Approvals for the past 15 years. Prior
to that, I was with the Grand River Conservation Authority in Cambridge, and
Scotiabank/National Trust here in Stratford. My post secondary education includes a
general degree in economics from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a diploma in Urban
and Regional Planning from Fanshawe College. I am the only candidate with municipal
and development planning experience.

Previous to my parenting life, I was a competitive figure skater, a singer, competing in
many Kiwanis Music Festivals, a certified fitness instructor at the Stratford-Perth YMCA,
and a volunteer with the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

My goals for the next term would be to ensure the Asset Management Plan is
completed, and a new budget process is implemented to align with the findings of this
plan. I would also like to continue the progress the current Council has made on the
Grand Truck Community Hub, through to the first phase of construction. My hope is that
we can have all of the partners in place to move the Hub forward. Further, I would like
to re-focus from the larger, sexier projects, back to the fundamental infrastructure of our
City, such as roads and sidewalks. We have been incredibly fortunate over the past
term to bring many projects to fruition, and maintaining that momentum will be
paramount if we want to keep Stratford at the forefront of municipalities our size.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the people I have met and the items I have worked on over
this past term of Council. I brought forward the idea of holding public open houses, held
at the University of Waterloo’s Stratford Campus, and look forward to doing more of
these should I be re-elected. I work hard and am readily prepared for meetings. The
municipal world is my life, and with Stratford being my home, I love working for the
people in this community. I would be honoured to serve a second term as Councillor for
the City of Stratford.

Dave Gaffney

I love this community and I’ve devoted my life to making it a better place to live, work and play. I will bring my experience and dedication to City Council and will do my best to represent the needs and aspirations of the citizens of Stratford. I have been a long-time volunteer on many community organizations, City committees and boards including the YMCA of Stratford-Perth, Stratford and District Agricultural Society, Bard of Avon Housing Co-Operative, the Board of Park Management, Heritage Stratford, Communities in Bloom, Energy and Environment and the Canada 150 Sesquicentennial Ad-Hoc Committee.

I enjoyed a 35-year career as a construction engineer with our family company. This professional experience provided me with important insights into community development and at the same time honed my analytical and team-building skills.

I will use my experience, knowledge and love of Stratford to represent YOU on YOUR Stratford City Council.


Economic Development – There must be an effort to continue to attract manufacturing jobs to this community. At the same time, artificial intelligence and digital media are a big part of our present and our future. I support a vibrant, diverse economy with jobs for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.

Housing Geared to Income – Building new homes and ensuring there is adequate affordable housing is key. I will work alongside the senior levels of government to encourage housing development.

Public Works and Infrastructure – Proper infrastructure provides a platform for growth and development. I will bring experience and critical thinking when examining the projects proposed for the community.

Leisure and Active Living – Stratford has a variety of facilities to support active living. As the community evolves, these facilities and programs will need to develop. I will be responsive to the evolving needs of the community.

Grand Truck Hub – This project will be a catalyst for partnership and innovation and we have one opportunity to get it right. I’m committed to enabling the participation of a broad range of community groups in the planning and development of the Hub.

Finance – Resources are limited and they need to be used wisely and with care. At budget time I will be asking the hard questions.

Arts – The arts are a dynamic part of our community both enhancing our quality of life and contributing to the economy. I support the vitality that the arts bring to Stratford.

Safety – The Police, Fire and Ambulance services are critical. I will work to be certain that these services are up to the standards of our community.

You will have a DEDICATED, EXPERIENCED and HARDWORKING representative on YOUR City Council with DAVE GAFFNEY

Don Robinson

My name is Don Robinson and I am running for a seat for City Council in the upcoming 2018 municipal election.  I was born and raised right here in the beautiful town of Stratford. I came from family where I am the youngest of 6 kids. I have 3 sisters, Carol Turnbull who is in real estate in London. I have twin sisters Sandra Eby that works in real estate is Stratford and Sherrie Gidding that owns two gals and a diner, I have two brothers Ken Robinson that own KRR and Gary Robinson.  I am married and have two daughters, Amanda which is the oldest at the age of 25 and Michelle my youngest that is 24.  After completing High school at Stratford Northwestern Secondary School, I completed Hotel Restaurant management at Westervelt College in London. I have been involved in the city all my life, I have umpired ball, refereed and managed hockey and back in the day I managed all 4 Tim Horton’s in Stratford. Currently I am working at CR plastics, driving part time for Stratford Taxi and I am the CEO of Family Living. I enjoy driving taxi because it gets me out in the city talking to the citizens of Stratford. Family Living is an organization set up to get homeless people off the streets by giving them a permanent place to live. If I get elected to Stratford City Council the goals that I will work on are city transit, creation of a youth center and committee, better infrastructure, assistance for seniors and the homeless and affordable housing. I would be a good candidate for a seat on city council because I take the time to listen to the citizens of Stratford, I see what issues that the city is facing. I would be the voice for the citizens of Stratford at city hall because I believe that people’s voices should be heard. I believe that I can be a strong voice in this city and can truly make a difference.  

You can find out more info about me by emailing me at don4councillor@gmail.com or facebook at Don Robinson for Stratford city council.

Frank Mark

Frank Mark: I’m retired, married (to Gwen), two grown children, Lee Ann ( Jeff ) and Andy, and four grandchildren, all living in Stratford.

I’ve worked 47 years in various accounting / financial positions, most recently retiring from FAG / Shaeffler Bearings after 25 years.

I’m an elected member of City Council for the past 27 years, serving on Sub committees Finance & labour Relations and Community Services. I also currently represent Council on The Spruce Lodge Home For The Aged, Festival Hydro Inc and Festival Hydro Services Inc.

I offer my Experience, Dedication, Integrity and my Loyalty to the citizens of Stratford. If re-elected, I promise to continue with my “Common Sense” approach to deal with the decisions at hand. I will work hard to push for more development on the Cooper site, specifically on the Community Hub project as well as other projects on the site, such as the Library, YMCA, etc. I will also support the Stratford Tourism Alliance in their efforts to make Stratford more of a year round destination, as well as investStratford in their efforts to attract additional business and jobs to our City.

As a Council we will continue to work at getting more transit options in and around the area with increased train & bus service. These are some of the many issues we have been thriving to accomplish and I would very much appreciate the opportunity to continue on these initiatives. 

Gezahgn Wordofa

Graham Bunting

I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1948.  Left High school at 16, attended Technical College 2 years full time and 2 years part time, obtaining a Higher National Certificate in Building Technology.  I started work as a junior site engineer, graduating to Site Engineer and to Site Agent in my early twenties.

I married my wife Virginia in 1972, and we emigrated to Canada in March of 1973 where I worked as an assistant Construction Superintendent for 6 months before changing careers to Policing.

I was employed with York Regional Police for 2.5 years before joining the Stratford Police Service in 1976. I worked general patrol until 1988 when I was promoted to Platoon Sergeant.  In 1992, I was promoted to Detective in Criminal Investigation, where I remained until my retirement in June of 2006.  During my policing in Stratford, I was on the contract negotiations bargaining unit from the late 70s to early 90s, and was President of the Police Association for 4 years in the mid 80s. 

Following retirement, I worked half-time for 8 years with The Victim Witness Assistance program, assisting victims of crime to understand and negotiate the Criminal Justice System. In 2014, I was elected as a Councillor for the City of Stratford.

During my 4 years as Councillor, I served on the following sub committees: Community Services, Infrastructure Transportation and Safety, and Social Services.  I represented the City on the following Boards: Police Services, Park Management, Stratford Tourism Alliance and Summer Music.  I also served on the Sesquicentennial Ad Hoc Committee, as well as attending a great many events throughout the City.

Since coming to Stratford, I have been heavily involved in playing, coaching and refereeing soccer.  I joined the Board of Stratford Youth Soccer in 1976 and have served on that Board continuously since then.  I am currently serving my 2nd term as President. My prominent role over the last couple of decades has been facility development.  I have also been a Board member of the Stratford Soccer Association (SSA) since its inception in 2006, and am currently the Vice President.  SSA represents over 1,600 local soccer players, ages 4-64+.  From 2015 to present, I have assisted in coaching Special Olympics Soccer athletes in Stratford.   

Over the past four years I have captained a team in the Coldest Night of the Year Walk, raising funds for Shelterlink.  Thanks to the generosity of many of our great citizens, our team has raised over $15,000 for this worthy cause.

Saving the best for last, … on the family front, my wife and I have two adult children, raised in Stratford, who have in turn blessed us with 6 (soon to be 7) grandchildren, all under 12 years of age.  Four in Burlington, Ontario and two (soon to be 3) in Northern Ireland.

Greg Evans

Despite being one of Stratford’s newer residents, Greg has family roots in Stratford and is already in love with the city and its people. 

A Wilfrid Laurier University graduate, Greg was elected twice by WLU undergraduates to serve on the Wilfrid Laurier Students’ Union Board of Directors, gaining valuable experience in budgeting and committee work.  After his time at Laurier, Greg became a proud Rotarian and currently serves as President of his Rotary club.

Greg now spends his time working, curling poorly, playing softball poorly, golfing poorly, and volunteering with his Rotary club.  While he’s not doing those things, he enjoys spending time with his beautiful fiancée Malorie and preparing for their wedding in November.

Greg believes in forward-thinking ideas and making sure Stratford’s future is in good hands.  Attracting young families and committing to making decisions to retain our city’s youth are important and can’t be ignored.

He and Malorie are excited to spend the rest of their lives in Stratford and can’t think of a better place to raise a family.

Let’s work together to make Stratford even stronger.

Jo-Dee Burbach

Born and raised in Toronto, I subsequently lived in Brampton, the LA area, East Texas and Bangkok, Thailand. After earning a BA in Liberal Arts, I began a graphic design and computer training business and settled into Toronto life. After several years, I was ready to begin a family and looked for a place that would be ideal and affordable for raising children. This is how I chose Stratford as my home in 1999. I currently live in Stratford with my three school-aged children, who all attend public school and are involved in various local sports and music programs.

After several years of commuting to Toronto for work, I decided to transition my design business to the Stratford area. I currently have three local businesses and I work with many other Stratford small businesses and local arts groups. I am also the co-founder and editor of Start Stratford Arts and Culture Magazine. In 2016, I was honoured to be a nominee for Optimism Place’s Women of the Year award in the Arts category.

Since moving to Stratford, I have volunteered for many local organizations and groups, including Bedford School Council, Community Meals, Stratford BIA (formerly City Center Committee), Doors Open Stratford (board member & chair), Heart and Stroke Foundation (neighbourhood canvasser), Soup’s On Green Team, Foundation for Education Perth Huron (board member), Cycle Stratford (founding board member) and the School Travel Plan working group (ATAC).

In 2014, I went back to university to enrich my skills by completing a Masters program in Communication Studies. My research focus was political communication and my thesis looked specifically at women in politics in Canada. I completed my MA in 2016, then crossed the stage and had my research published in an academic journal in 2017.

Some of the many things that I love about Stratford are its vibrant local arts community, a wonderful library, great dining, beautiful gardens, world class theater, and the fact that pretty much everything is within walking or biking distance. I like to walk and cycle as much as is possible and enjoy the natural beauty of our city.

I am passionate about a variety of issues, including the environment, safe & active transportation and supporting the local arts scene. I have been involved in delegating to Council twice, presenting petitions. In 2009, working with Dr. Trish VanBoekel, I presented a petition to Council requesting that the City discontinue spraying pesticides on sports fields and in public parks. We were successful in having pesticide use eliminated from the City’s parks and playgrounds.

In 2011, I presented a petition to Council to install a crosswalk across Mornington Avenue at (or near) Princess Street. Although Council decided against the crosswalk, they did proceed with one of my alternate ideas by completing a portion of sidewalk along the east side of Mornington between Delamere Avenue and the existing sidewalk further along. This has enhanced pedestrian safety in that area, especially for children traveling to and from Bedford Public School.

Kathy Vassilakos

I was born in Toronto and was raised on a farm in Oro-Medonte near Orillia, Ontario. My parents were Greek immigrants who came to Canada after the Second World War. They ran the family farm and owned a local restaurant.

I went to university in Hamilton and Toronto.  I am a Biochemist and have worked in the drug development field as project manager for preclinical drug development, technical writer, due diligence reviewer for new technology & business development, and as a consultant. I have also tutored high school Science & Math, and occasionally work as a gardener.

We settled in Stratford 16 years ago, knowing it would be an ideal community to raise our two children. Before being elected to council I was active in the community volunteering with a number of organizations including school council, community meals, and Hoops for Fun.

I was first elected to Stratford City Council in 2014 and am a member of the Finance and Labour Relations Subcommittee, Heritage and Planning Subcommittee, and I am Vice-Chair of the Social Services Committee. I also represent Stratford City Council on a number of community and advisory boards including the Perth District Health Unit, the Social Research Planning Council, the Active Transportation Advisory Committee (currently Chair), Spruce Lodge and Non-Profit Housing, the Stratford Perth Housing Corporation, Stratford Tourism Alliance, Gallery Stratford, and the Stratford Chef School. I also chaired the steering committee for Stratford Welcomes Refugees community project which supported the sponsorship of 5 Syrian families.

My approach to decision making has always been to read all the relevant documents, do additional research where needed, consider different viewpoints, and ask questions in order to make an informed decision. In the end the decision should serve the public interest and improve quality of life in Stratford.

Municipalities do not have inherent powers and are limited to those which are granted by the province through statute and regulation. The ability to remain within the bounds of these powers while serving the interests of our community requires the creation of, and adherence to, sound policy. I feel that informed decision-making and sound policy are the foundation of effective, transparent and accountable municipal government.

In the last 4 years Stratford City Council has made progress on several initiatives and there is momentum to complete some critical community projects over the next term.

My vision for Stratford hasn’t changed from 2014. If elected for a second term, I am committed to making Stratford a more liveable city.

kathyvassilakos4council@gmail.com    (519) 301 4260    www.facebook.com/kathyvassilakosforcouncil

Katia Maxwell

Thank you for taking the time to find out more about me and what I hope to accomplish.

I was born in Georgetown, Guyana. In 1974, we left everything behind and moved to Canada. We lived in Ottawa, Cornwall, Waterloo then Kitchener. I am a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism programme at Fanshawe College in London. Through friendships, Stratford became a significant part of my life in 1984, eventually settling here in 1991. I am a single parent of six children, five boys and one girl; four adults and a couple of high schoolers.

Currently, I teach part-time at Fanshawe College; TV & Film, TV News and Radio Broadcasting. I have three casual hourly positions; Relief staff – The Supervised Access, Visitation & Exchange Programme, Monitor – St. Aloysius School, Admin Assistant – Stratford Midwives.

Volunteering – I provide video and editing support to not-for-profits. For twenty-two years I offered my Doula services to individuals and families, most recently helping newcomers. I sat on the Board of Directors for Optimism Place and Community Living Stratford. I coached soccer, shock hockey and Special Olympics. I sat on event, start ups or feedback committees for Family Services Perth Huron, Reach for the Rainbow, Autism Ontario, Epilepsy Ontario. I support the Basketeers, Emily Murphy Centre, the Lung Association, Diabetes Canada and love to buy tickets for fundraising events.   

I am a worthy candidate because of what I bring to the table. I offer UnCommon Sense. My voice is a divergent one. My professional life has lead me to champion objective, informed decision making. I have covered municipal politics throughout my thirty-year career as a Journalist, twenty of them here in Stratford covering City Council. I know the stakeholders and have a historical and holistic understanding of the issues. My personal life experiences have shown me, when it comes to our vulnerable citizens – there is to work do.

How?  We Re-Build Public Trust, enhance Affordable Living and Improve Community. Let’s increase transparency, use plain language, improve our website, get information out early, listen to learn and understand, ensure In-Camera meetings are warranted, hold mandatory, bi-monthly or quarterly meetings hosted by 2-3 councillors at a time. Let’s be efficient and responsive, build multi use paths, develop housing for our vulnerable citizens by exploring new options.  Let’s move our seniors back to the core, support our aging population, create an age friendly community for both youth and seniors, build a more visible and supportive relationship between police and community, move to zero waste and manage our money carefully.

We live in challenging times. Anger, hatred, intolerance, ignorance and impatience seem to be gaining traction. Let’s move away from partisan politics and negativity. Let’s make Stratford a proactive, affordable, people centred, age friendly, open and engaged community. Let’s plan and deliver in a well informed, holistic way considering how our decisions impact our community socially, economically and environmentally. Stratford should be an example of a community that works well.

To learn more, please check out www.electkatiamaxwell.com.

Ken Wood

I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and raised in a working class family (2 brothers, 2 sisters ). My father worked shift work in maintenance for Air Canada for several decades and my mother was a homemaker who taught me to bake and to have a sense of humour about life.

I went to university in Winnipeg and Montreal, graduating with a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and Psychology. I also completed about 2 years in Social Work at York University. I spent about 30 years in computers (I.T.), both in operations and management, and was employed by small and large companies. I also worked for about 8 years in Human Resources and as an independent employment consultant. When I became disabled, I volunteered on the Board of Directors for several non profit organizations like Daily Bread Food Bank, Humane Society, Mainstay Supportive Housing. I also volunteered with Free Geek Toronto as their Executive Director.

I have lived in several large and small cities: Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto, London, Guelph and Hockley Village and have always taken an interest in my local community. I settled in Stratford in November, 2014 as my chosen city for retirement because of the natural beauty and because I am a Shakespeare loving geek.

Since coming here, I have helped with fostering cats for Feline Friends Network and have advocated for animal welfare changes. I was also on the city’s advisory committee for a comprehensive animal bylaw review. From the moment I arrived I took a keen interest in City Council and attended numerous meetings and engaged all incumbent councilors to learn about how council operates, to suggest ideas and improvements and to start conversations to engage citizens. I am supportive of Barry Wick’s advocacy for a Homeless Resource Center as I believe no member of our community should be left behind.

I hope to help keep all that is good about Stratford while helping to resolve issues brought up by citizenry. I promise to be accessible and listen to your concerns. Please support me.

Kevin Silver

Kevin grew up in Winnipeg, where he began his career, followed by a business transfer to Toronto.  A young family grew up in Toronto, where Kevin was active in scouting, as well as coaching sports.  As his business life evolved, a decision was made to relocate to Southwestern Ontario, and Stratford was chosen.  This has proven to be a wise choice, not only in terms of lifestyle and business, but as the perfect place for grandchildren to come and spend time!

He was raised in a family where community service was valued, and upon arriving in Stratford a number of years ago, Kevin became active in the community.  He has served on a variety of different committees, which has given him a broad understanding of Stratford’s needs.  He is the current chair of the City of Stratford Committee of Adjustment.

During the past 10 years, Kevin has been an active member of The Rotary Club of Stratford, sitting on the Board of Directors, and serving a term as President.  He is active on a number of Rotary committees, and chairs the annual Craft Show Committee.  The Rotary motto “Service Above Self” reflects Kevin’s views.

While involved in the Stratford community, Kevin has continued to be active in his trade association, where he is a two time Past President, and current Treasurer.

Kevin believes in consensus building, has proven leadership skills, experience in strategic planning, strong communication and team building skills, and will approach all issues in an informed, sensible manner.

Marcus Niebler

Marcus Niebler is a Visionary, Optimist, Thinker, Educator, Friend, Original, Reliable, Magical, Able, Realistic, Creative, Unique, Solid, Nice, Inventor, Emphatic, Brilliant, Loyal, Energetic, Responsible, Caring, Intelligent, Thoughtful, Youthful, Confident, Obvious, Understanding, Noble, Charismatic, Individual, Lovable. This should spell it out to you why he is your best choice. 

Dear community, 

Many of you have already met me, yet you may not know it. During the morning and afternoon, I drive special needs school bus. On the weekends and many evenings, I can be found at Escape from Reality in town, as I am “the escape room guy!”

For those of you interested in my education level and previous work history here is the short synopsis. Educated at both University of Toronto and Seneca College, I studied Astronomy as a minor at U of T, physical geography was my major. At Seneca, an Early Childhood Diploma and an Outdoor Recreation Diploma. My previous business was a mobile planetarium company that would bring onsite field trips to schools. I have spent over 10 years working in Childcare centers, including five years in the Early Years Program and five years managing multiple daycare centers in the GTA., and five years of my career working in the field of Outdoor Education.

You will not see my name on any lawn signs as I find this type of campaigning antiquated, and not an environmentally sound practice by today’s standards. I will be my own sign. Social media will be my medium. Look for me on Huron street starting in September. 

You can find my platform on my Facebook page, just search Vote Marcus Niebler.

If you are a voter looking for change let me be your candidate of choice I promise to be accessible, approachable and you champion if elected. 

Martin Ritsma

Rebecca Reeve

I feel so fortunate to be able to call Stratford home!  I spent my formative years  in Leamington before moving here to start my family. Like all small cities, Stratford is a close knit community where changes have a broader impact.  Every city has its challenges and  I am committed to my community and to being a driving force in making  it a better place for everyone!

In terms of employment experience I have worked as a child and youth worker for a regional school board with a population of special needs children.  The primary goal in this was to ensure that each child felt safe and that their voice was heard.  I want the same for our citizens.  While no one can assure that all demands will be satisfied, everyone should feel like their input is valued and heard.  My goal is to be available; to listen and to be approachable well beyond the committee level.     I believe there is wisdom to be found in  listening to the knowledge of the people around me. Be it life experience or experience with the transit or housing system. 

I currently run a small home business alongside my partner who is an active entrepreneur.  Together we enjoy time with our young daughter.  As most young mothers can attest, by necessity,  I am organized, energetic and simply put, I have the luxury of time to devote myself to this position. I have run marathons and I am driven towards personal excellence.  I do not claim to have extensive experience in civic politics but most of those who do, started at one point themselves.  Perhaps it is time to inject some new ideas and energy to the council!  I am seen as a quick study, prudent and and practical.  My early years have taught me to be careful with the hard-earned dollar and to be aware that there are people that need our support and consideration with policy and spending.    I am diligent and I have never taken anything on half-heartedly.  I want to serve as your representative in trying to make Stratford a better place for all of it’s citizens!  I would welcome your support at the polls and any questions, thoughts or issues of concern.

Shannon Dyke

My name is Shannon Dyke and I am a candidate for councilor in the upcoming municipal election.  I am a 28-year-old male and I have called Stratford and the Romeo ward my home for the better part of 24 years.  Originally from Newfoundland, my family decided to move to Stratford specifically in search of better employment within the booming manufacturing sector.  Ever since then, this community has been my home.

After going through public school here in Stratford, I continued my education down the road at the Western.  I undertook a 4-year double major and earned a Bachelor of Science in Medical Science and Criminology, followed by my Bachelor of Education.  I’ve always known that I wanted to return to Stratford to fulfill my life and career, and as fate may have it, I now teach at Stratford Northwestern.

Besides work, I find much enjoyment in taking advantage of the city’s green space, organized sports and recreational facilities.  This led me to become involved in SMHA and Rotary hockey where for several years, I gave back to the hockey community that gave me so many memories and valuable lessons. Prior to this, I was also involved in a number of clubs and organizations but most extensively in areas such as: Western Young Tutors, Boys and Girls Club of London, and Seniors Learning IT.

Growing up in Stratford during my youth, and now residing and working here in my adulthood, I feel that I bring forth a unique perspective on what this community does for people and what it sometimes lacks.  In being a teacher, I am fortunate enough to still gain youthful perspectives on everything Stratford and it gives me a unique lens. I feel as though my criticalness, constant reflection and willingness to seek regular input from people is what would make me an effective and respected city councilor.  Teaching taught me that listening is more valuable than talking and it is this mindset that would continuously get me back to the public for answers.

I strongly believe that the yearlong resident of Stratford needs to be at the forefront of city hall decision-making.  There are 3 things that I stand for in the upcoming election.  First is fiscal responsibility, which means seeing hard earned tax dollars from residents going back into infrastructure and public services that yearlong residences benefit from.  Second is preserving our sense of community through things like: open communication, efficient community services, recreation and accessible green space that the residents of Stratford have said increases our quality of life.  And lastly business, as a means of ensuring that Stratford is an attractive place for 21st century business, development and investment to help retain our jobs, our youth and our skilled workers.

In this endeavor, I hope that the residents of Stratford understand that I’ll always have your best interests at heart in every decision.  I’m here to listen to you and I will carry your voices forward. Let me bring you back to city hall.

Tom Clifford

Born on a farm outside of St. Marys, I was the third oldest of eleven children. After High School I attended George Brown College in Toronto, then lived in Calgary where I apprenticed in sheet metal. I attended Mohawk College to study refrigeration and returned to Stratford to complete my apprenticeships in refrigeration and gas fitting.

In my late twenties, I bought Brown Heating & Cooling which has successfully served Stratford for over 45 years. As President of the company, I have hired and managed hundreds of employees and have helped many individuals to apprentice in the trades as I did.

My wife, Heather, and I have two adult children who were involved in city sports programs which I helped to coach. We have been blessed with four grandchildren.

Involvement in my local church as a Board member, Treasurer, and my role as project manager of a major expansion have added to my managerial experience.

I was Director on the Festival Hydro Board as well as Chair and Vice-Chair for several years. I was also on the original Board of Stratford Perth Community Foundation.

I have served as Chair of Finance on Council for the past 12 years as well as chaired and been a member of several committees such as Infrastructure, Social Services, and Planning. I have also served as a City representative on the Chamber of Commerce, the Municipal Golf Course, and Stratfords of the World.

One of the main reasons why I would like to continue serving is the enjoyment I receive from helping residents with city-related problems. It is both rewarding and fulfilling to provide information and help to bring about solutions.

As Chair of Finance and as a business owner here in Stratford, my goal is to help to manage the City’s finances so that we can preserve the quality of life we enjoy while we keep Stratford affordable in the future. I believe that annual tax increases should be kept as close to inflation as possible while addressing infrastructure needs. We must work to increase our tax base and strengthen our local economy through new industries and commercial developments.

During the next four years my goals are…

                                                                                                                                                1. The restoration and completion of the Grand Trunk Hub project.




































                                                                                                                                                1. Long-term parking solution for the downtown district because of the new Hub and the university.




































                                                                                                                                                1. A viable solution to Interest Arbitration to control the escalating costs of police and fire services so that we can meet the needs of public works and recreation projects.




































                                                                                                                                                1. Keeping a watchful eye on our debt load which greatly impacts the amount of interest the city pays and determines its financial options.




































It has been a great pleasure and honour to serve you, the citizens of Stratford, and I look forward to working on your behalf for one last term.

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