Candidate for Ottawa City Council

Candidate for Ottawa City Council
Posted on August 29, 2012 | James O'Grady | Written on October 22, 2010
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Letter type:
Open

Publisher

Publisher:
Residents of Ward 9: Knoxdale-Merivale

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

I wrote this open letter to the residents of Ward 9: Knoxdale-Merivale on the final weekend of the 2010 Ottawa Municipal Election. In it I argue that better transparency and accountability at Ottawa City Hall can only occur if residents are properly engaged, consulted and included in the decision making process. Accountability through transparency is the key to grassroots, participatory democracy... an issue I am passionate about.

I am running for City Council in Ward 9: Knoxdale-Merivale because I believe Ottawa has the potential to be a great city—A sustainable city! Prosperous and successful, with a strong and diverse economy, able to compete successfully in the global marketplace. A beautiful and clean city, fair and just, where residents are healthy and happy.

I believe Ottawa should strive for excellence at all times in everything it does. Our city should engage and communicate openly with its population and not be afraid to ask its residents to ‘please help us to serve you better’.

We have an opportunity, now that we are at the beginning of a new century, to create a plan for the next 30–50 years to guide Ottawa’s growth well into the 21st century. But, we cannot do it until we first put an end to the dysfunction at City Hall that has our city going in circles, and until we get our fiscal house in order by doing a better job of controlling spending.

My platform addresses these issues and puts forward a vision for a sustainable city because Ottawa has the potential to become a leader among capital cities.

To become a great city, Ottawa needs to reflect the character and values of the people who live here. Right now, I don’t believe that it does. This is why, throughout my campaign for City Council, I have been calling for a change in the way our City is run.

I say this because, after 10 years, it’s clear that amalgamation has weakened Ottawa’s communities, especially in Nepean. Once a leader in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, Nepean has seen its influence wane. Not only did the amalgamated City take our money, it took our voice as well!

But we are not alone. Communities all across Ottawa feel the same cold and distant hand of amalgamated bureaucracy.

I believe this situation needs to change. Our City must recover its inner sense of community.

This is our city. It is our money that makes this city go. We are more than just sources of revenue; we are Ottawa’s CITIZENS, its most important stakeholders. We have the right to participate in decisions that affect us because this is where we have chosen to set down roots, invest, raise our families and retire.

A municipal system that does not actively seek or respect the voice of its residents is broken and needs to be fixed.

I believe there is a direct link between poor decision-making and high taxes.

If we want our City to be truly accountable, then we must insist on being included. This is why I am advocating for Borough Councils. Borough Councils will bring local decision making back to the local level, ensuring that our voice is restored so it can be heard, considered and respected.

As the only candidate in Ward 9 who is actively involved in his community association; and who is a school teacher, an IT/communications professional and a Nepean native, I believe I have the skills and experience to best represent your interests on City Council. Not only do I have a plan to fix the problems caused by amalgamation, I am committed to seeing it through.

Our community needs an independent voice, someone who can speak on behalf of all residents on City wide and local issues.

I have proven that I can. I stood up to City Hall on behalf of my community over the Shoppers Drugmart relocation on Greenbank Road. If elected, I will stand up for you because, as your councillor, it will be my job to represent you—the residents of Knoxdale-Merivale.

What made Nepean great was not its municipality, but the people who live here. If we want to make our communities strong again, we need to regain our voice.

Without our input and participation, Ottawa will not realize its potential to become the great city we know it can.

This is why I am asking the residents of Knoxdale-Merivale to allow me to be the catalyst that reconnects you to your city.

Join me and let’s work together to build a city we can all take pride in!

I ask for your vote on October 25, 2010.

Sincerely,

James O’Grady
Candidate for Ottawa City Council
Ward 9: Knoxdale-Merivale
www.jamesogrady.ca

About The Author

James OGrady's picture

I am a social media entrepreneur, communications professional, part-time school teacher and community leader living in Nepean, Ontario. I am also a hockey goaltender, political hack and most importantly, an advocate... More