Ryan Raymond: Ward 3
- If elected, what would be your top 2 priorities for King Township and how would you work to address them?
The large, single-family homes that make up most of our township meet the needs of many of our residents, I have nothing against them, if you have the means and its what you are looking for, then I think that’s great.
But I believe its time to diversify.
On almost the same size plot of land as these large homes we could build an attractive 3 story condominium, offering six units at 1000 square feet each, which is a large living space – roughly 40% larger than the average condo size in Toronto. My vision also includes underground parking and a vertical geothermal system to help create clean energy for the condo itself.
In speaking recently with the Mayor of the Town of Essex, who is a close friend of my family, I learned that their community is building a beautiful subdivision of net-zero, ecofriendly homes. By using green building practices, solar energy, and making use of environmental technologies they are eligible for large grants to help with the affordability of the housing.
Additionally, they are being prebuilt with a Secondary Dwelling Unit (SDU) providing residents with the option to use rental income to help subsidize monthly mortgage payments.
I believe that these types of ideas and creative approaches offer viable answers to the questions associated with housing demands.
We also need also to prioritize the specific housing demands of our long term, retired and aging residents, making high-quality retirement options more available and accessible.
Current and previous town leaders have worked to develop plans and begin progress on repairing and paving or repaving the roads in our community. The plan may not be perfect, but the ball is rolling.
I believe it is now time to discuss effective strategies to improve the safety of the roads. Speeding and dangerous passing in no passing zones have come up constantly when out talking to the community and I absolutely believe that people should not feel unsafe pulling out of their driveways. While this is a highly important and complex issue that will require lots of strategic planning, better signage and more enforcement on our roads could act as a crucial first step.
- Do you support encouraging future employment growth within King Township and, if so, what kind of jobs would you like to see coming to King and how would you
I am absolutely in full support of employment growth within King Township, and I think that a very logical first step would be to keep our current businesses close to home. That is to say, for local business owners to have options within the community to establish themselves. This would mean that their spending money on rent, supplies, staffing, and other business expenses are funnelled directly back into King. As a business owner myself, I sadly found it incredibly limiting when looking for local office space and had to rent elsewhere. I would like to focus on increasing the availability of commercial properties and believe there are some ideal locations within the Township to house some additional commercial and industrial units. Schomberg around the Trisan Centre seems to be a great first step.
Simply put, more options for local business owners to keep it local
- What, if anything, do you think the Township of King could be doing to better serve and support our existing business community?
Again, I feel strongly that we need to help the business owners who live in King by expanding the availability of commercial and retail space. This in turn would enable growth and new ventures within our business communities and have positive effects on our residents directly, as well as our greater economy.
Also, The King Chamber of Commerce knows our businesses and they continue to provide excellent services and opportunities. I would be interested to explore ways to further elevate their involvement in our local business community. Weather that be some additional funding for some advertising campaigns, or to host some larger events. If it wasn’t for a friend talking about the Chamber I would have never joined. Every time I attend one of their events, I meet new people. Other business owners, people who I usually share an instant connection with, their creative and outgoing. Together we end up working through problems we are having or come up with new ideas.
Sometimes as business owner we get stuck in a rut or are just busy dealing with the day to day that we forget how important it is to surround ourselves with new, creative, like-minded people. When I leave the Chamber events, I leave with a burst of motivation.
So, I truly believe that if we want to help business in King, we need to help elevate the King Chamber of Commerce.