Reprinted here is my submission to Shoreline Week for their candidate profiles:
Dear Tecumseh Resident,
With voting now under way, I’d like to thank you for the terrific reception you have given me at the door. I’m proud to have knocked on every door in Ward 1 during this election campaign and to have engaged with thousands of my neighbours.
If elected, this dialogue will remain open. I was the first Ward 1 candidate to launch an interactive webpage at AndrewDowie.ca, Facebook and Twitter to solicit your feedback, and will continue to provide you with town information so that you can be informed of what’s happening within the town.
I will champion the completion and implementation of the Tecumseh Road Mainstreet Community Improvement Plan so that we can establish a walkable and accessible core establishing our downtown as a destination and economic driver.
You can count on my career as a long-time Civil Engineer for the City of Windsor to work for you. Having managed multi-million dollar capital projects, including basement flooding relief and traffic calming programs, as well as serving in the Chief Administrative Office and Mayor’s Office, I will deliver effective and responsible oversight at Tecumseh Town Hall. My experience also ensures for you informed responses and advocacy backed by a solid knowledge and understanding of solutions no matter what the issue may be.
I grew up on Coronado Drive and now call Centennial Drive home with my wife Kristin. I have served on Tecumseh’s Committee of Adjustment since 2006 and Property Standards Committee since 2010. You may have also seen me in the community as a leader with the 35th Tecumseh Scout Group since 2006, or representing our 1700 local engineers as the Windsor-Essex Chapter Chair of Professional Engineers Ontario.
It would be a true privilege to serve you and be your advocate for the coming four years.
It was just over two years ago that the Town of Tecumseh celebrated the grand opening of Lakewood Park North. For the first time in its municipal history, Tecumseh had a lake front public space that its residents could enjoy that was not the leftover property of a pumping station. This really was a milestone for the town; despite being one of a minority of municipalities located on a body of water, our town lacked any meaningful way of accessing it. It now serves as a community gathering place. I enjoy it most for sitting down with my e-reader and reading while listening to the crashing waves. The property formerly housed the Lakewood Golf Course club house, and was purchased for $7.98 million in 2006.
The Town of Tecumseh purchased 2/3rds of the former Lakewood Golf Course (65 of 91 acres) as part of an agreement for $6.9 million. The agreement resolved the Ontario Municipal Board appeals from the former owners to develop the whole parcel as residential lots. The Town has posted the chronological information here.
The agreements remain incredibly controversial to this day. The purchases of the two parcels of Lakewood Golf Course remain the number one issue being brought to my attention at the door. The status of the remaining (undeveloped) property has been resolved through a master planning process that concluded a few years ago. You can read the final report for the Lakewood Park South master plan here. There are a lot of amenities being proposed that I find encouraging, including the innovative stormwater system (with meandering path), the naturalized wetland, the outdoor amphitheatre, and the paths. For my part, I am pleased with the Lakewood Park South master plan and look forward to identifying a funding program to support its redevelopment in the way proposed.
I also look forward to supporting the development of a Splash Pad at Lakewood Park North as identified in the Town's Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Splash pads are relatively inexpensive means of providing active recreational features to our parkland and, as I have come to learn over the last few months, would be an asset truly valued by the families of Ward 1.
Many residents have also observed the construction occurring at the foot of Little River Boulevard. The work being undertaken is to provide upgrades to existing pumping station and to sewer capacity. You can be assured that it is not a precursor to residential development on the town's retained portion of the former golf course. The residential areas will be located on the south and east sides of the property (roughly opposite to St. Thomas St.), as well as on Christy Lane.
The use of the property as a golf course permanently ended in 2011 and its physical features have been transformed. I look forward to working with you and to hearing your feedback as to what elements of the Master Plan ought to be prioritized for the property to ensure that it can best serve you going forward into the future.