Candidate hopes to help Council 'move on'
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Aug 15, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Candidate hopes to help Council 'move on'

Stratford Gazette

Chet Greason,

Real estate agent John Hotson has lived in Stratford all his life and now, he says, it's time to get involved. Involved, that is, as a voting member of council; that's why he's submitted his name to run in the municipal election this fall.

But Hotson has already been thoroughly involved in his community for years.

He sits on the Stratford Youth Soccer board and has coached boys and girls hockey. He's also been a convener and an executive for Huron Perth Lakers hockey. He's volunteered for the Juvenile Diabetes Association by helping to plan a number of fundraisers, and he participates in the annual Relay for Life cancer walk as well.

But now he wants to add his voice to a number of important decisions facing the administrative body next term. These include the future of Market Square, which he feels the city should "move on" with.

"I don't think we can afford to lose the parking spaces," he says. "And the buses need to be downtown, although maybe not where they are now."

He says he'd like to work with the downtown merchants on the issue, as he feels they're the ones the decision will impact the most.

He also wishes to move on with the Cooper site, although he concedes "there's heritage value there. We can't just smash everything to the ground, as much as people might like to see it."

Hotson says that, as a taxpayer, he'd like to keep taxes as low as possible and that, should there be a tax increase, it should be set to mirror the rate of inflation (or less).

Maintaining the city's infrastructure is also a major concern for the new candidate, especially the sewers. Hotson says the city can't afford another damaging flood like Stratford saw in 2002.

"We've spent $250 million on infrastructure," he says. "It's been money well spent, but we have to make sure we maintain these things."

Stratford's sports facilities are a major point of pride to Hotson, especially the soccer facility at Packham Road, which he calls one of the best in Ontario.

"Our facilities are great," he says. "We need to ensure they're maintained as well, so we can get the kids to stay as active as possible."

With his own children in their teens, Hotson says now is an ideal time to fulfill his long held wish to serve on council.

"I've got a desire to work hard; to work for the community," he says.

Hotson adds he's readily available to speak with voters, and encourages them to contact him through his workplace at Sutton Group in Stratford.

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