Beatty touts strength of city’s economic plans
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Oct 01, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Beatty touts strength of city’s economic plans

Stratford Gazette

Jeff Heuchert

Coun. Brad Beatty says it was a privilege to serve the people of Stratford these last four years, and he hopes voters will give him another four.

He says there are many things that he’s proud to have played a part in, including the decision not to sell Festival Hydro and the opening of the University of Waterloo Stratford campus, which he acknowledges was also very much an achievement of the past council as well.

Beatty recently started a new job with the Ministry of Community and Social Services in Stratford. But before that he worked in the employment field for 16 years.

Beatty says economic development is his number one priority, so it’s no surprise that he jumped at the chance to be a director on the new Stratford Economic Enterprise Development Corp. board.

Council’s decision to form a semi-independent company that reports to a board and not council was met with some reservation.

But Beatty says there is a great benefit to pulling together business leaders from various sectors to strategize and work towards a common goal - that being economic development and diversification in Stratford.

“I truly believe that SEED Co. was the right thing to do,” he adds.

With an unemployment rate already amongst the lowest in the province, Beatty acknowledges that Stratford was already heading in the right direction before SEED Co. was formed.

Where it can help, however, is taking a proactive position to attracting and supporting new investment, he notes, as well as retaining the world-class companies that are already here.

Among his other duties at city hall this last term, Beatty was chair of the community services subcommittee.

As the father of twin 12-year-old boys, Beatty says he appreciates how important it is to families that the city has a wide range of recreational services to offer.

It’s something he says he will continue to advocate for.

“I’m looking at (my boys) and thinking, what do I want to leave for them that will make them want to live here and stay here,” he adds.

Looking ahead, Beatty says there are some well-defined priorities for council, such as Market Square.

He agrees it should be next on the city’s agenda when funding becomes available, but doesn’t agree with those who felt it was wrong for the city to go back to the drawing board and drop the old PLANT Architect design.

He notes that new concepts like that presented by local architect Robert Ritz – for a square in front of city hall – has raised some interesting questions that are worth exploring.

“I think it’s worth having a discussion about what it is Stratford is looking for today.”

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