Catherine McKenney believes their experience, working for city councillors and administrators before becoming a city councillor, gives them unique perspective that will help when making decisions as mayor, should they be elected in 2022.
The Somerset Ward representative started thinking about a run for mayor about a year ago, but started considering it more seriously in recent months due to light rail issues, as well as budget and policy decisions that they disagreed with.
"I have seen how the city functions, and what changes can be made and how we budget and what those priorities look like from both sides of city hall. When I think about budgeting -- and people ask me, how will we afford the things that we need to do -- and I always say, our budgets are about our priorities. The funding is there, it's what we do with it."
Speaking on CityNews' The Sam Laprade Show, Monday, December 13, McKenney says they wants to keep hearing from people, to understand what kind of city they want for the next four years.
"There's so much potential to build a city that is green, that is healthy, that has great transit that moves people around well, that has great public space," the councillor explained. "The people that I have spoken to, that's what they're looking for and now I have an opportunity to speak to people for several more months to hear what kind of city they're looking for."
Although mayoral campaigns cost more to run, McKenney's never accepted corporate or developer donation for any of her campaigns and says they won't start now.
"I'll be appealing to, you know, individuals, residents, who share the vision and a platform that I'll put forward," the councillor said.
And as for anyone who might not think McKenney understands rural issues, as an urban ward councillor, they say they lived in Kanata for a few years, worked for Alex Munter and wants to reassure residents that they do understand the needs of suburban communities.
"I often say to my rural counterparts, that a downtown ward is probably as close to their rural villages as you can get in terms of how we want it to function; how we want people to be able to move about, kids to get to school safely, etc., and we want it to be affordable."
Listen to McKenney's full conversation with Sam Laprade: