Why I’m Supporting Dan Mathieson for Mayor of Stratford, Ontario

In May of 2009, I wrote the following letter to the Stratford Beacon Herald

“Strategic foresight evident in our leadership in Stratford

It was six years ago that my husband and I decided to move from Toronto with our young daughter. Stratford was the delicate balance that worked for both of us; small town enough for him and cosmopolitan enough for me. We recognized there were going to be some amenities that we would be forsaking in order to be a part of a smaller community and that trade-off was well worth it for us then, but even more so now.

I want to applaud and celebrate the work that Dan Mathieson has done for the city of Stratford since he became mayor. In a very short time, and under increasingly crushing global economic forces, he has worked collaboratively with our MPP John Wilkinson and MP Gary Schellenberger, as well as with extraordinary business and academic leaders in the Technology Triangle to bring an entirely new industry to Stratford. That is extraordinary leadership and exceptional strategic foresight.

He has helped mitigate the losses that Stratford has experienced in the manufacturing industry by not only continuing to be an advocate for support of that industry but by diversifying the economic activity that will help to drive our city toward ever more prosperity and which will certainly help to put Stratford in a positive position post-recession.

As a telecommunications professional who predominantly works from my home office, I am so very excited about the upcoming Canada 3.0 Conference, the adjoining Technology in the Arts Conference, the Stratford Institute and now the RBC Support Centre. All of these initiatives are a huge boon for our city and it reinforces for me and my family (which has expanded by two since our arrival) that it was more than just serendipity and the Festival that brought us to this beautiful and exciting city.

Thank you, Mayor Mathieson, for your leadership and your hard work.”

It was shortly thereafter that I had a chance to chat with Mayor Dan for a few minutes at a social function surrounding the inaugural Canada 3.0 conference which he hosted along with Antoni Cimolino and MPP John Wilkinson at The Festival Theatre. Dan recognized me as we’d crossed paths a couple of times and thanked me for my letter. I said to him then, “Without trying to sound patronizing at all, I’m so proud of you and the work you’re doing for the City of Stratford” and that’s when I got a further glimpse into the type of leader that Mayor Mathieson is. He couldn’t have been more gracious or humble in his response, actively acknowledging just how many people were working collaboratively to bring such riches to this City.

Since that meeting, our paths have continued to cross as I’ve become more engaged with Gallery Stratford, the Friends of the Festival, Avonova, and a number of other projects that continue to put the City of Stratford on the map. No matter where I go in this City, no matter the level at which I choose to get involved, I always seem to run across Mayor Dan.

When I wrote my Letter to the Editor, I was excited then about the opportunities that were coming Stratford’s way, and since then I’ve watched Mayor Mathieson lead the City and its partners onwards to even greater opportunities. He has played an integral part of the launch of the Rhyzome Network, the opening of a newly expanded wing at Stratford General Hospital, the settlement of a lawsuit which affected hundreds of citizens, the successful support of the City’s Official Plan, Hockey Day in Canada in Stratford, and of course the realization of the University of Waterloo Stratford Institute opening its doors this Fall. This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, however it does provide a small example of just how holistic a leader our Mayor is and how he supports issues that affect the wellbeing of this City and its citizens.

I see Mayor Dan Mathieson as an attentive listener, a builder of lasting relationships and fruitful partnerships and most importantly for Stratford, a passionate leader that looks forward, shares his knowledge, engages the citizens and embraces new technologies and new opportunities with aplomb; precisely the Municipal leader that I want to see continue leading this City forward.

These are some of the reasons why I’m supporting Dan Mathieson for Mayor of the City of Stratford; I am doing so publicly and am also proud to support him throughout his re-election campaign as well and I encourage you to engage him online and in person.

About KarenSD

Business Designer. Connector. Shift Disturber. Intrapreneur. Speaker. Teacher. Elephant Hunter. Feminist. FSE. COO, VP Business Design @ellipsisdigital View all posts by KarenSD

2 responses to “Why I’m Supporting Dan Mathieson for Mayor of Stratford, Ontario

  • matthew murphy

    Howdy Karen SD
    I recently came across your blog, great stuff- I’ve always admired people who speak their mind and are coherent while doing so. It appears that you and your family moved to Stratford around two City Councils ago. There is something that you, with your capacity online should know. The first council where Dan Mathieson was Mayor chose to lie about why Councilor Sam DiNichol chose to give up his seat. He had posted on ‘ My Space ‘ something that goes like, I have a copy in my ‘ files ‘, ” Hey Ricksey, sorry I missed the special council meeting tonight. Been fighting a bug of some kind. Hope to feel better by the weekend so we can hang out at Classics and have fun, i.e. making out with skanks. ” The Ricksey in question was Councilor Chris Ricket. You should know that Sam Dinichol, the young man who was instrumental in bringing the anti-male violence movement to Stratford, denied having posted it. He resigned not much longer after that as he knew that I was onto him. He has been Peggy Nash’s parliamentary assistant ever since.

    This may not be so bad but when you put it into conjunction with Councilor Rickett’s record, he once bragged, in print, about ‘ getting young girls drunk and drugged and giving and selling drugs to minors- check out ‘ an unlikely bard ‘ Broken Pencil Magazine ‘, the article was written by a friend of Mr. Ricketts and former Mayor Dave Hunt was not sued for slander and Broken Pencil was not sued for libel by Mr. Rickett as there is enough evidence to lend validity to Mayor Hunt’s statement.
    { ask Ann Mcdonald at Optimism place her opinion of Mr. Ricket- you can ask her about me as well }.

    When the prior council began it’s first winter in session I returned to Stratford and found that Mr. Rickett, no longer on council nor a resident or property owner in Stratford, was not only on committee but was chair of the energy and environment committee, in clear violation of the City’s own stated policy and, probably, Ontario Statute law as he was living in Missisauga and working for the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority. The then Council chose to lie about why Mr. Rickett gave up his position. The public reason was ‘”He is too busy with his responsibilities at work to continue on committee”-that was said by Councilor Henderson in Chambers when Mr. Rickett’s ‘ retirement was announced.

    Mayor Mathieson and the local print media have consistently misrepresented the truth about DiNichol’s and Rickett’s ‘ youthfull ‘ indiscretions. Several years prior to Mr. Rickett being elected to Stratford City Council he accused then Council member Mathieson, in his ‘ zine’ What’s up Chuck ? “, of being party to the embezzelment at the long closed Arden Park Ford. Mathieson was furious but, once Rickett was elected to council, they became friends, I hear Mayor Mathieson went to Mr. Rickett’s wedding a couple of years ago.

    I sure would like to talk with you in person so, at your convenience, I’m pretty much at the Festival Theatre, Queen’s St. side every day that there are shows as I am a street performer. Anytime before 1:00 and 7:00 is fine. If you e-mail me back make it innocuous as i’m pretty sure that Rickett, and thus Mayor Mathieson, have cracked the password to the e-mail I’m going to give you. A few years ago Mayor Mathieson, very angrily , responded to an e-mail of mine that suggested the accord betweeen him and Rickett was because of the allegations of embezilment. That e-mail site ‘ curriouscanadian@yahoo.ca ‘ was taken over not long after and I have never been able to access it again-Mr. Rickett is conected with some rather adept hackers. There may be something rotten in the State of Denmark but there is certainly something that stinks in the town of Stratford, Ontario. You should also know that former Councilor Sam Dinichol is the Grandson of the late John Neville, Artistic Director here many years ago. I think that’s why his indiscretion was handled so ‘ kindly ‘.

    Thanks, Matthew Murphy

    • Karen SchulmanDupuis (@karensd)

      Hi Matthew,

      Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I was a fan of What up Chuck and Broken Pencil when it was live; some of the commentary and slander was entertaining, but just like everything, I read commentary with a big grain of salt.

      No doubt that there’s a lot that has gone on in Stratford, just like any place. What I try to spend my time and energy on is celebrating positive actions. Without a doubt, Mayor Mathieson has been a thoughtful, ambitious municipal leader whom has brought great things to Stratford, beyond the Festival. I appreciate his tenacity and his thought leadership, which is why I supported him then and now.

      You’ve likely seen me at the Festival in my role as a Friend volunteer at the info desk and concierge. Feel free to say hi next time we cross paths…

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