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.