North Perth Mayor seeking second term

North Perth Mayor Todd Kasenberg (photo by Ryan Drury)

North Perth Mayor Todd Kasenberg has made his intentions known that he will seek a second term in this fall’s municipal election.

Kasenberg was first elected Mayor in 2018. He and his family moved to Atwood in the summer of 2016, and he was quickly recruited to be a member of the Atwood Lion’s Club, where he is currently Second Vice President. In his first 4 years at the helm of North Perth Council, Kasenberg faced numerous challenges, including the pandemic. He highlighted some accomplishments over the last 4 years, including creating 4 Mayor’s Tasks Forces on Labour Reliability, Youth Retention,
Affordable Housing and Mental Health Platforms, implementing the North Perth Commercial Design Guidelines and funding of a Façade Improvement Program, and many more.

Kasenberg is also President of the Linguists of Listowel Toastmaster Club, co-founder of the Joyful Voices community choir, and he volunteers as a facilitator with the Lonely No More program which creates small communities, by telephone, with isolated seniors.

As accomplishments in his first term, Kasenberg cites the following in his release regarding his intent to seek re-election:
-Introduction of 4 Mayor’s Tasks Forces (on Labour Reliability, Youth Retention, Affordable Housing and Mental Health Platform) and a platform of 3 key action groups to support COVID-19 recovery;
-Significant efforts towards understanding what is possible and the potential role(s) for local government in securing affordable and attainable housing;

-Engagement with and support for early processes towards building a new community hub, and a community warming/amenities centre for the homeless
-Ongoing engagement in the design and implementation of approaches to addressing homelessness in our community
-Contribution to and support for the development of our Climate Change Plan
-Assertive posture to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic
-Adoption of North Perth Commercial Design Guidelines and funding of a Façade Improvement Program for the first time
-Well-managed municipal budgets that, over the 4 years, have brought Municipal portion of property tax increases below the previous 10 year average;
-Aggressive support for rural broadband through own efforts and his involvement as a director on the board of SWIFT Rural Broadband;
-Supporting local interests to finalize an approach that will lead to a dog park;
-Renewal of several important bylaws, including Outdoor Burning, Property Standards and Off-Road Vehicles;
-Renewal of key infrastructure, including Line 84 repaving, enhanced gravelling of rural roads, and the first phase of development for the Northeast Employment Lands (in Listowel);
-Realignment of land development planning functions towards an enhanced departmental strategy led by the County of Perth;
-Engagement with County of Perth Council pertaining to diversity, equity and anti- racism;
-Commission of the North Perth Transportation Master Plan; and
-Positioning the Municipality as an employer of choice through commission, receipt and action on a North Perth Human Resources Master Plan

“After deliberation with family, and a generous stream of inquiries inviting me to run again, I’ve decided to announce my candidacy for Mayor for this fall’s election,” says Kasenberg. “I’ve had 4 challenging years as mayor – with a pandemic squarely in my term – during which I’ve learned a lot, encouraged an agenda of consultative leadership and innovation, and worked towards kindness and a wonderful sense of community. I have the energy and passion to extend the many exciting advancements I’ve been part of, and cook up a few more. I remain committed to public service.”

“As I make myself available for a second term, I’m pretty excited about our opportunities. We have secured substantial investment, from the Province of Ontario, for a concept I have refined and guided related to adult learning and skills development in our community. It is certainly one of the substantial drivers for future success, and I’d like to see it through,” Kasenberg adds. “There is no single issue more important to us at this point in our community’s evolution than attainable and affordable housing. We have seen a whole lot of crazy change happen in the housing markets in Canada, and we are not alone with supply problems and the general lack of availability of capital. I pledge to work, during a second term, towards getting more homes that are attainable built – not just talked about. I will work on policy, on short-term gains through encouraging release of rooms in existing homes, and for the medium and long-term, will be working on novel models for supply, some of which will require us to put municipal lands or funds into play. We must start thinking of affordable housing as infrastructure, and not fodder for the market place and its forces which are unpredictable and have made houses ‘investments’ instead of homes.”