Westmount vote 2021:
Kathleen Kez – District 8
WestmountMag.ca invites Westmount City Council candidates to present their platform
WestmountMag.ca extended an invitation to all eleven Westmount council candidates and those acclaimed, to provide an article about themselves and their platform on a first supplied, first published basis. Here we present Kathleen Kez, incumbent for District 8.
The articles are reproduced verbatim without corrections.
Over the past four years, I have learnt a lot about our unique district and its diverse set of challenges, as well as how the City works and where improvements can and need to be made.
District 8 has been through a lot of disruptions over the past few years, which include the messy and noisy Turcot project on our southern border and the inconveniences of the Children’s Square development project on our eastern border. Despite these challenges and the difficulties resulting from the pandemic, we managed to have quite a few notable improvements in our district:
Sidewalk and roadwork improvements, which included the road and sidewalk reconstruction of Clandeboye and Stayner, as well as the repaving of Dorchester (westbound).
Safety and school zone improvements, which included a new crosswalk at the intersection of Dorchester and Clandeboye, and the installation of signage on our residential streets and laneways to help ensure the safety of children and pedestrians alike. Westmount residents living on the north side of St. Antoine were finally included in the school territory of École St-Leon.
Stayner Park was revamped with new playground equipment, a new splash pad, new basketball equipment, as well as a redo of the comfort station and surrounding area. Green space enhancements included the realization of Prospect green space, new flower beds for Weredale, planting of trees and the installation of flower boxes at various locations.
Commercial area enhancement included the animation of Greene Ave and the installation of formal signage indicating the public space beside 5 Saisons.
Though we have made some headway over the last four years, there is still much left to do and, if re-elected, I have both the time and dedication needed to continue seeking improvements to enhance our everyday quality of life.
Our district is unique with its own set of challenges. We live in and around a beautiful residential enclave, which is near major roads as well as a busy commercial area. In addition to this, we live with much uncertainty. In the coming years, we will be seeing some major changes around us with the various development projects on Dorchester, St. Catherine Street, which is long overdue, as well as the eventual development of the Tupper lots on the north side of Dorchester for which to date no plans have been established.
As the City continues to look at various ideas regarding these lots, it is important that residents add their voice in the Imagine Westmount 2040 Project (a complete revision of the City’s Urban Plan through public participation process) as it will have a direct impact on development in the area and our quality of life.
Some key issues that I feel need to be addressed include:
- The need for more traffic calming measures
The overflow of traffic from certain roads can be a burden on our residential streets as well as our lanes
- The need for resident-only parking zones on our residential streets
Due to our proximity to a busy commercial area and the RCMP building, we need some dedicated 24-hour “resident only” parking to address the ongoing challenges of daytime parking.
- More crosswalks on the Dorchester median are needed
- Lanes, sidewalks, and roads in need of repair
We have a few lanes in our district that urgently need to be repaved.
- The need for more trees and green space maintenance and enhancements
Given the density of our district, every inch of green space is important. Not only do we need more trees, but we need to better maintain, protect, preserve, and enhance whatever little green space we have.
- The reestablishment of Selby Park
With the growing number of young families with small children, it is important that we return the park that has disappeared since 2015 due to the Turcot Project. Residents have been anxiously waiting for its return and I want to ensure this little park gets the attention it deserves.
- Relief for residents living beside the Ville Marie Expressway
Legal proceedings against the MTQ, which were initiated in 2017, are ongoing and we need to continue to push for action before the courts. It is disheartening to see that the MTQ managed to put up sound barriers along the south side of the highway yet none on the north side where our residents reside.In the meantime, I am advocating for the MTQ to install photo-radar systems along the Ville Marie expressway as vehicles are driving way above the speed limit of 70 kph. Forcing traffic to slow down should help reduce noise and pollution levels and promote safety.
- Need for resident/stakeholder awareness and input
Many of the upcoming developments in our area, including the Tupper Lots, local park upgrades, and road reconstruction, will have a direct impact on our quality of life, making resident input even more important. Our community needs to be aware, informed and have input regarding all projects going on around us. I am grateful for the initiative of a few residents who commissioned a study on the possibility of redevelopment of the Tupper Lots, which was sent to council this past June.
- Homelessness in our area
We need to continue to collaborate with local service groups and the City of Montreal for ways to help this most vulnerable population on the eastern border of our district. The encampment under the autoroute is not a viable solution for the homeless nor for residents living in the area. Everyone needs to live humanely, feel comfortable and safe.
Regarding my role as Commissioner of Finance, my accounting background has certainly been an asset. I am proud that not only is Westmount in excellent financial health but that we also managed to achieve a record-breaking capital works budget of over $26 million for 2021.
It has been an honour and a great pleasure to serve on Council representing District 8 and I hope I am allowed the opportunity to serve another four years to continue my quest in ensuring City resources are allocated to our district to enhance and improve our quality of life, making our community an even better place to live!
For more information, please visit my website kathleenkez.ca
Image: courtesy of Kathleen KezRead other candidate platforms