Boddy-head-fullannefs-smallBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

As part of a distinct vote for change, lawyer Ian Boddy appears headed for the mayor's chair in Owen Sound, A first term councillor, Boddy had a clear lead over incumbent Deb Haswell and former mayor Ruth Lovell-Stanners after six of seven polls had been counted.

Boddy campaigned on a platform of improved communications at city hall, and over his first weeks he plans to sit down with city staff to discuss "how do we meetings", he said in an interview. He would like to see committee chairs explaining their reports at council meetings so councillors and the public alike understand the processes that lead to recommendations and decisions. "How often have been out of a council meeting in an hour when a 400 page report was on the agenda?"

Boddy wants to see the city get a better handle on its expenses, not necessarily by cutting programs, but by managing budgeting over a longer cycle. Department by department outcomes should be presented to council annually, he said, for better long-term planning.
Budgeting to the average, not always to the worse case, will avoid unexpected surpluses.

It is time to invest more in economic development, says Boddy. A $40,000 budget is inadequate for promoting ourselves and growing our economy. Broadband too is essential, to attract IT based businesses and retain those we have now.

With four years experience on council, Boddy feels he is still creative and looks forward to drawing the fresher ideas out of the newcomers on council.

After a campaign that saw a lot of civic engagement, Boddy says he hopes the public will stay active and engaged in their neighbourhoods, "I see this as an opportunity as an entire community to push this city forward."

Anne Finlay-Stewart is Community Editor of She can be reached at [email protected].