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MEET YOUR CANDIDATE: Experienced politician wants to collaborate

Henry D'Angela thinks it's important that everyone's voice is heard; 'I always believe as a councillor that listening is your greatest tool'
Henry D'Angela

ThoroldToday will be profiling every candidate in the upcoming municipal elections on Oct. 24. Up last: Henry D'Angela.

Henry D’Angela, 55, brings a plethora of political experience to his bid for city council.

“I’ve always been committed to helping my community,” D’Angela says, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “I’ve held many elected official roles, as a former mayor, former councillor, former regional councillor, also a Hydro commissioner—I bring a lot of knowledge and experience to the table.”

If elected, the first thing on D’Angela’s agenda is coming up with a strategic plan.

“A strategic plan is a critical point for me because you have to get the public’s input and community groups’ input, and develop a plan that council can execute over the next four years,” he says. “I don’t want to just bring my ideas forward. I think you need a collective approach when it comes to improving our community and everybody needs to be heard and listened to.”

To better understand the needs of the community, he has created an online survey.

“I have a survey that I’m asking residents to fill out giving me what they feel are the top important issues, what Thorold is doing right, what could be done to improve,” D’Angela says. “I think that will be very helpful to determine what the citizens of Thorold feel are the needs.”

D'Angela says it’s important that the public is included when undertaking large city projects.

“If it’s a major decision there should be public consultation with it,” he says. “When we’re talking large items you always want to make sure you have the public engaged so they can give you some opportunities to improve the projects.”

He points to the Thorold Community Pool on Richmond Street which was a project that came to fruition when he was the Mayor of Thorold.

“We had a public process,” D’Angela says. “It was a collaborative approach and we ended up with a really nice facility.”

D’Angela also highlights his financial experience gained through his accounting business.

“I bring a business approach when I look at financial decisions,” he says. “I want to make sure I get value for taxpayers so that their dollars are spent wisely. You want to make sure that they’re spent in a fashion that benefits or improves the whole community. You need responsible taxes to reflect real needs, not political wish lists.”

Over the last four years D’Angela has sat on the Committee of Adjustment and he thinks that Thorold needs to review its official plan.

“Part of their main comprehensive zoning by-law is making lot sizes a little too small,” D’Angela says. “We’ve turned down proposals with people trying to subdivide lots too small and trying to make too much intensification in our community. Intensification is good but it’s got to fit into the neighbourhood.”

Supporting its own growth should be Thorold’s top priority, according to D’Angela.

“Thorold is growing exponentially but there’s been some noticeable lack of funding for our infrastructure,” he says. “There’s a lot of roads in Thorold that need some work and they haven’t had any money spent on them in the last four years. To me it’s a back to basics approach. You have to have a good proper infrastructure to move the city forward.”

D’Angela hopes that his past political experience will persuade people to vote for him.

“I understand how the system works and how to get the best out of it for our taxpayers,” D’Angela says. “I always believe as a councillor that listening is your greatest tool and you need to make sure you listen to the taxpayer.”

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About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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