Kristina Tesser Derksen- Ward 1 candidate (Municipal)

Why should people vote for you?

 

Ward 1 candidate Kirstina Tesser Derksen
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I have fulfilled the role of Councillor successfully for the past four years because I understand and invest in Milton. I was born and raised in Milton and have lived here my entire life, growing up in the rural area and raising my family in the urban. This has given me a unique perspective of life across the ward. My husband owns and runs a small business in Milton and I have a law practice here. Our four children live here. I care deeply about what happens in this town, which is evident from the significant time I invest in community building and volunteering, including my Board positions with the Townsend Smith Hospice Foundation, The Downtown Milton Business Improvement Area Association, the Milton Chamber of Commerce, the Milton Public Library, and Canadian Federation of University Women. When the community needs support or a hand, I am there with my time. My professional training as a lawyer has conditioned me to be a consummate advocate for constituents and logically approach the problems I am presented. Working collaboratively with my fellow councillors, town staff, and of course, our community, has been a great honour that I hope to continue this in my role as Councillor. This is not an ego project for me – I truly feel compelled to help, give back, and serve my community.

 

What are your top three priorities for Milton?

My top three priorities flow from the top three complaints and concerns I received from residents (none of these is more important than the other, so please don’t consider them ranked first to last).  Firstly, the need to address traffic and road safety. I endorsed a Traffic Calming Study Pilot which is reviewing the prospects for traffic calming measures, such as speed enforcement cameras, community safety zones with decreased speed limits, and other traffic calming and safety measures. This report comes to Council in the Spring and I plan to push for implementation of these measures in some of our most troublesome spots (Martin Street, Commercial Street, Duncan Lane, Guelph Line, etc.). I was successful in working with staff to implement a new road paving technology for our rural roads – micropaving –  (which is safer and less disruptive than the old “tar and chip” resurfacing). The second priority is community planning, which is admittedly broad. It touches on issues regarding growth and expanding urban boundaries (or not), development of new land and lots in existing neighbourhoods, convenient transit that connects our neighbourhoods and reduces dependence on cars, and community spaces that make neighbourhoods vibrant and close-knit. Here we need to push for completion of our outdated Official Plan and weave the important public input we’ve received into the final product. My third priority (and certainly not the least important) is continuing my work on environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation. My Climate Emergency Declaration of 2019 needs to continue with the appropriate action items of reducing the Town’s GHG emissions, ending the use of single-use plastics at town facilities, and improving the review all department work through a “green lens”. My wish for the next term of council would be to employ a full-time climate staff person to coordinate and oversee the Town’s work on environmental sustainability.

Tell Us About Yourself

I am a born and raised Miltonian and have worked in Milton since high school  everywhere from Allendale to the Muddy Duck and Jay’s Ice Cream. After college, I worked as a funeral director at McKersie Kocher Funeral Home. I have an undergraduate specialist degree in history and political science, and attended law school at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. My husband and I have four children, and my parents and siblings all reside here in Milton, also. My political style is very collaborative, and I pride myself on my ability to diffuse difficult situations and come to understanding through listening and empathy. No matter how heated the disagreement, I always try to remember that our goals are the same: a healthy, safe, and dynamic community. That being said, I stand my ground when necessary. Above all things, integrity and civility in politics, and life, is of utmost importance to me. I am a history nerd, travel lover, jazz music enthusiast, and I spend my (limited) spare time learning Italian (and some Latin), and tending to my backyard grapevine.

email: info@votekristina.com

Kristina’s website