Augustyn runs for Chair of Niagara Region

Longest-Serving Pelham Mayor promotes Integrity, Prosperity and Compassion

Dave Augustyn, Mayor of Pelham for the last 12 years, officially filed his papers today to serve as the Niagara Region’s first directly-elected Chair.

“I am humbled by the hundreds of people that have encouraged me to run for Chair for a better Region,” said Augustyn. “I appreciate working together with Pelham Council, staff, volunteers, residents and businesses over the last 12 years to improve our community’s infrastructure, services, facilities, and overall quality of life.”

Augustyn’s campaign platform will focus on three main themes: Integrity, Prosperity and Compassion.

This term of Regional Council offered negative headlines of big projects with major cost overruns or cases of personal expense abuses by Councillors. Countless reports highlighted questionable hiring practices – like the Police-chief buy-out – and showed how attacks by some Councillors went unchecked. These and other issues point to a leadership void at Regional Council, which has led to a loss of public confidence and a lack of meaningful Council progress. Augustyn questioned these matters, standing up for the public and what is right.

With many fiscal challenges expected in the upcoming term, Augustyn’s experience will ensure Niagara remains anaffordable place to live and create jobs. As chair of the Region’s $1 billion budget for 2011-14, Augustyn kept tax increases below inflation and lower than the current council term. Under Augustyn’s leadership, the averagehomeowner in Pelham pays less than they did 12 years ago, when adjusted for inflation, and the lowest water and sewer costs. Across Niagara, Augustyn has championed incentives for downtown and brownfield re-developments and industrial expansion, which have led to more vibrant communities and helped create hundreds of jobs. He continues to fight for the transportation network Niagara deserves, including GO Rail and Integrated Transit.

Since prosperity and compassion go hand-in-hand, as Chair, Augustyn will work to make the Niagara Peninsula a more caring community. Augustyn has committed to reducing ambulance back-ups at emergency rooms, and to working with the Province to build and renew hospital facilities in Niagara Falls, Welland and Grimsby. He will also focus on securing and building hundreds of long-term beds, and increasing mental health and addiction supports. Augustyn will also work to combat homelessness by encouraging more housing that’s affordable, more social andrental housing, “in-law” suites and micro-housing pilots.

During his announcement before a large crowd at a coffee shop in the centre of the peninsula, Augustyn presented a detailed blueprint for integrity, prosperity, and compassion. He will revise and improve the Blueprint for a Better Region based on listening to residents and businesses during the summer and for the fall election campaign.

“I look forward to going door-to-door and to events across Niagara and listening to residents and businesses about how we might achieve our hopes and dreams for a better Region,” said Augustyn. “Working together we canrestore Niagara’s reputation, increase prosperity, encourage more livable communities while protecting the environment, and creating more care and compassion for you, your children and your grandchildren.”

About Dave Augustyn

Dave Augustyn serves as the Mayor of the Town of Pelham and a Regional Councillor in Niagara Region. He was first elected in November 2006 as Pelham’s youngest mayor and was re-elected in 2010 and again in 2014.

Mayor Dave chairs the Town’s Council and Committee Meetings. He also serves on several Regional Councilcommittees – including Corporate Service, Public Works, Public Health & Social Services, Planning & Development, Waste Management, Audit, and Smarter Niagara (Chair). He chaired the Region’s budget review committee during the 2011-14 term and co-chaired the corporate services standing committee from 2009-14.

Under Dave’s leadership, the Town invested in quality-of-life improvements – like the new Meridian Community Centre (open Fall 2018), a dozen new parks and playgrounds, the renewed Maple Acre library, downtown revitalizations of Fonthill and Fenwick, and two new fire halls in Fenwick and North Pelham. Council also focused on creating a more livable community that helped make the Town more walkable and bikeable and won awards for community design excellence and planning. Dave looks forward to the opening of the new Wellspring Niagara Cancer Support Centre this fall (on lands donated by the Town) and the groundbreakings for the new medical centre, new seniors affordable housing, new retirement home and new Long-Term Care Home (on lands sold by the Town).

Dave also serves as the vice-chair of Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. (a local electricity distribution company) and as chair of the Peninsula West Power Corporation (a holding and electricity services company).

Prior to his elected service, Dave worked as a professional fundraiser and helped raise millions of dollars to assist abused women and their children at Women’s Place (now Gillian’s Place), hospital patients at Hotel Dieu and the St. Catharines General hospitals, victims of Alzheimer disease at the Alzheimer Society of Niagara, and students in need at the University of Waterloo.

Dave and his wife of 23 years – Carol Berkhout – grew up in the Niagara Peninsula and live in Fenwick with their two teenaged children. They are members of and volunteers at St. Ann’s Church.

About Dave Augustyn for Chair Campaign

At the time of his announcement, Dave Augustyn had not yet filed his nomination papers. That meant that he was unable to spend money on his election campaign or to accept donations.

After officially filing his nomination, the campaign will establish a website and other informational materials.