CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE OF THE WEEK
PAUL TELEKI ~ ASHBURNHAM WARD
This is the third profile, in a weekly series, on sustainable minded candidates running in this falls municipal election.
Paul Teleki walks the talk of sustainability ~
When Paul first got together with his wife Elizabeth in 2003 they bicycled to Cape Breton. They then spent a summer volunteering for the Otesha Project (http://www.otesha.ca/)a national youth-led charitable organization that uses experiential learning, theatre and bicycle tours to engage and empower Canadians of all ages to take action for a more equitable and sustainable world. They cycled around Ontario visiting summer camps and schools teaching people how awareness and simple lifestyle changes can help save the planet one person at a time.
Paul is currently owner/operator of Preferences, an independent, Ontario-based research company that provides evidence-based research solutions to a wide range of private and public organizations and individuals. He is also running a completely green campaign for a seat on Peterborough City Council in Ashburnham Ward, right down to using recycled and recyclable materials for his signs and literature. His wife Elizabeth assures me that “you’re not just electing Paul, you’re electing a team”. She is currently working on her Master’s in Sustainability at Trent University.
A Politician you can TRUST ~
Paul holds a Master’s degree in Public Ethics from the University of Ottawa where his thesis was on Improving Democracy and Accountability. He believes; “Leaders are ethically obliged to consult citizens and incorporate their opinions into their decision making.” This differs from what he refers to as the “father knows best” mentality where politicians believe that, once elected, they are free agents to decide as they choose. He piloted his theory in his 2010 campaign for City Council where he placed a close third, only 300 votes from winning a seat. Paul has a survey on-line for residents to inform him of their priorities: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CommunityVoiceProject
The Elephant in the Room ~
Paul believes the elephant in this election is the Parkway, to which he is opposed, but he has a thoughtful and intelligent view on all the issues in this election. At the forefront is employment and bringing sustainable jobs to Peterborough. He sees quality of life issues like greenspace, cycling trails, and lanes as paramount to attracting progressive employers to the city. He believes a new era of business owners are locating in cities where these amenities are available to help attract top employees and keep them happy in their city as well as their job.
Paul has some other great ideas like ~
- Tax-Incentives for Businesses locating in Peterborough
- Seeking advisers for Council to bring community expertise into decision-making
- Designating an area of Peterborough for sustainable development, partnering with Sir Sanford Fleming College on an innovative approach to an off-the-grid neighborhood
- Increasing solar lighting for off the grid areas like trails and hard to reach areas (an idea he says has worked well for Huntsville).
- Introducing traffic circles to help with traffic flow in congested areas
For more information on Paul, his campaign and his views on local issues, visit his website (link below), including his art work (he is quite an accomplished painter) and photos of his and Elizabeth’s new son, Orion.
This election could be a turning point for the City of Peterborough, we have some wonderful choices for new faces and ideas on City Council. Get involved, visit their websites, volunteer to work on and donate to their campaigns. Lets move Peterborough forward!