Last week was the last official week on the job for mayors Cark Zehr and Brenda Halloran. Yesterday was the first official day on the job for their successors with Mayor Bob Vrbanovic taking over in Kitchener and Mayor Dave Jaworsky in Waterloo.
I had the chance to speak last week at “A Tribute to Carl Zehr” presented by the Rotary Clubs of Kitchener and it was an impressive showing of support for the outgoing and longest serving mayor in Kitchener’s history. It has been a pleasure working with Carl over the years dating back to my time at Paul Puncher Menswear in downtown Kitchener to today as President and CEO of the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce.
A Leader of Quiet, Dignified Strength
Carl has been a leader of quiet, dignified strength, resilience, and perseverance. His ability to listen collaborate, communicate, act, and deliver will be what I will remember most. During his time as mayor the projects he and successive councils spearheaded that changed the face of Kitchener and resulted in a much more diverse and vibrant local economy.
The investments made were visionary and bold. Whether it be the creation of the University of Waterloo Health Sciences Campus in downtown Kitchener or the new rapid transit that will reshape and continue to generate economic activity for years to come. Carl has left a Kitchener and Region ready for its future and poised to write its next amazing chapter.
A Legacy of Revitalization
Mayor Halloran’s 8 years as Waterloo Mayor the city has changed a lot. The Uptown City Centre revitalization has attracting businesses back to the city centre that includes major banks, accounting firms, and tech companies. The advancement of key infrastructure projects such as water and sewage infrastructure aren’t as obvious as a light rail transit project, but these types of projects are integral to Waterloo’s future and happened under Brenda’s watch.
Key projects like the Northdale Community redevelopment are just getting underway and the further growth of partners like the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College all point to a strong path Mayor Jaworsky will be able to work with to continue making Waterloo a vibrant community.
Thank you once again to Mayors Zehr and Halloran for your service to the community. It has been a pleasure to work with you over the years and making our Region stronger through your collaborative and vision focused service on council.