Voters have important decisions to make with the municipal election around the corner.

In Cambridge, voters will be able to select their choices for mayor, ward councillor, school board trustees, regional chair and regional councillors when they head to the polls on Oct. 24.

Four people are running for mayor of Cambridge.

CTV News reached out to each mayoral candidate to get a better idea of who they are, why they’re running, and what they think is the biggest issue facing their township.

All candidates were sent the same three questions.

A full list of candidates running for councillor positions in Cambridge is available here.

Kathryn McGarry (incumbent)

Kathryn McGarry

Who are you?

I have been invested in Cambridge and an active volunteer advocate for people and issues that matter for 34 years. We have raised our 6 children here. As a Registered Nurse, I cared for our most vulnerable residents in homes, Emergency Room and ICU. I was the Cambridge MPP, a Cabinet Minister, an incumbent Mayor and Regional Councillor. I am known as a competent, collaborative community builder.

Why are you running?

I am running for re-election because I believe in the potential our incredible City has.

This is a critical time, when experience and committed leadership is needed to steer Cambridge out of the pandemic toward full recovery. That requires an experienced hand; not one that seeks a fight, but rather a strong voice that seeks collaborative solutions that benefit absolutely everyone in our community.

I bring stamina and the strong working relationships needed to move our City forward. As a seasoned public servant, with experience at three out of the four levels of government I will always stand for up Cambridge - even when it means making the difficult, but right decisions.

I am running to ensure we remain one of the best places in Canada to play, live, and work.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing the City of Cambridge and how do you plan to address it?

Lack of social services support is the single biggest issue faced by all the residents of Cambridge.

The increasing number of people experiencing homelessness, mental health and addiction issues is unprecedented, has worsened over the pandemic and is a national issue. These issues are complex and needs all four levels of Govt working together to help find solutions. I have strong collaborative relationships with service providers, elected officials and have been advocating for increased funding to provide more housing and Mental Health and Addictions supports.

I spearheaded the establishment of the Community Well Being Advisory Committee to help find Cambridge-made solutions to work on the root causes of homelessness. My years at the Crime Prevention Council helped me establish those key relationships. Building more supports such as recreational activities focused on Youth will contribute to increased resilience, critical to prevent another generation from suffering.

Cambridge has partnered with others and will continue to create more affordable housing options to deliver on our Regional Homelessness Master Plan and will continue to leverage more funding to build more affordable units.

Supporting the work of police, Cambridge by-law team, Neighbourhood associations, outreach and mental health workers, helps make a safer community. Establishing a CTS site will decrease public drug use, reduce 911 calls and connect people to services.

Ontario is the only province in Canada that pays for social services at the municipal rather than the provincial level. Along with Big City Mayors, I have had advocated that that needs to change.

Jan Liggett

Jan Liggett

Who are you?

I have been immersed for the past eight years serving as an elected Councillor, including on numerous committees of city and regional council. For decades I have contributed as a volunteer on a variety of committees of council.

I have lived in Cambridge over 35 years, and raised a family here, volunteered across a spectrum of organizations and causes, and as a business owner, I know from personal experience what my community needs in order to prosper.

Why are you running?

I have a deep concern with the pattern of ignoring resident and taxpayer voices when decisions are being made by council. Community engagement must be re-established as a normal and healthy function of public discourse and municipal decision making in Cambridge.

Like you, I pay taxes and entrust my elected officials to spend them wisely. I live in Cambridge and am invested in Cambridge in the true sense of the word running a successful internationally known business. When an elected official has the privileged position of setting taxes yet doesn’t pay those same taxes, and still reaps the services and paycheques paid for by us, that’s a problem. I expect accountability of taxpayers’ money.

I believe in being prepped for the negative and then being wowed by the positive. I want you to feel excited about living in Cambridge and its future while we get things done. I am well prepared to confront the challenges ahead as your mayor.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing the City of Cambridge and how do you plan to address it?

While there are numerous issues that are important to residents, I’m hearing wherever I go that our community’s mental illness and addiction crises are top of mind. Coupled with homelessness and increased levels of crime, these conditions are deep-rooted, and demand the full attention of elected officials at all levels of government. I’m already confronting this task head on.

During my first term as a councillor, I identified the magnitude of these interconnected issues and in 2017 I laid the groundwork for seeking lasting and systemic solutions. Council approved the Cambridge Community Outreach Task Force, which led directly to the establishment of the Community Wellbeing Advisory Committee in 2018 by council under Mayor Craig to commence by 2019. I was elected as chair for 1 year terms three consecutive times and remain committed to the overall wellbeing of this community.

Funding is key, and it will be my job representing Cambridge to advocate at every level of government to provide sufficient and timely funding to resolve these problems. I’ll press our regional councillors, provincial MPP, and federal MP to reinforce funding for those services we currently have, identify gaps that demand action, and advocate to meet the increasing pressure for public services as our population grows. Our infrastructure facilities and professional personnel must be capable of meeting our needs, right here in our community. This is a top priority.

You need to be assured that someone cares and not feel disillusioned by the current political climate.

Randy Carter

Randy Carter did not have an email or website with contact information listed on the official list of candidates.

Cody Botelho

Cody Botelho did not have an email or website with contact information listed on the official list of candidates.