Local teacher, Tess Prendergast running for council

August 25, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

A local educator and former NDP candidate in the 2022 provincial election is vying to be one of five Orangeville councillors in the fall municipal election.

Tess Prendergast, who’s been a resident of Orangeville since 2011, said she wants to keep Orangeville on its current path and bring about improvements where possible.

“The current Council is doing a wonderful job. I just want to join that team to hopefully offer some fresh perspectives in terms of environmental sustainability, and some ideas about connecting services with people, and just a couple of gaps that I’ve noticed as a parent of young children.”

Prendergast said she wants to help foster a connected community in Orangeville, from seniors to young children, and everyone in between.

“Orangeville is a really great town, but speaking to a lot of young individuals… there’s not a lot in town for people who are 18 to 30, and how do we connect with our young professionals?” she said. “From that post high school age to when you might be starting a family, how do we attract and keep people in town?”

Prendergast said the high cost of housing in Orangeville is clearly an issue for retaining young people and she’s hoping to work on that issue at the municipal level.

She told the Citizen, her top three priorities if elected are fiscal responsibility, promoting environmental sustainability and upholding strong municipal services that residents are accustom to.

“I think Orangeville’s a phenomenal place to work, live and raise a family, but I think there’s always room for growth,” Prendergast said. “I just want to maintain the level of service that we’re receiving now and continue to promote Orangeville as a livable, and workable town for all ages and stages of life.”

A key area of focus for Prendergast, if she’s elected as councillor this fall, is to strengthen the transit system to ensure all neighbourhoods are being reached.

Another focus is on parks and recreation, getting projects like the Alder Recreation Centre pool replacement finished in a timely manner so swimming lessons and services are available to everyone in town, particularity seniors and youth with differing abilities.

As a librarian at St. Andrew’s Elementary School, Prendergast said she is skilled in research and will be able to provide a thorough, unbiased look at items presented to council.

In addition to being a librarian, Prendergast also teaches French at St. Andrew’s and is a scout leader with the 4TH Orangeville Beaver Scouts

She said she has a passion for politics, having took her undergraduate degree in history and international studies with a focus on economics and political science.

“I ran previously in the provincial election in 2022, with a strong focus on social services, health care and education, and I hope to bring those values to municipal council,” she told the Citizen. “I’m always looking out for the vulnerable people, and making sure that we’re making fiscally responsible decisions and respecting the environment.”

Prendergast said she’d encourage all eligible Orangeville residents to be an active part of their democracy and cast a vote for the municipal leaders they support on Oct. 24.

“It’s important,” she said. “We have many generations of Canadians who fought for our democracies and freedoms, and we really need to respect that, make sure we’re voting, no matter who you vote for… it’s part of your duty.”

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