Trustee contestants ramp up election bid

With current Ward 8 trustee Howard Goodman announcing he won’t be seeking re-election, attention turns to those who have joined the race to be the next local rep.

And for Jennifer Arp and Aaron Grinhaus, the two candidates who are running as of May 23 (editor’s note: Claudia Webb registered to run for election, May 28), there are a lot of similarities: both are 35 years old, both run home-based businesses, both are parents of elementary school children, and both think they’re the right person for the job.

The main difference between them is what makes them confident they’re qualified for the position.

Grinhaus, a tax lawyer, believes his background with numbers will help the Toronto District School Board deal with budgetary issues, while Arp says the role of trustee is a natural progression for her after chairing the school council at Joyce Public School.

“There’s never been a moment of ‘should I be doing this’” Arp said. “(My husband and I) try to teach our children you have a voice. Being able to say to my kids I’m using my voice and speaking for your education … and for anyone who ever steps foot in a TDSB building, it’s building a community.”

Arp, who runs a weekly after-school music program at Joyce PS, says she’s looking to expand her presence into all the other schools in the ward, and is campaigning on expanding the use of schools as community spaces. She says she believes there are accountability issues within the board that she’d like to work to change.

Grinhaus, likewise, takes issue with how the board is managed, saying shortly after his daughter started school in September “a lack of professional oversight” in the board’s policy and budgetary roles became apparent to him. He says his career has allowed him to analyze large budgets and find efficiencies.

“My professional background is really what motivated me to bring a non-emotional viewpoint into board chambers, so we can more objectively and not emotionally look at these issues and deal with them,” he said, adding that he will also make community engagement a priority outside of the boardroom.

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Posted: Jun 9 2014 9:44 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto