THE TOP 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT COUNCILLOR RYAN WILLIAMS
When I heard about Ryan Williams running as Councillor for Belleville, I was immediately intrigued. I did a little digging into his platform and was thrilled with what he had planned to contribute to the city.
The platform clearly spoke to me because, like Ryan, I grew up here and I am the father of a young family. Ryan comes from a marketing background with a passion for local travel and food and beverage. I also share a similar background and interest. I reached out to him and asked if he would be interested in speaking with us so we could share his views, ideas and goals for the city during his term on council.
We met up with Ryan at a local spot and had a very casual convo. I wanted to know more about him and what makes him jump out of bed in the A.M.
So without further ado, we present to you
THE TOP 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT RYAN WILLIAMS:
1. What’s your favorite author/genre?
Ryan: "Oh man… well lately I haven’t had much free time to read but, I love to. Whenever we go away, or I can catch a vacation, I like to read Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series.”
2. Favourite Café in Belleville? Ryan: “Bourbon & Bean. They are a great downtown success story."
3. What’s your favourite restaurant in Belleville? Ryan: "Ha! What are you trying to do to me? Well, I have more than one. We frequent Royal Haveli these days a lot. Our go to’s are also Pho Viet, Capers and The Lark."
4. Ok, with that said what’s your stance on immigration? Ryan: "I'm for it, we need it. The bigger picture people don’t see is that we are a huge country with a small population. Immigrants bring income and stimulate local economies in ways that are not possible without them. They fill work shortages in certain fields that we lack. I’m for immigration that helps stimulate the economy."
5. What areas at current state do you think you can assist the city the most with? Ryan: "Well, we must bring well paying jobs and businesses to the area. 80% of our young people leave this area and don’t come back because of its lack of jobs and affordable housing. We can do that with innovation and giving the young people of today a say now, so that long-term we can work towards those goals, give those incentives and leave them something to sustain them."
6. What’s your favorite section of the city? Ryan: “Well, downtown is my passion and we are so close to turning this area into something incredible and I think that we as council all feel that sentiment. That said, Thurlow is an area that speaks to me. I see so much potential there and I also want to work hard to improve services for that area, beyond just the internet.
7. Ok, reactive or proactive? Ryan: “Both, but understand just because you're reactive, it does not mean you throw out the window the processes and conversations that need to be in place. As a council, we need to make decisions based on research and not just based on emotion. That could have consequences that only add to the problem. How do we do that? By being proactive and avoiding the issue before it's in front of us."
9. What other things are you passionate about when it comes to serving the community? Ryan: “Well, mental health is a big one that I feel I will be looking into as far as what services we can help improve. It’s a crisis and no one should feel like they don’t have options for help. This needs to be done by strategic planning and then execution."
10. What do you love the most about being from Belleville? Ryan: “Knowing that we sit in a position that has literally endless opportunity. Being part of a community that I see getting closer and closer over the years. A place I want to raise my children. Watching small independent business, like yourself, have the community rally behind them and support them. It's exciting here and I think we as a community have positioned ourselves very well for us to be a leader, not just of Ontario, but maybe one day, of the country.
11. I know we said 10 things you should know about Ryan Williams, but there is one last thing you should know. I have a great B.S. detector and Ryan is honestly and genuine guy. You know that guy in high school who got along with everyone and all of the social groups? That’s Ryan. He wants a level playing field for everyone and for people to feel like they can take control of their future. He understands that to change a society and fix social problems, you need to invest in educating and informing people. Then, you eliminate the larger need for support long-term. That makes complete sense to us. He also sees the need to create dialog between members of the community. For periods during the interview, Ryan would just listen to me as I explained what I was trying to achieve with this article. Never interrupted me, never looked at his phone once. He was engaged with us. That said a lot about who he is. We like Ryan …a lot and we wish him all the success. I feel like we will see big things in the future for Ryan and because of Ryan.
If you happen to see Ryan, say what’s up. He is super approachable and knows how to give a proper hand shake.