Step by step: Mayor hopes to learn more about city issues by walking through wards

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said he wants to speak one-on-one with Windsorites to find out issues the city can help with. He has started walking tours where residents can strike up a conversation with him while they walk through their ward.

'When you actually see what people are talking about, I think it just makes me do my job better'

Mayor Drew Dilkens greeting a father and son in Ward 7 during his first walk in the wards. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

Rainy weather didn't stop Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens from taking his first walk in the wards.

The initiative, meant to connect the city's leadership with issues on the ground, kicked off at Cora Greenwood Parkette in Ward 7 Tuesday night where the mayor was met by a handful of residents and councillor Irek Kusmierczyk.

Jay Parikh, a resident of the ward, came with a list of issues to talk over with the mayor including problems expanding his home with an addition and the shortage of doctors in the area.

"He listened very carefully and he's giving solutions," said Parkih, who added he really enjoyed being able to talk so freely with the mayor.

More residents joined the group as they walked along, and Coun. Kusmierczyk was able to point out a few issues his constituents had brought up with him — a sidewalk to nowhere, crosswalk issues, fears of flooding and speeding.

Ward 7 residents walk and talk with the mayor. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

"It's a really great opportunity to share our mutual concerns directly with the mayor," he said.

Kusmierczyk also gave the mayor a tour of the new park that was installed in the ward.

"It was an opportunity to show off some of the good things, the good investments that have been made," he said.

During the walk, Dilkens took a detour and climbed up a hill on the Blue Heron Trail because residents wanted to show him where a few people decided to put up a bench press, a few chairs and a lot of litter.

As the walk continued around the Blue Heron Lake the mayor even got a request for a selfie.

"When you actually see what people are talking about I think it just makes me do my job better," he said.

This was the first of what Dilkens hopes is many walking tours.

"I want to go out to all the different wards," he said. "I want to have walks around all the different areas, talk to the neighbourhoods, talk to residents in the neighbourhoods."

The mayor will be in Ward 4 on June 21 at 6:30 P.M. starting at Willistead Park. Thursday, June 22 the walk will be in Ward 3 starting at Jackson Park at 6:30 P.M.