dodd-fullBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

The decisions made at Owen Sound city council are going to impact Travis Dodd's life and his future children's lives. That is why he wants to be at that table.

The 27 year old Dodd was born and raised in this city, graduated from West Hill and after a university degree in political science he volunteered internationally with Canadian development agencies. But he always knew he was coming back to Owen Sound. "The motto fits," he said in an interview, "It is where you want to live. It is about pride of place."

Although he had worked through high school and never lacked for part-time jobs, before Dodd started his present work in the insurance industry he had begun to wonder if he would have to move to a larger centre to start a career.

Youth development and retention is essential to a healthy community, he says, and he intends to make it the basis of his campaign. "If the city is not a place where young people can build businesses, careers and families, decline will be inevitable."

Dodd supports the view that "where technology is – youth will follow" and wants to assure that the city and county keep up with the speed and innovation of technological growth. Along with creative partnerships with Georgian College, this will support self-employment, start up and retention of small businesses, and distance education and employment. Young singles and families also need a safe community, parks and activities for kids, a vital downtown and a developed waterfront, he says.

Dodd believes every other councillor and candidate has a campaign pointed at his generation, but only he can actually bring their voice and perspective to the council.

When he announced his campaign on social media, the response was immediate and huge. "It doesn't take long on social media to know if you are doing the right thing or the wrong thing", he says, "And the reaction proved to me that people are passionate about these issues."

Dodd plans to keep an open mind and an open ear in bringing the perspective of a new generation to Owen Sound council. "The past is what it is – the future is the only thing we can control."

Anne Finlay-Stewart is Community Editor of She can be reached at [email protected].