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Meet Your Council: Peter Ferragine encourages residents to be more involved with council

Coun. Peter Ferragine talks flowers, fashion and politics.

Before he was elected on council, Ward 5 Coun. Peter Ferragine admits he never really paid much attention to town politics. But after five years of being on council, he realizes how important it is for residents and council to work together to make Bradford the optimal place to live.

“Most people should care (about council), but tons don’t,” he said.

When he first ran in 2014, he went door to door to meet everyone in his ward, which encompasses most of the rural area of Bradford, north of Line 8.  It took him six weeks to reach every house. He says people were either receptive or didn’t care to speak to him at all. 

He encourages all residents to get more involved, attend council meetings and reach out to councillors to help them make better decisions for the town.

One of the most challenging parts of being on council he says is balancing the budget to ensure everyone gets what they want.

“You want to give everyone the best you can, but you have to be smart about it,” he said.

He enjoys working with the rest of the eight council members and believes their good working relationship is what got them re-elected for a second term.

“I like the fact that we’re all good at working together and it shows because we all got reelected,” he said.

But he noted that being on council is not always an easy job, because "you are always under the microscope". 

“You have to have thick shoulders and thick skin,” he said. 

Ferragine has lived in Bradford his whole life and has never felt the need to leave.

“I realized how much I enjoyed the town. I was never one of those guys who wanted to leave,” he said.

He grew up on Bingham Street and now lives off the 8th Line with his wife Amanda and two children, Aeowyn and Anthony. He and Amanda met at Delf’s Fitness in Bradford in 2006 while learning tae-kwon-do. They married in 2010. Ferragine says he is lucky that he gets to spend a lot of time with his kids due to his flexible work schedule. 

Ferragine’s parents own Ferragine Greenhouses on Simcoe Road, and has always had a hand in helping them run their business, especially during their busy spring seasons.

His primary job though is real estate. He has been a realtor for the past eight years and works primarily in the Bradford market.

When he’s not at the greenhouse, in a council meeting, or showing homes, he is working on his side suit business, Suited Up, a made to measure suit company.

“Being in the greenhouses my whole life, I never really needed to dress up,” he explained.

But once he got involved in real estate and politics, he realized how much he appreciated good quality men’s fashion.

“Whatever happened to Sunday best? Everyone was dressed nice,” he reflected.

After much research and learning about the materials and quality of fabrics, he found a company to work with out of Thailand who custom makes the suits out of materials shipped from Italy and the UK.

His appreciation for good quality fashion is very much noticed when he attends council meetings and other public events, usually dressed in dapper suits with matching pocket squares.

“They always tease me about it,” he said about the councillors and his ensembles, but noted that the other members of council have been “stepping up their (fashion) game,” since he started suiting up.

For the rest of the council term, Ferragine says they are working on bringing more jobs to the town. He noted Bradford currently doesn’t have a lot of high paying jobs.

“For the most part people sleep here then they go to work out of town,” he explained. But that issue, along with many other big agenda items,he says takes time and that it is in the works.

“We’re working on it.”

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Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is the Editor for BradfordToday and InnisfilToday. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats.
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