After a busy provincial election in June, municipalities across Ontario are gearing up to elect the local governments that will represent some of their most important interests for the next four years. Here in North Dundas, voters have an easier job than in some other municipalities. With nobody running against current Mayor Tony Fraser, his seat is acclaimed for another four years. Councillor Theresa Bergeron will take over as Deputy Mayor with another acclaimed seat, as current Deputy Mayor Allan Armstrong is not seeking re-election. All four school trustees are also acclaimed. The result? North Dundas residents will vote only to fill the Councillor positions, with six candidates vying for three positions.
Gary Annable is the only current Councillor seeking re-election to the same position. Coucillor Thompson is not seeking re-election, and Councillor Bergeron will switch to the Deputy’s Mayor’s seat. Newcomers hoping for a chance at representing their fellow residents are William Healey, Stefan Kohut, John Lennox, Joselyn Morley, and Matthew Uhrig.
Issues that are bound to come up as part of the campaign include things such as road conditions, population growth, recreation, and of course, municipal water. The issue of water quality and quantity in the villages of Winchester and Chesterville was one addressed by every candidate in recent interviews, particularly because water supply issues are thought to be holding back sustainable development locally. While candidates for the recent provincial election engaged in live interviews, with transcripts published in the Times, this required meticulous editing and made it difficult to give each candidate an equal amount of room to share their thoughts. For the current municipal election, candidates are being asked to provide a written response of a set length to four key questions. The questions are: 1) What are your top three priorities for the coming four years of Council? How have municipal priorities changed since the last term of Council? 2) What would you bring to Council this term that hasn’t been there previously? 3) Do you think more can be done to involve the community in the affairs of Council and being part of the decision-making process? 4) How do you think future development in North Dundas – infrastructure, economic, environmental – should be directed? What new initiatives need to be undertaken in those areas?
Municipal elections are perhaps more important than provincial and federal elections because local governments make the decisions that are most impactful to our day-to-day lives. Candidates who choose to answer the questions above will have their answers published in the October 20 issue of the Times. Stay tuned!