CENTRE WELLINGTON – Former township and county councillor Shawn Watters has announced his intention to run for mayor of Centre Wellington Township this fall.
“I am running for mayor because I believe that Centre Wellington needs a leader who respects diverse views and ideas and recognizes that council is a team,” Watters stated in an April 6 press release.
“Council should work collaboratively towards building consensus in guiding our community.”
Watters is a longtime resident of Fergus/Elora, where he and his wife Deb have raised their sons Haydn and Emmett.
He previously sat on Elora and Centre Wellington councils as a councillor and he served as a Wellington County councillor between 2010 and 2018.
Watters identified housing as a key concern for the next term of Centre Wellington council.
“There is a critical need for affordable, accessible housing in Centre Wellington,” Watters stated.
“Township council must work with the county, the province and the development community to strategize and identify housing opportunities …
” A variety of housing stock is needed immediately including affordable high-quality rentals. Youth, seniors and lower wage earners should not be locked out of the ability to own a home.”
Watters also emphasized the need for “proactive planning with a focus on retaining small-town values, enhancing our historical spaces, natural areas, water resources and trail networks.”
He noted that while Fergus and Elora “require a lot of financial resources to maintain,”council cannot forget Belwood, Inverhaugh, Salem and the many rural addresses” in the township.
“Bridge replacement, road maintenance, streetscape enhancement should be an equal priority throughout Centre Wellington, regardless of their location,” he stated.
Watters says he looks forward to “listening to and learning from” township residents.
The 2022 municipal election takes place on Oct. 24.
The official nomination/registration period runs from May 2 to Aug. 19.