Susan Fielding bids farewell to Puslinch councillors

ABERFOYLE – “Council is a lot like a family; some days you don’t always like each other … but in the end, you stick together and you all move on for the greater good.”
Puslinch councillor Susan Fielding offered those words on Nov. 21 at her final meeting as a township councillor.
Fielding opted not to run in the 2018 municipal election.
“It has really been a pleasure to work with such an excellent fire department over the years,” she said.
“Everyone has maintained their professionalism and its just really meant a lot to me. I’ve always been so proud of our fire department.”
Councillor John Sepulis thanked Fielding, saying, “It’s interesting sitting next to a person like her. She has a different perspective on things.”
Sepulis said he tends to look at issues analytically, while Fielding looks at the “softer” sides of an issue and, “It’s good to get that knowledge.”
Councillor Ken Roth congratulated Fielding on her service to the community, noting, “It’s quite a commitment.”
Councillor Matthew Bulmer said it is hard to believe 15 years has passed since he first sat with Fielding at the council table.
“I think we both agreed and disagreed on many issues over the years. I haven’t been keeping score, so I hope you haven’t either,” Bulmer said.
He added, “I hope when I look back to our time on council, I will be able to point to the things I did learn from you: being a champion for the community and standing up for what you believe.
“You actually get out there and make a difference.”
Mayor Dennis Lever thanked Fielding for all her contributions.
“This is a very emotional moment for me,” she said. “I leave with mixed emotions.”
She added she feels she made the right decision and hopes the new people coming to the council table will bring fresh ideas. “Although it may sound cliché … it truly has been a privilege to serve the citizens of this great community,” she said.
She first ran for council in 2003, after working with a neighbour on a community project. “I always had a bit of a political bug … so it didn’t take too much to enter my nomination,” she said.
Fielding thanked the members of Puslinch staff, in particular the two “outstanding” CAOs she worked with over the years, Brenda Law and Karen Landry.
She noted one low point in the recent council term was the sudden loss of councillor Wayne Stokley in 2016.
“It was a huge blow to this council family … but we have been blessed to have John (Sepulis) come into the fold,” she said. Fielding thanked Bulmer “for being my friend, and my rock, and for teaching me more about humanity than I really knew existed.”
Fielding said over the years she was blessed to have incredible support from citizens and her family.
She described her mother “as my most ardent supporter – I always tried to live up to her expectations.”
Fielding also recognized the support of her three daughters and their families, and the support of her husband Hugh.
“There were a lot of bumps along the way, and politics is not an easy life,” she said.
“I will be forever grateful for their abiding, love, patience and loyalty you and our girls showed each and every single day.”
Fielding intends to remain active in the community.