CW, Erin and WN
In Centre Wellington, it will be interesting to see longtime councillor Fred Morris take on incumbent Kelly Linton for the mayor’s seat. Judging by voting patterns and interactions at the council table, it appears this race has been brewing for some time. There are also interesting councillor races in five of Centre Wellington’s six wards, including three-way races in Ward 3 (between incumbent Dean Workman, Bob Foster and Bruce Lloyd) and in Ward 4 (between newcomers Vinnie Green, Neil Dunsmore and Paul Whitaker).
In Wellington North, there will be a re-match of the 2014 race for mayor, as incumbent Andy Lennox will once again face former mayor Ray Tout. Lennox defeated Tout by about 1,000 votes four years ago, but both remain popular with many residents.
Some of the most interesting races will take place in Erin, where incumbent Allan Alls is being challenged by Paul Dermott and Michael Dehn for mayor and there are eight candidates for four councillor positions (with only two incumbents vying for reelection).
While a number of issues will be addressed during the Erin campaign, one of the main issues will surely be the longstanding problem of local wastewater capacity and treatment. I would suggest town secrecy should be another. Despite the recent passage of a “citizen engagement charter” (the timing for which was dubious), Erin residents should be sure to ask all candidates if they plan to continue to keep residents in the dark on important issues, which has become the calling card of the current administration.
Mayor races in GE, Minto
I’ll particularly be keeping my eye on the Guelph-Eramosa and Minto mayoral races.
In Guelph-Eramosa current councillor David Wolk is taking on incumbent mayor Chris White. While not unusual, the timing is what makes this situation one of note. Over the last several months Guelph-Eramosa has been considering a zoning amendment application for a half-a-billion-dollar glass plant. At first, White seemed receptive to the application going through the normal process. Wolk, on the other hand, made his opposition to the plant known early on.
However, it was not until after the glass plant was refused by all Guelph-Eramosa councillors, save one, that Wolk withdrew his ward councillor application and entered the mayoral race.
Almost immediately Carol Easton, a member of GET Concerned, a citizen activist group opposed to the glass plant, announced her candidacy for Wolk’s vacant Ward 1 position.
With the mayor and councillor positions each facing a two-way race in Guelph-Eramosa, this fall should be an interesting time.
In Minto, Terry Fisk will once again be taking on incumbent mayor George Bridge. This will be the second time the two candidates, who also faced off in 2014, will go head to head in the mayoral race.
Maybe if constituents accept that he and Bridge aren’t related at all (Fisk noted at a candidates meeting there appeared to be some confusion on this the last time), Fisk will have the opportunity to share his ideas while he’s campaigning and have a fighting shot in the mayor’s race.