Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) Trustee Meagan Ruddock declared her candidacy this week for Central Elgin Deputy Mayor. She’s only the third registered candidate on CE’s Unofficial List of Candidates for the October 24, 2022 municipal election. The nomination period is open until August 19, 2022.
Although many municipal candidates are not likely to announce until after the June 2, 2022 Provincial election, CE Ward 2 Councillor Dennis Crevits has already registered his mayoral campaign, and political newcomer Michelle Graham, a senior health care industry consultant, has registered to run for Ward 1 Councillor.
Ward 4 Councillor Bill Fehr is the only other incumbent CE Council member to confirm he’s running again. Ward 5 Councillor Fiona Wynn is leaving public office. Mayor Sally Martyn and Deputy Mayor Tom Marks have yet to reveal their intentions. Ward 1 Councillor Colleen Row and Ward 3 Councillor Karen Cook do not respond to inquiries.
Casey Siebenmorgen, a candidate in the 2018 Central Elgin mayoral race, is considering another electoral challenge, however, the local business owner has yet to decide on the position he will pursue.
“It’s always such a big thing to put yourself out there,” Ruddock said after submitting her registration papers. “I am so excited.”
Ruddock was first elected as an Elgin County trustee in the 2018 municipal election, representing Bayham, Central Elgin, Dutton Dunwich, West Elgin, the townships of Malahide and Southwold, the Town of Aylmer and the City of St. Thomas. In 2019 and 2020, Ruddock served as the Board’s vice-chair.
A medical secretary at the Elmdale Health Centre, in St. Thomas, Ruddock is a life-long Central Elgin resident who now lives in Port Stanley.
“I got involved in politics because of the decision to close five rural schools,” said Ruddock. “I decided to stop grouching and to effect change.” She was part of the campaign that led to TVDSB eventually reversing its decision to close New Sarum and Springfield public schools.
“That was awesome,” said Ruddock. “That was the first time in Ontario that a school closure had been rescinded.
“We worked very closely with all levels of government,” she added. “We advocated there was no need to close those schools to get a new school in Belmont.” TVDSB received $8.7-million in funding to build a new 354-students elementary school in Belmont in June. “Being at the Board has been a fantastic learning experience,” she said. Ruddock said she is still formulating her election platform.
Please read other North Shore Beacon coverage of the municipal election.