A few more candidates stepped forward in Central Elgin this week and officially kicked off campaigns for the October 24, 2022 municipal election. Bill Harrington is running for Deputy Mayor, Norm Watson for Ward 3 Councillor, David Conners for Ward 4, and David Baughman for Ward 5.
“Since I’ve lived here, I noticed a particular attitude towards the taxpaying citizens,” said Harrington, 64, a retired Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer who moved to Lynhurst four years ago. “I figured that if you want to change something, then you have to get involved.
“My main issues are around greater transparency, more support for the farmers in our community,” added Harrington, who is up against financial services professional Todd Noble, of Union, and incumbent Ward 1 Councillor Colleen Row, of Port Stanley.
Watson, 50, is running against Bill Fehr – the incumbent in Ward 4, who is now running in Ward 3 – as well as Dan Carter and Douglas Medlyn.
“Councilors must demonstrate transparency and fair treatment to ensure public trust,” said Watson, a millwright who has also operated cash-crop and beef farms for over 20 years. “Some recent developments … in Central Elgin may have raised questions about transparency and fair treatment in local government.
“Central Elgin, among many municipalities, has infrastructure deficits – water, wastewater, roads – which will impede balanced local economic growth and threaten higher costs on customers,” added Watson. “We need to examine alternative financing options, consider value-for-money analyses and explore alternative organizational structures to avoid cost increases and ensure adequate assets in service. No stone can be left unturned in this effort.”
In Ward 4, Conners is running against Harold Winkworth.
“I have spent over 30 years in the service industry, in operations and sales management,” said Conners. “I bring that experience, plus a very logical approach to problem solving and a dedication to getting back to people who bring issues forward whether it is positive or negative information.
“The issues that I have been made aware of thus far, based on canvassing my area, are water prices, taxes, parking, speeding, sidewalks, compost, and exits,” added Conners. “I know there are more issues than this and if elected I would deal with any and all issues in a timely manner with a logical approach.”
Ward 5 candidate Baughman, 59, is a retired technology teacher who grew up in Aylmer, studied at Western University, and worked as a broadcast journalist before beginning a career in education.
“People who are willing to step up and represent their community, I applaud their efforts,” said Baughman, a long-time member of the Belmont Lions Club. “I’m coming in with an open-minded approach. I’m going to run on who I am, vote my conscious for Belmont.”
Among Baughman’s priorities are local recreational programs, infrastructure improvements, development, and getting control over local water rates. “You’ve got to give the public a little more credit,” he added. “Lack of trust is a real issue.”
The largest field of municipal candidates in Central Elgin history has registered to run in 2022. The other candidates include:
- Andrew Sloan, Casey Siebenmorgen, Ward 2 Councillor Dennis Crevits and Deputy Mayor Tom Marks are the candidates for CE Mayor, the largest number of mayoral candidates in the municipality’s history;
- Mike Derrough is running in Ward 1 against Michelle Graham; and
- Ward 2 features a race between incumbent Mayor Sally Martyn, and Ward 3 Incumbent Councilor Karen Cook, as well as two newcomers, Morgaine Halpin and Sherlock Reid.
There are also seven trustee candidates on CE’s Certified List of Candidates, with two to be elected for the Thames Valley District School Board, one to be elected for the London District Catholic School Board, one to be elected for the French Language Catholic School Board, and one to be elected for the French Language Public School Board.
There two all-candidates forums coming up in Central Elgin. The St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce is hosting a ‘Meet and Greet’ for all candidates from the City of St. Thomas, Central Elgin and Southwold. It will be held on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at CASO Station, 750 Talbot Street, St. Thomas.
Another all-candidates Meet and Greet will be held at the Fire Hall Market, 218 Joseph Street, Port Stanley, on September 10, 2022, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Read more North Shore Beacon municipal election coverage.