All of Wellesley Township’s elected officials are running for office again in this fall’s municipal election.
Mayor Ross Kelterborn and councillors Paul Hergott, Herb Neher and Jim Olender have already filed their nomination papers with the township. Coun. Shelley Wagner has yet to file her papers but confirmed this week that she will be running again.
The most pressing issue facing the next council, Kelterborn believes, will be keeping spending within the township’s means. He said the present council has shown fiscal responsibility in the way it handled the stimulus funding that was announced over the past year, with each level of government chipping in for one third of the cost.
“We didn’t borrow anything to pay for that,” Kelterborn said. “You could have applied for money and then borrowed money from the banks or whoever. We didn’t do that, so I felt that we kept within our ability to pay.”
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Wagner agreed that balancing the books will be a priority, especially as the stimulus money flowing from senior levels of government dries up.
“I think we’re going to struggle a little with that, especially with the economy,” she said.
As chair of the recreation committee, Wagner said she’d like to see through a number of recreation projects that began during this council term.
Olender and Neher agreed that they’d like to see completed facilities like the skate park and splash pad in Wellesley village. Giving youth something to do and keeping recreation affordable are key priorities, Neher said.
Olender also wants to see the township create an environment that will attract more business and industry to Wellesley. Growth in Wellesley is limited by the number of sewer connections available, an issue that will have to be hashed out with the Regional of Waterloo.
If re-elected, Kelterborn would like to see the next council work on finding a formula to compensate farmers for preserving environmental features on their lands, arguing people across the province and country benefit from that environmental stewardship.
“I’m in favour of everybody in the province helping to pay to maintain agricultural land and all these environmental features that we in a rural municipality have.”