Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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Ward 2 meeting a low-key affair

The fireworks were in short supply Monday night in St. Jacobs as some 40 residents came out for a meet-and-greet with the Ward 2 candidates and the three hopefuls running for mayor.

Mark Bauman and Eric Schwindt, running in Ward 2, were joined by mayoral candidates Todd Cowan, Pat McLean and Bill Strauss. They were put through their paces by St. Jacobs Lions Club member Tim Cronin, covering a wide variety of issues ranging from Breslau residents’ feeling of isolation to the biogas plant proposed for Elmira, but the small crowd and small number of questions made for a fairly tame evening.

Organized by the Lions Club, the event started with a short meet-and-greet, after which each candidate was given three minutes to introduce themselves and provide opening remarks before the question-and-answer period began.

Perhaps the liveliest discussion followed the suggestion Woolwich should add additional seats at the council table, with all five candidates agreeing governance would be more effective.

“With a ward like mine, we have a diverse group of people with differing needs,” said Bauman, whose ward covers a swath from St. Jacobs to points in the northern reaches of the township. “Having an extra voice at council would be helpful.”

For McLean, it was the Breslau area residents who would benefit most from an extra seat or two at the table.

“People from Breslau often mention to me that they feel like they are out of the loop, like they are not an important part of Woolwich Township,” she explained. “They need to be represented fairly on council and an extra seat may help with that.”

Next up was the issue of biogas, a hot topic for many voters taking to the polls next week. Each councillor was given an opportunity to speak on the subject, with nobody taking a firm stance in either direction. The general consensus was that the implementation of green energy is a good thing but that a myriad of issues surrounding the biogas facility – traffic and odour primarily – need to be addressed.

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