The arrival of 2014 brings with it a municipal election year in Ontario. The nomination period for hopefuls – incumbents and challengers – opened Thursday as business resumed following the New Year’s holiday.
The process, starting with filing of papers and then moving into campaign mode, will culminate in elections on October 27. Some local councillors have already committed to throwing their hats into the ring.
Woolwich Ward 3 Coun. Bonnie Bryant indicated this week that she’ll be running in the election, as will Ward 2 Coun. Mark Bauman.
“I will be filing my nomination papers in early January,” he said.
Councillors Allan Poffenroth and Julie-Anne Herteis of Ward 1 are undecided, and Mayor Todd Cowan has not yet given an indication of his plans.
Though it’s early, Wellesley Township’s councillors are weighing the decision as well.
“At this point if things continue the way they are, I am going to [run], I find I am enjoying it.” said Coun. Shelley Wagner, representing Ward 1.
“I think that it’s important that somebody in my ward represents my ward rather than we have no one run and we have someone outside of the ward representing us. I think it’s really important that whoever runs, runs within their ward because I still say that you have the best interest at heart of the ward you are living in.”
Coun. Jim Olender, who represents Ward 3, confirmed his plans to run in the October election and he’s weighing his options.
“I know I’m going to run but I don’t know what I’m going to run for. It depends on what the climate is,” he said this week.
Ward 4 Coun. Paul Hergott said on Monday he will make a decision sometime after January 2, and Coun. Herb Neher, representing Ward 2 is undecided as well.
Wellesley’s Mayor Ross Kelterborn isn’t ready to comment on his plans either, but suggests what voters may want from a government.
“In my opinion, whenever anybody is thinking about the running of a municipality they are always concerned about the wise use of tax dollars, you get the most for your money. One of the things that I always think is that municipalities should only spend within the means of the money that they are able to raise. You should not overspend based on the tax revenue that you get.”
Some new candidates are springing up already. Former Woolwich councillor (2006-2010) Sandy Shantz has submitted her papers to run for mayor.
“I thought about [running] in the last election but I just wasn’t quite in the right place personally to do that. This time, I feel like I can make a difference and I can offer a different style of leadership to the community,” she said on Thursday.
Typically, it’s much further along in the year before papers are filed with the municipalities, as the campaigning really doesn’t get going until much closer to election day. Signs, for instance, can’t start sprouting up on lawns until September 12.