Unlike the 2010 race, when council seats were won entirely through acclamation, the 2014 Wellesley Township municipal election will be a competition.
Hawkesville resident Murray Frey is the latest to join the fray, declaring his candidacy for councillor of Ward 1. He will be joined on the ballot by two-term councillor Shelley Wagner, who was elected by acclamation in 2006 and 2010 and is now seeking re-election.
Wards 2 and 3 have just one candidate at this point.
A self-employed contractor who also does snow removal in winter, Frey was also president of the Greenwood Rod & Gun Club in St. Agatha for six years, and served tenures as entertainment chairman and treasurer.
“I was born in Hawkesville; I’ve been there since I was six; I raised my kids there, and I want to continue to have that atmosphere,” said Frey. “Just the quaintness – the small-town [feeling], you know almost everybody.
“Financially, I think Wellesley is in pretty fine shape. I think it’s important to keep our community centres and our parks, because we are country towns. … Keep all our public stuff activated and accessible for our community to use.”
When asked about going up against the incumbent, Frey said, “Shelley’s been there, and I’m not saying she’s not done a good job. Last time we voted, everyone got in by acclamation in the whole township. We’ve got some races on now, and I think it’s probably good.”
With eight years on council, Shelley Wagner cites public property renovations among her proudest accomplishments. “I’m proud of the fact the roads finally got done in Hawkesville, and I’m proud of all the work that we’ve been able to get done at the community centre,” she said.
“I’m proud that the five of us that sit around the table work well together, and that we have made a lot of decisions for the better of the township because we work well together. We’ve had a lot of accomplishments in the renovations of all the community centres.”
Wagner shares some of the same priorities as Frey, noting, “There are always challenges. There are challenges to keep the roads maintained, to keep our facilities up to date, and to meet the needs of a growing population. … With that growth, it always brings new ideas, and sometimes new frustrations, and I see that as a challenge: being able to meet the different kinds of needs people are asking for.”
The Wellesley municipal election is set for October 27.