It will probably come as no surprise that the largest audience for the Central Frontenac candidate debates this election year was in Arden last week.
It will probably also come as no surprise that the biggest topics were roads and septic inspection. But taxes and “the revolving door” of senior employees also came in for considerable discussion.
Not surprisingly, Arden Road and Henderson Road were in the forefront at this meeting (and no, Arden Road isn’t being paved one pothole at a time).
“I work on Arden Road every time I choose not to drive a heavy load on it,” said first-time candidate Isaac Hale.
Incumbent Tom Dewey, after mistakenly alleging that Road 38 came to the Township in good shape (Central had to secure a grant in its first year to fix the road and still owes about $600,000 for those repairs but Dewey wasn’t on Council then), acknowledged that there was a lot of work to be done on the 515 kilometres of Central Frontenac roads but pointed out that “we did spend $418,000 on Arden Road.”
“Our roads are terrible,” said incumbent Cindy Kelsey.
Septic system inspection came up three separate times with several audience members expressing concern about cost.
Dewey said the inspections would be done by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and cost the homeowner $100 to $120. He said that if the homeowner doesn’t pay, the inspections will be done anyway and the cost added to the tax bill.
“We need to take a better look at how lower-income households are handled,” said Kelsey.
“There are alternatives such as beaver dams and greywater systems to protect lakes,” said Hale.
As to the ‘revolving door’ with supervisory staff, Kelsey said: “a lot of times they’re using us as stepping stones but who wouldn’t want to live in our beautiful community?”
“We have had our issues and sometimes it just doesn’t work out,” said Dewey.
“We should be grooming local candidates,” said Hale. “You hear that they don’t have the credentials but we should get them the credentials.”