Was there a bit of excitement in the air on Tuesday morning? Maybe it was the start of the second consecutive day of pleasant weather, or maybe it was the beginning of May (and the end of the misery that was April. Maybe it was the lingering glow of the Pink Moon from April 29, or maybe it was the beginning of the 2018 Municipal election calendar. As of May 1st, the nomination period for this fall’s municipal election is open. It will remain open until July 27th, when the campaign will begin in earnest. Of the local Mayors, all of the incumbents in Frontenac County, save Dennis Doyle of Frontenac Islands, indicated they would be seeking re-election, and are expected to present themselves at their local office sometime soon, with $200 and 25 signatures of residents from their own townships in hand, the price of admission for a Mayor or Reeve.
But none acted as quickly as Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg, who put his papers in on the morning of May 1st. When interviewed in January Hogg said he did not know whether he was going to run again, but old habits die hard. Hogg has been the Reeve of Addington Highlands for 17 of the 20 years that the township has been in existence. He took a break for three years between 2004 and 2006 to focus on his business interests. He was also involved in municipal politics for 15 years before amalgamation, going hack ton 1983 .
When interviewed after the 2014 election he said this was going to be his last term and he was throwing away his election signs., but he may have held on to them, just in case. North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins, Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith, and South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal are all expected to submit their nomination paper in the coming days or weeks. Over in Tay Valley, former Deputy Mayor Susan Freeman has already thrown her hat in for Mayor. Many members of Council, from all of the municipalities, have also indicated they are likely to seek re-election. The interesting question is how many current councillors will decide to take a leap into the mayoralty race, or who from outside council will step forward. Candidates can switch from council to mayor or vice versa right until the end of nominations on July 27.
Candidates can start to spend money on their election as soon as their nomination papers are accepted by the returning officer. And the limits are quite generous. Candidates for Mayor can spend $7,500 plus $0.85 for each resident of their township. In South Frontenac that makes for a ceiling of over $22,000. It is closer to $10,000 in some of the smaller townships, still thousands more than any of the candidates will likely spend.
As the campaign gets going, the News will get the word about who is running as soon as we have confirmation from the various townships.
But first there is a provincial election on the horizon. The writ will be dropped next Wednesday, for a vote on June 7