Mayors all return, but half of county council will be new

Written by  Thursday, 01 November 2018 11:30
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Three of the four Frontenac County Mayors were acclaimed back into office for a new term (Dennis Doyle – Frontenac Islands – 3rd term, Frances Smith, Central Frontenac – 2nd term, and Ron Higgins – North Frontenac – 2nd term) and the fourth, South Frontenac’s Ron Vandewal won re-election for a second term.

They will form the bedrock of the council, but in all likelihood they will be joined by four new members. Natalie Nossal, the 2nd Frontenac Islands rep on the council, did not seek re-election. She will most likely be replaced on county council by Bruce Higgs. Higgs received the most votes in ward 1 (Howe Island) this time around. In Frontenac Islands, the top vote getting councillor from the ward where the mayor does not reside is offered the 2nd county position. Since Dennis Doyle is from Wolfe Islands, it is Higgs position if he wants it. After the 2014 election, newcomer Nossal finished first ahead of David Jones, who had been at the county table for four years. Jones promptly resigned from Frontenac Island Council and rode into the political sunset. Bruce Higgs was appointed to Frontenac Islands Council to take his place.

In South Frontenac John McDougall did not seek re-election. Tom Dewey was re-elected in Central Frontenac but he told the News he will not be seeking the second Central Frontenac position when the matter comes to the new Central Frontenac Council in early December. In North Frontenac John Inglis has also indicated he is unlikely to be seeking the county role again after spending 8 years on Frontenac County Council.

In terms of gender balance, there will be 7 women among the 30 members of Council (23%) in the 4 Frontenac Townships. Two of the four are approaching gender parity, Frontenac Islands (2 of 5 – 40%) and Central Frontenac (4 of 9 – 44%), while South Frontenac (1 of 9 -11%) and North Frontenac (0 of 7) drag the overall percentage down.

The 7 women are an increase over the 2014-2018 councils, however. There are only 6 women (20%) of the 30 council members in Frontenac County during the current four-year term.

While the political side of the council tables remains predominantly male, on the administrative side the situation is different. 3 of the 5 Chief Administrators in Frontenac County are women, and 3 of the 4 Treasurers (Frontenac Islands contracts out its financial services to Frontenac County) are women as well.

In terms of age, people in their 60’s and 70’s predominate on most councils. In Central Frontenac, however, there are at least four members of council who are not of retirement age, which is an exception when you look county wide.

It is more than likely, however, that once the makeup of Frontenac County Council is determined, that it will be entirely made up from the over 60 crowd. This is partly due to the overall demographics of the local councils, but also because it is very difficult for a full time worker to manage both township and county responsibilities.

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