| Sep 28, 2006

Feature Article - September 28, 2006

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Feature Article - September 28, 2006

Lake association runs election forum

by Jeff Green

Although some candidates have been quietly campaigning for weeks, the municipal election shifts into gear this week with the close of nominations on Friday at 5:00 pm. Candidates have been coming out of the woodwork in the past couple of weeks and it looks as though there will be active races in most districts.

In Central Frontenac, voters will have a new means of evaluating candidates this time around, thanks to the efforts of the Sharbot Lake Property Owners’ Association (SLPOA). The association is hosting an election forum on their website. Association members have the ability to post questions for candidates on the site, and candidates can respond. Members will also be able to comment on the answers or on any aspect of the race.

Although the general public will not be able to post questions or messages on the forum page, all of the posted material will be available for anyone to read.


The forum dovetails with a set of policy decisions that the Sharbot Lake Property Owners Association has made in the past 18 months under current president Rem Westland, concerning an information sharing role that the association would like to play in relation to municipal politics.

“Our association is self consciously taking a neutral approach towards township politics. Our orientation is not to be a lobby group, not in the sense of being a single-purpose, let’s-get-those-roads-paved kind of group.” Westland said in an interview with the News.

The election forum has been set up with the understanding that the association will refrain from endorsing any candidate in the current election.

“Our information sharing must not include our taking a position on contentious issues,” states the SLPOA web forum. “Our members have agreed that we should not be a lobby group. While our members are certainly free to state their own positions on issues of all kinds, including election platforms of different candidates, our association will not take sides.”

To kick off the forum, Bill Wilson, the association’s vice president and webmaster, asked a question about hazardous waste recycling, and mayoralty candidates Bill MacDonald and Janet Gutowski have both posted responses.

Earlier this week, six new questions were posed, dealing with septic-reinspection, private lanes, zebra mussels and more.

Candidates have yet to respond, but if and when they do, the forum will function much in the way that all-candidates’ meetings do. They are a service to seasonal residents and others who do not attend all-candidates’ meetings.

“We are hosting the forum in the spirit of the association. Our goal is for those who are on the lakefront be part of the community,” said Rem Westland.

The forum can be accessed by going to the Sharbot Lake Property Association website at slpoa.ca, and following the links to Forums, or through a link which will be posted at the Frontenac News’ website, newsweb.ca

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