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Feature Article - January 5, 2006

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Feature Article

January 5, 2006

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Mayors consider their futures in election year

by Jeff Green

The Federal election campaign is getting a lot of attention as the New Year begins, but 2006 is also a municipal election year, and to ring in the New Year The News has polled the local Mayors and Reeves to see if they plan to seek re-election.

Addington Highlands Reeve Ken Hook said that he does not plan to seek re-election, opting instead to do some travelling.

“That’s not to say I might not return to municipal politics sometime in the future, but not this next time.”

Heart_and_soul

Hook is serving his first term as Reeve, after serving as Councillor and Deputy Reeve for one three-year term. He said he has been particularly enthused by some of the Economic Development initiatives that have been undertaken in the township over the past few years, which he hopes to see continue.

Central Frontenac Mayor Bill MacDonald, who will have served as Mayor of Central Frontenac for nine years at the end of this current term, and served on the Council of the former township of Oso for several terms before municipal amalgamation in 1998, is undecided about his future in municipal politics.

MacDonald has mentioned often over the years that it has been a struggle to maintain his business interests and fulfill the obligations of the Mayor’s office, and this struggle has been accentuated in the past year as he has served as Frontenac County Warden.

He said that he might make some changes within the next year that could free up his time, and if he does that, running for a fourth term is a possibility.

MacDonald is optimistic about future prospects for Central Frontenac.

“In looking at the building statistics for Central Frontenac over the past couple of years, I think the prospects for economic development in the township are very good. I think people are realising that our proximity to Ottawa, Kingston and Peterborough is starting to be noticed and the township will be seeing economic improvement in the coming years. I am looking forward to the COMRIF funding announcement this winter, which will hopefully mean we can finally repair Road 38.”

MacDonald expects 2006 to be an active year at the County level, where the lobbying effort by the Eastern Ontario Warden’s Caucus for a better funding arrangement with the Province of Ontario is ongoing, and where ambulance issues are also of major concern. “Whether I run for re-election or not, I expect a lot of things to move forward this year, and I expect to be very busy” MacDonald said.

North Frontenac Mayor Ron Maguire said he expects to run for re-election.

“Things can always change, but my expectation is that I will run for a second term,” he said.

Maguire said that many of the plans he had as Mayor have taken time to bring about, and expects that a second term will allow him to see issues through to their resolution.

“We have worked hard for the past two years in developing a budgeting process, for example, and are beginning to work on multi-year budgeting, which is something I think will be very beneficial to the township in the long run,” Maguire said.

South Frontenac Mayor Bill Lake also plans to run for re-election in the fall. Lake is serving his first term as Mayor, although he has been involved in municipal politics for some time.

In looking at the past two years, Lake said he is pleased that the Sydenham Water Project is coming to fruition; is expected to be completed by the first of May; and seems to be coming in on budget as well.

“I tell people who are unhappy about the project,” Lake said, “‘talk to me in five years, you might think differently then.’”

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