Oct 14, 2010
Municipal Election - October 25, 2010
Mayor - Henry Hogg - Acclaimed
Ward 1, Denbigh
Ward 2, Kaladar
Tony Fritsch was born and raised on a farm near Denbigh.
He moved away to seek employment with Ontario Hydro as a young man and ended up working in many locations throughout Ontario. He rose to the management level at Hydro One, and was manager of Work Methods and Training at the point of his retirement four years ago.
At that time, he returned with his wife Gail to the homestead that has been in his family since the 1800s.
Since then he has volunteered with a number of organisations, and now he is ready to make a run for council. “My decision to pursue council really came down to a sense of civic duty, because I'm an avid volunteer and I want to continue serving and contributing to the community,” Tony Fritsch said.
He brings a wealth of management experience to his bid for council. “I have pretty good leadership, management and business skills that could be of value to the community, including extensive experience in planning, business planning, budgeting, and labour relations,” he said.
He has an interest in developing a strategic plan for the township in addition to its Official Plan.
“I think it would be a worthwhile exercise for us to look at where we are as a community, where we want to go, and how we are going to get there,” he said.
The issues that Fritsch sees council facing are no surprise and include health care (Family Health Team and ambulance service), waste management, business development, roads and the environment.
“My vision of this coming council is that we would have a really strong municipal council that provides strong leadership for our community and functions as a team. I think we are very fortunate to live in this county and I will do whatever I can do to keep what we have and make continuous improvements.”
There are a few initiatives that Eythel Grant is committed to seeing through as he seeks another term on council in Addington Highlands.
One of them is the purchase of the Denbigh school by the township, and the plans to renovate it for use as a satellite medical clinic to be affiliated with the Lakelands Family Health Team based in Northbrook.
Another is the Denbigh waste site, which was closed a couple of years ago when the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) determined that it was full.
“We purchased more property around the site to expand the site and have a sufficient buffer for it. We are waiting for the MoE to give us the approval to re-open the site,” he said.
Eythel Grant is a lifelong resident of Denbigh. He worked at Bon Echo Park for the Ministry of Natural Resources for almost 35 years, ending up as the maintenance foreman, and has been retired since 1993. He keeps active by hunting and running a trap line in the winter time.
He is a long-time member of Council, having served for 24 years, the last 13 of them as a member of the Addington Highlands Council.
Grant said he is comfortable with the way the township has developed, and with the amount of work that has been done in this last term, thanks, in part, to increased grant money.
“We managed to get some roadwork done, and five bridges built, and we have hired one extra person for the office, which we needed, because there is always more to do in the office,” he said.
Among his council responsibilities, Eythel Grant has been a long-time member of the Quinte Regional Conservation Authority board.
During her first term on council, Janice Kerr has made recreation in Denbigh one of her priorities.
She has lived in Denbigh for 16 years. In 1994, she moved to Denbigh from nearby Madawaska Highlands, where she served a term on council in the 1980s. Kerr worked at the Swiss Inn in Denbigh for 26 years and is now working at Stop 41.
“I’ve been very interested in council throughout the whole term. I think we got a lot of things done.”
One project that Kerr is very interested in seeing through is the purchase of the Denbigh School from the Limestone District School Board. “It has been slowed down because the board has graciously removed the asbestos that was found in the school,” she said, “but the arrangements for the transfer are pending. I think the rec. committee will be able to use the gym once the purchase is finished, so the school will be used as a clinic and for the kids as well.”
Another thing that the township is waiting for is a certificate of approval that will allow the Denbigh dump to be re-opened. “We have worked very hard to get the Denbigh dump re-opened and on waste diversion. Right now we are doing things with the blue bins. It's a lot for people to deal with but it is important for us in the long term to get it right now,” she said.
One additional item that has been important to Kerr is keeping the ambulance service in Denbigh. “It is definitely an essential service to the people of Denbigh and the surrounding area,” she said.
Janice Kerr said that the current council has been a good one, and she would like to see council continue to move in the same direction.
In addition, she thinks that the Denbigh area is in need of a boost to its tourist potential. “We are trying to draw more tourists and recreation. We hope the Denbigh Countryfest can expand our reach. Maybe someone will see the potential here and think about investing.”
Yvonne Rosien is motivated to run for council because she is “not happy with some of the things that are going on.”
She said she knows that Denbigh is the farthest reach of the county, but is concerned because, “We lost our school; we lost our dump. We've lost most of the businesses out here, and I feel council has to take some chances to make something happen out here.”
One of her issues with council has to do with a lack of information. “We never seem to find out what is going on in our community. The school is supposed to be turned into a medical clinic but there is nothing official about that either,” she said.
One thing that Rosien would like to see is improved services for seniors in Denbigh. “I would like to see a nursing home here. Lots of seniors are moving out because they are too old to remain in their homes. They would like to stay here but there is nowhere for them to go,” she said.
Rosien also says that if elected she would like to attend all lake association meetings in the area so that they “can be represented at council meetings and not be left out”.
Yvonne Rosien came to Denbigh as a teenager in the mid 1970s when her parents purchased a resort that was then called the Sun and Sand (now Moosehorn Lodge). She attended North Addington Education Centre, got married and took a job with the volunteer ambulance service in Denbigh. She remained with the ambulance service until last year, when its status was changed by Lennox and Addington County. She is now on the fire department, and is a key member of the emergency first response team.
As a community volunteer Yvonne Rosien said she “always takes things on with a lot of energy” and she would bring that energy to council.
“Denbigh is within 45 minutes of Bancroft and Renfrew, and 30 minutes from Northbrook. We need to start taking advantage of that. We need to promote our area with everything we have to make it a tourist destination,” she said. “Doing nothing is not good enough.”
Adam Snider ran a small logging company for a time, then six years ago he along with his brother bought the Pine Crest Marine on Mazinaw Lake.
He said he was attracted to running for council by his love for the area.
Another motivation lies in the fact that Snider is younger than other members of council.
“I've always been impressed by both our employees and council members, but we need the younger generation to start stepping up and helping out,” he said.
As the father of three young children, Adam Snider is concerned about maintaining resources for children.
“As we know, in this north ward we have a declining number of full-time residents, and child population is directly affected by that. It makes for a long bus ride to school, and there are other disadvantages, but this is a good place for people of all ages and adding more recreational opportunities will make it an even better place to raise a family,” he said.
He said he believes that some sort of economic development plan, specifically for the Denbigh region, needs to be developed.
Adam Snider does not come at a run for council with illusions about what a local council can do. “I know there are limitations. A small council cannot change the world and I'm not planning to do that either,” he said. “But I will work hard to remain informed and make good decisions,”
He is also a strong supporter of township staff.
“I think we are very well served by our staff,” he said.
Ward 2, Kaladar
Bill Cox was an enthusiastic, hard-working member of Addington Highlands Council between 2004 and 2006, and, as he said, “The only reason I wasn't on council for the last four years was that I ran for mayor and lost.”
Bill Cox was raised in the area, left to work for the transit commission as an Engineering Technologist in Toronto, and returned when he retired 16 years ago.
Not being on council did not make him step back from township activities, however. He has been part of the community health advisory committee, which was involved in the drive for a Family Health Team, and he serves as co-chair of the Pine Meadow Nursing Home Management Committee. He also sits on the Recreation Facilities, Waste and Roads Committees of council.
“I've continued to keep myself involved as best I can,” Cox said. “I get the minutes from the meetings and keep up with the issues.”
In seeking a position on council this time around, Cox will be seeking some reforms. “Administratively, communication practices must improve; council needs to be more transparent,” he said.
A septic re-inspection program, which has never been tried in the township, is one thing that Bill Cox would like to see initiated.
He would also be interested in sitting on the L&A County Council if that came about. “I am committed, dedicated and interested in continuing to make this community a better place to live, work and play.”
Larry Pealow has only been living in Northbrook for eight years, but in that time he has established himself as a dedicated community activist and advocate for the business community, and as a man who likes to share a laugh when he can.
The Pealows purchased the Pine Grove Motel in Northbrook in 2002 and moved up from Campbellford. The appeal of the motel was tied in to the region and to the opportunity to run a business.
Larry joined the Addington Highlands Economic Development Committee (AHEAD) right away and also became involved with the Land O'Lakes Tourist Association (LOLTA). He has been the chair of the AHEAD committee for the past five years and is currently the president of LOLTA as well.
He is seeking a seat on council in order to bring some of the concerns of the business community to the council table.
“When it comes down to it, council has the ability to say yea or nay on any issue. I would like to see taxpayers’ money spent more wisely, and I'm interested in business retention and attraction,” he said. “The landfill issue is going to be big, and things like high speed Internet and cell phone coverage for the whole municipality, and solar power for municipal buildings are things to look into.”
Larry Pealow ran unsuccessfully for council in 2006, but thinks he might do better this time because he is better known.
He also has an innovative proposal to try to improve councilors’ attendance at committee meetings. Currently, councilors receive a fixed salary. He would like to see the salaries cut by $1,000 and councilors be paid a stipend for attending meetings, to a value of up to $1,000.
“It's not really about the money,” he said, “it's about councilors living up to their responsibilities to attend all meetings, not just council meetings.”
MARY ANN TRYON
Mary Ann Tryon has been living in what is now Addington Highlands since 1955, when her family moved to Kaladar.
“It's like I'm part of the rocks by now,” she said.
Her father built the service centre and the motel in Kaladar, and she worked at the motel with her parents and her husband until they sold the business in 1987, She has been living in Northbrook ever since.
In addition to that, she drove a school bus and was Postmaster, first in Kaladar from 1981 to 1988, then in Cloyne from 1988-2005 until she retired.
She served on council for 8 years during the 1970s, starting as a councillor in Kaladar, Anglesea and Effingham and eventually becoming the first deputy reeve in the township. Her father was a councillor during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Now that she has some time on her hands - “Retirement is for the birds,” she said – Mary Ann Tryon is ready to jump into municipal politics again to help tackle some of the difficult issues facing council.
“Right now our dump sites are slowly running out of space, and we have to get some control over that. At the same time you see garbage thrown all over the roads. If we don't look after this place, who is going to look after it?” she said.
While she would like to see the level of service in the township maintained, Tryon is aware of the necessity to keep taxes from going up. “It is really important to keep taxes as stable as possible,” she said. “People are already taxed to the hilt.”
If Mary Ann Tryon had a wish list, the top item would be to bring about affordable housing for seniors and others who need it.
“There are a lot of people who aren't able to stay in their own homes anymore, but they don't need a nursing home. That's the group we need to serve,” she said.
In her first term on council, Helen Yanch received the most votes from Kaladar ward, and as such was selected as deputy reeve at her first-ever council meeting.
As deputy reeve she sat on the L&A County Council as well as Addington Highlands Council for the last four years and she has enjoyed the experience. “It has been very interesting being on both councils. We work hard on county council to make sure that benefits flow to the north end, and we have had some success, with support for the Pine Meadow expansion and the ambulance bases in Northbrook and Denbigh remaining, and improvements to the Denbigh service, all coming about during the term,” she said.
Helen Yanch is a lifelong resident of the township. Although serving in this latest council was her first experience as a councillor, she had some previous political experience as a school board trustee in the Lennox & Addington Public School Board before it was amalgamated to become part of the Limestone District School Board.
She is currently employed by the Friends of Bon Echo Park as their office manager.
“I am motivated to serve on council again. Four years is a big commitment, I know, but you find out more needs of the township sitting on council, and there are things that we started working on that I am anxious to see completed,” she said.
She is also interested in promoting new green initiatives in Addington Highlands.
“We all need to promote our area as a destination area as well as a place to live and play,” she said.