Several clerk’s offices around Simcoe County have been fairly busy as new and veteran politicians file their nomination papers leading up to October’s municipal elections, while others remain strangely quiet.
One race is already underway in Innisfil, as Ward 4 Coun. Peter Kmet and Doug Lougheed have entered their names for Ward 1, a council seat currently held by Paul Wardlaw. Ken Simpson has also filed in Ward 3.
It’s unclear whether Mayor Brian Jackson or Ward 3 Coun. Bill Pring will run again. The mayor has been charged with assault and threatening after a profanity-laced conversation between Jackson and Pring was broadcasted into the council chambers last June.
Jackson has pleaded not guilty. A pretrial hearing was held on Wednesday at the Bradford courthouse. The hearing is scheduled to continue March 10 in Bradford.
Neither Pring nor Jackson, who still owns land in Innisfil and would be allowed to run despite being a new resident of Barrie due to the Barrie-Innisfil boundary resolution, had filed their nomination papers as of Wednesday afternoon.
The clerk’s office in New Tecumseth has been the busiest so far in handling nomination papers from a variety of candidates, including Mayor Mike MacEachern.
“Everybody just has to get comfortable before they declare for the next election,” MacEachern said. “Once you know, it’s important to relay that to the people so they know where you stand.”
MacEachern would be seeking his fifth term on council and third stint as mayor.
Kevin Kemp has filed for the deputy-mayor’s chair, currently held by Rick Milne. Bob Marrs (Ward 1), Gordon McInnes (Ward 2), Tom Carter (Ward 7) and incumbent Jess Prothero (Ward 8) have all completed the necessary paperwork.
Oro-Medonte Township also has several candidates early on, though most are familiar names, including incumbents Mayor Harry Hughes, Deputy Mayor Ralph Hough, Ward 1 Coun. Mel Coutanche, Ward 4 Coun. John Crawford and Ward 5 Coun. Dwight Evans. Michael Vandergeest has filed in Ward 2, a seat currently held by Terry Allison.
Tay Township Mayor Scott Warnock and Ward 2 Coun. James Pearsall will also attempt to keep their current positions. There will be competition for the deputy-mayor’s position, however, as incumbent Michael Ladouceur and Ward 2 Coun. Bill Rawson will duke it out.
Collingwood Deputy Mayor Sandra Cooper and Coun. Kathy Jeffery have both entered the race to become the town’s next mayor, a position currently held by Chris Carrier. Coun. Norman Sandberg is going for deputy-mayor, while council candidates include incumbents Ian Chadwick and Dave Labelle, as well as Kevin Lloyd and Norman Minnikin.
Only incumbents have filed in Midland, including Mayor James Downer and Deputy Mayor Ruth Hackney.
In Bradford West Gwillimbury, Mayor Doug White and Deputy Mayor Dennis Roughley will look to retain their jobs in the town’s top two political positions. They are the sole people to have filed so far.
Wasaga Beach Mayor Cal Patterson, who is also the warden of Simcoe County, is up against Steven Fishman. No one has filed for the deputy-mayor’s post, while incumbent George Watson is the only councillor in the race at this point.
In Ramara Township, Mayor Bill Duffy has filed, while Washago resident Marilyn Brooks has her eyes set on the Ward 1 seat. Ward 5 incumbent Bill Kahler is also seeking another term.
Other municipalities in Simcoe County remain relatively quiet in the early stages, including Adjala-Tosorontio Township where Steve Brockman has filed in Ward 1. Henry Freitag has filed in Penetanguishene’s Ward 2, while Mayor Phil Sled is the only candidate so far in Severn Township.
Angelo Orsi is the only person to make his intentions known in Orillia, where he looks to take over the mayor’s chair from incumbent Ron Stevens.
In Clearview Township, Thomas Paterson is the only person to file the paperwork. He will vie for the Ward 4 seat.
No candidates have filed in Tiny Township.
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Four-year term facts
In 2006, the Ontario government changed the rules for municipal elections, increasing the length members of council could serve from three to four years.
The province said this would give elected officials more time to do their work and get projects finished.
Most Simcoe County mayors seeking re-election