With many Point Edward lawns sporting two and three election signs the village municipal race appears to be heating up.
Two new candidates with strong community profiles are challenging three incumbents.
When villagers go to the polls Oct. 27 they’ll vote to fill four council seats.
Longtime council member John Romlewski has decided not to run again.
Mayor Larry MacKenzie, a 26-year council veteran, has been acclaimed. He didn’t register until the last possible moment because he wasn’t 100% certain he wanted the job, he said.
“But then I thought, I still enjoy it. I still have something to contribute here.”
Larry Gordon, retired broadcaster at CHOK Radio, has thrown his hat into the ring. Gordon may not have held office in the past, but he’s got 40 years’ experience in the news business and considers himself a political junky.
“I’ve always had an interest and a desire to get involved with the other side of it, but it was always a conflict with the career I was in,” he said. “Now I have some time to give back to my community.”
Top priority for Gordon is ensuring that waterfront development unfolds smoothly. Cantaqleigh Investments has had a development proposal on the table for years and Gordon wants to see it get off the ground.
Paul Burgess, who was raised in Point Edward and now operates his own goalie consulting business, is also a first-time candidate.
“I’m doing it for the love of my community,” said the father of three young children attending Bridgeview School. “I really enjoyed growing up here and I’d like the right decisions to be made that will maintain the lifestyle in Point Edward.”
Brad Drury is a real estate agent who moved to the village in 2007. He was appointed to council nine months ago after former Mayor Dick Kirkland resigned and MacKenzie vacated a council seat to become mayor.
“I think most people are happy with the way things are run in Point Edward,” Drury said. “But businesses may be a bit less happy.”
He’d like to see more commercial development on Michigan Avenue.
“There are two key properties up for sale – The Bal and The Bridge (Tavern). Council should support anything that will see new business move in along there.”
Janice Robson and Bev Hand have 15 and nine years experience as councillors, respectively.
“I’m not finished yet,” said Robson. “I still have more to give the community.”
Hand said it takes time to get a grasp of how council works and her experience is an asset.
“I’m a lifelong resident and committed to carry on road and infrastructure programs,” she said.
Point Edward’s advance poll is Saturday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the municipal offices on Kendall Street.
An all-candidate meeting hosted by the Optimists’ at the community hall goes Thursday, Oct. 16 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Village clerk Jim Burns advises that students away from home can vote in two municipalities. Anyone interested in voting by proxy needs to contact the village office (519-337-3021) and fill out the paperwork.