CITY COUN­CIL 2014: Who’s in, and out, with a year un­til the elec­tion

Seaway News - - NEWS - Todd Li­hou

CORN­WALL, On­tario - There’s a grow­ing list of can­di­dates who will seek elec­tion in the race to fill coun­cil seats in the next mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion.

And there’s also a few sur­prises about who might be con­sid­er­ing sit­ting out the 2014 cam­paign.

In­cum­bents the Se­away News spoke with this week who con­firmed they will run again in­clude Mayor Bob Kil­ger and coun­cil­lors Glen Grant, Syd Gar­diner, Mau­rice Du­pelle, Gerry Sam­son and David Mur­phy.

But other coun­cil­lors like De­nis Carr, Ber­nadette Cle­ment, De­nis Thibault and An­dre Rivette are hold­ing their po­lit­i­cal cards fairly close to their chest.

Rivette’s de­ci­sion is per­haps the most in­ter­est­ing. Ru­mours sug­gest he’s ready to re­tire and sup­port his son Rod­ney in a bid for of­fice next Oc­to­ber.

But when con­tacted by Se­away News Rivette in­sisted he hasn’t made a de­ci­sion – but did con­firm his son’s in­volve­ment.

“If I don’t run, Rod­ney will be run­ning,” he said.

Carr, the elder states­man at city hall, was like­wise coy.

“We’ve got lots of things to do yet, be­fore the elec­tion,” he said, al­lud­ing to the 2014 bud­get. “It’s some­thing you think long and hard about.”

On the flip­side, Mur­phy said he wants to con­tinue to bring a mes­sage of “fis­cal re­straint” to city hall.

“We have to de­cide what are the needs-to­have, and what are the nice-to-haves,” he said. “What busi­ness are we in?”

There are also a slew of can­di­dates, not hold­ing of­fice, who want to make the plunge into mu­nic­i­pal pol­i­tics.

Chief among them are peo­ple like Todd Ben­nett, and Agape Cen­tre ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Alyssa Blais. Ben­nett has put in nearly as much face time at city hall, per­haps more, than ex­ist­ing city coun­cil­lors.

“Over­com­ing a lit­tle bit of the dis­trust that built up over the last three years,” Ben­nett said of the big­gest chal­lenge fac­ing a new city coun­cil. “There’s been a lot of trust lost... through things like all the ( pri­vate) meet­ings and the whistle­blower com­plaints.”

Blais has in­di­cated coun­cil needs more of a fe­male pres­ence.

“We need more women at the ta­ble,” she said. “I’m ex­cited about the whole process.”

For­mer city coun­cil­lor Mark MacDon­ald, ru­moured to be run­ning for mayor in 2014, said in an in­ter­view that’s not the case.

“I would rather work to­wards a cause - like get­ting taxes (re­duced) in Corn­wall,” he said.

So wouldn’t the best way to do that in­clude be­ing part of the de­ci­sion- mak­ing process at the ta­ble?

“I’m in­ter­ested in maybe get­ting peo­ple elected who share that cause,” he said.

Phil Poirier, a for­mer Corn­wall mayor who is also ru­moured to be con­sid­er­ing a run for the big chair, would not con­firm a de­ci­sion one way or the other. “It’s still in limbo,” he said. Coun. Elaine McDon­ald could reached for com­ment.

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