2 new faces in North Stor­mont

The Glengarry News - - News - BY MAR­GARET CALDBICK News Staff – with files from Steven War­bur­ton

Randy Dou­glas has re­tained his coun­cil­lor seat while two first-time coun­cil­lors, Rox­ane Vil­leneuve and po­lit­i­cal new­comer Steve Den­sham, join him at North Stor­mont’s coun­cil ta­ble.

Al­though other On­tario mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties ex­pe­ri­enced voter glitches Mon­day night, that wasn’t the case in North Stor­mont where a smil­ing Betty de Haan, the town­ship’s act­ing CAO and clerk, breezed into coun­cil cham­bers at 9 p.m. on vot­ing night, re­sults sheet in hand.

“We run things here in North Stor­mont like a well-oiled ma­chine,” said new mayor Jim Wert with a laugh.

Mr. Wert and new Deputy-Mayor François Landry – who sat as coun­cil­lors for the 2014-2018 term– were ac­claimed fol­low­ing the re­tire­ments of mayor Den­nis Fife and deputy mayor Bill McGimpsey.

Mr. Wert is a dairy and cash crop farmer who, with his wife, Nancy, op­er­ates Stan­lee Farms east of Avon­more. A life-long res­i­dent of North Stor­mont, Mr. Wert has been in­volved in nu­mer­ous com­mu­nity-based and agri­cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tions.

And yes, if you ask him, he is re­lated to Les Wert of Wil­liamstown, a cousin.

Mr. Landry, also a life-long North Stor­mont res­i­dent and the of­fice man­ager for An­nis O'Sul­li­van Volle­bekk Ltd. Land sur­vey­ors in Em­brun, is a cap­tain and the train­ing of­fi­cer for the Crysler Sta­tion of the North Stor­mont Fire De­part­ment and also a vol­un­teer with var­i­ous com­mit­tees.

First to ar­rive at empty coun­cil cham­bers in Ber­wick on vot­ing night was Mr. Den­sham who got the com­mu­nity or­ga­niz­ing bug fight­ing to save Rox­more Pub­lic School. Mr. Den­sham is a re­tired an­a­lyt­ics ex­pert with Bell who brings his skills to coun­cil as mem­bers move for­ward com­bat­ting plans for a 100-megawatt “Na­tion Rise” wind power project in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Wait­ing for the elec­tion re­sults, Mr. Den­sham broke down the true cost of the $400 mil­lion project to place wind tur­bines on pri­vate and pub­lic lands in the town­ship.

Vil­leneuve gets most votes

An­other new­comer to North Stor­mont coun­cil is fa­mil­iar to Glen­gar­ri­ans, Rox­ane Vil­leneuve, a se­nior or­ga­nizer for the On­tario PC Party, pre­vi­ous provin­cial can­di­date, and daugh­ter of for­mer MPP No­ble Vil­leneuve.

The Moose Creek res­i­dent’s cam­paign fo­cused on job cre­ation, the beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of vil­lages in the town­ship, and sup­port for lo­cal farm­ers.

Ms Vil­leneuve won the lion’s share of votes cast with 1,352. Mr. Dou­glas won 858 votes and Mr. Den­sham 889 votes.

She did not at­tend the post-elec­tion cel­e­bra­tion at the town­ship hall in Crysler, pre­fer­ring to watch the re­sults among friends and fam­ily.

“My team and I worked hard dur­ing the cam­paign,” she told The News on Tues­day morn­ing. “We went to every door in the Town­ship of North Stor­mont twice with our lit­er­a­ture. We spoke to a lot of res­i­dents and they told me we need some changes in­clud­ing bet­ter cell phone and in­ter­net ser­vice, more ac­cess to nat­u­ral gas, and beau­ti­fy­ing our vil­lages and ham­lets to at­tract more small and medium-sized busi­nesses.”

Al­though her en­ergy for the next four years will be squarely fo­cused on North Stor­mont, she says she hasn’t ruled out a run for the Mayor or Deputy-Mayor’s chair, or even an­other run at the MPP level, some­time in the fu­ture.

Voter turnout North Stor­mont was 42 per cent.

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