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Dianne O’Brien seeks mayor’s seat

Dianne O’Brien speaking at this year’s Alzheimer’s Walk, as the County’s acting mayor.

Dianne O’Brien, who just finished duties as acting mayor, has created a race for the mayor’s seat in Prince Edward County, adding her nomination papers Monday.

“I did enjoy my time as acting mayor very much, but my deciding factor was the support and encouragement I received from the public in general,” O’Brien said on her decision to run.

She has served on council for 12 years and says that experience and knowledge gained will serve County residents well.

“I would like to keep the line on spending taxpayers’ dollars as low as possible, as well as see continued growth for the County,” she said.

“We do many things well. I believe we could do better.”

So far, competition for the seat comes from Steve Ferguson, councillor for South Marysburgh, who made his annoucement to run for mayor in May. Current mayor, Robert Quaiff, announced earlier this month he will not be seeking the job.

Candidates for mayor and council have until Friday, July 27 to file nomination forms. Voting day is Monday, Oct. 22.

Candidates filed for wards, so far, include:

Picton
Ray Hobson
Phil St. Jean

Bloomfield/Hallowell
Phil Prinzen
Gil Leclerc
Gord Fox
Brad Nieman

Wellington
Jim Dunlop
Mike Harper
Brent Kleinsteuber

Ameliasburgh
Janice Maynard
Tim Fellows
Roy Pennell

Athol
Jamie Forrester

Sophiasburgh
Bill Roberts

Hillier
Steve Graham
Ernest Margetson

North Marysburgh
Stewart Scott Bailey

South Marysburgh
none

Dwayne Inch and Jennifer Cobb have filed to be public board education trustees.

Gregory Speagle has filed for the Catholic board.

So far there is no candidate for trustee, French language public board. Diane Burns has filed to be trustee for the French language separate board.

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  1. Emily says:

    Now that Council has approved a farmers grant assistance program can we now get an urban water rates assistance program?

  2. Mark says:

    I preferred the former 2 year term as it encouraged more interest as some could not committ to a 4 year term. You also could turf the non performers much earlier before more damage was done.

  3. Fred says:

    Very surprising that South Marysburgh does not have a candidate with all the Turbine debacle. Ferguson should withdraw from Mayor and hold his seat as the chances of defeating an Ameliasburg candidate are very slim .

  4. Gary says:

    With 2 weeks to go before nominations close for our Municipal Election here is where we are at;

    Mayor – 2 candidates, a race

    Picton – 2 candidates, no race

    Athol – incumbent, no race

    Sophiasburgh – incumbent, no race

    North Marysburgh – 1 candidate,no race

    South Marysburgh – NO CANDIDATE

    Hillier – 2 candidates, a race

    Wellington – 3 candidates, a race

    Ameliasburgh – 4 candidates, a race

    Bloomfield/Hallowell – 4 candidates, a race

    Slightly dull or everyone is happy!

  5. Dennis Fox says:

    AK – I believe that you have made some excellent points, but I’m not sure if I agree with you on that matter of council pay. From my understanding a council position was never meant to be a full time job – only the mayor’s position was. For a community whose population is gradually decreasing (Stats. Can.) – with a population of only 24,000+ – the question to ask is why do we have so many on council- even after their feeble attempt at downsizing? If they reduced their number and moved their meetings to evening hours, perhaps more people who work would consider standing for office???

    You are right about Doug Ford being an unknown danger to our school systems – but I believe good experienced people should still be considered for trustees. New or old, we need people to stand their ground and be prepared to fight whatever cuts might be imposed. Why do I have this feeling of living through this before – does it ever end?

  6. AK says:

    The #`1 reason for the lack of candidates is the lack of pay. I know many incredible residents who would love to serve on council, yet are unable to due to the pay. Until the pay scale is increased, we will continue to see those nearing retirement enter the race.

    As for the trustees, I agree that they have done a great job thus far, yet I feel it’s time for new faces who are not victims of complacency. With Doug Ford looking to dismantle much of the school board, you need people in their who will stand up to the province (and director) vs. fall in line.

  7. Dennis Fox says:

    Argyle – sorry, but I disagree with your assessment on these trustees. What needs to be remembered is that trustees are not responsible for the funding levels (or lack of), nor the declining enrollment situations causing school closures. School Boards, across the province, receive funding based on the number of students and they too have experienced school closures. In the case of PEC, our student population has been on the decline constantly for the last ten years, leaving many schools sadly lacking in numbers – thus reducing our funding levels and causing schools to close. Our two trustees have done the best they could with the cards they were dealt – but they also supported in trying to keep our schools open- like Sophiasburgh.

    However, you right about kids being bussed out of the County, if our situation doesn’t change. It is not better trustees that we need to change this – we need more kids and more young parents who want to make them! That is the ultimate solution to our closing schools problem.

    This upcoming election is a very important one for PEC – we need to start turning up the heat on those politicians who are responsible for such things as attracting businesses and full time jobs, for planning and development to attract families – these are the responsibilities of our municipal government – NOT the school board. Electing the same councillors over again, with the same ideas will only recreate this same problem again. I think our trustees have done a great job.

  8. Argyle says:

    Dennis, Our current school trustees have done nothing to protect and promote education in the County. They merely vote in agreement with the Directors recommendations, as witness the Arc fiasco. It’s time students, parents and taxpayers from PEC had a voice at the school board. If not, it will be only a matter of time before most of our children are bussed over the bridge to attend school. We need better trustees.

  9. Dennis Fox says:

    I’m happy to see Diane O’Brien file to enter the mayor’s race – she has a lot of experience that I hope can help this community.

    I am also very pleased to see Dwayne Inch and Jennifer Cobb file for another term at school trustee – both have done a great job during a tough time with school budgets and declining enrollment.

    What does concern me is the July 27th deadline for nominations – this is far earlier than it use to be and it plays out in favour of the incumbents – this was not done to encourage people to run for office. With a mid summer deadline, it could mean more positions being decided by acclamation, rather than by elections.

    Lets hope every council and trustee position is at least contested. Any politician knowing that they are safe 3 months before Election Day is not only ridiculous, but also wrong for a healthy democratic system.

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