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Andy Letham

First council meeting goes to pot — and committee appointments

in Business/Community/Local News/Seniors by
Councillor Doug Elmslie and Councillor Emmett Yeo expressed the view that opting-in was the obvious decision.

A week after being sworn-in, City of Kawartha Lakes Council assembled around its custom-designed triangular conference table in the heart of the refurbished chambers. They gathered to hear a presentation on retail cannabis sales and to approve appointments to boards, committees and CHEST Fund disbursements.

Cannabis Retail Storefronts

By the Jan. 22 deadline set by the Province, council must make a decision on whether to opt-in or opt-out of having private recreational cannabis retail storefronts in Kawartha Lakes.

CAO Ron Taylor and Senior Licensing Officer Alix Scarr, provided a presentation that served as an overview of federal, provincial, and municipal responsibilities and powers with respect to cannabis and outlined the financial implications for the decision council will be making.

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Letham meets with Premier Ford, talks growth, job creation

in Around Town/Community/Local News/Seniors by

On December 10, Mayor Andy Letham was invited to meet one-on-one with Premier Doug Ford at Queen’s Park. The meeting was one of seven held with mayors of municipalities across Ontario including Mississauga, London and Guelph.

Among the themes discussed, according to a City press release, were common goals of providing efficient and effective services. The premier recognized Kawartha Lakes’ early adoption of a restructured, streamlined council size. He also expressed approval for the municipality’s long-term financial planning and ability to tackle sizable infrastructure deficits. They discussed how Kawartha Lakes is taking proactive steps to ensure sustainability of the services and amenities its residents value most, as uncovered in core service reviews.

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Mayor wants to convene community council advisory group

in Around Town/Community by
Mayor Andy Letham: “Never be afraid to stand and up and say ‘I have an idea.’”

In his inaugural remarks at the City of Kawartha Lakes’ first council meeting, Mayor Andy Letham said he will convene a “community council advisory group” to get more public input.

It is imperative we do this, says the mayor, to uncover “vital local knowledge” that many people hold and which can be shared for the betterment of the community.

The mayor also envisions a committee of the whole meeting about once a month, done in a more informal way so as to be inclusive of community members who want to participate. He sees these meetings moving around Kawartha Lakes’ communities to avoid being so Lindsay-centric.

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Doug Elmslie voted in as deputy mayor for one year

in Around Town/Community by

The inaugural meeting of City of Kawartha Lakes Council happened yesterday, with Councillor Doug Elmslie elected as deputy mayor through secret ballot, voted on by Mayor Andy Letham and all councillors.

He beat Councillor Pat Dunn who had been nominated by Councillor Ron Ashmore.

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KLAC wants to work with new council to advance tourism, development

in Community/The Arts by
L to R: Andy Letham, Brian Junkin, Gord James.

The Kawartha Lakes Arts Council and the Kawartha Lakes Heritage Network are looking forward to working with the new council to further strengthen cultural tourism and economic development in the municipality.

The groups were interested in electing candidates who support the cultural sector and who believe that long-term investment in the culture of the Kawartha Lakes is vital to economic and social growth.

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Letham wins: City votes to stay the course

in Around Town/Community/Local News by
Mayor Andy Letham wins again. Photo: Erin Smith.

In the end, the City of Kawartha Lakes voted for stability, as embodied in the leader they already knew. Andy Letham pulled out a victory with 11, 435 votes. Gord James, the former councillor who was always assumed to be Letham’s greatest challenger to overcome, came in second with 9,878 votes.

Brian Junkin was a distant third with 2,724 and Peter Weygang captured 1,007 votes in unofficial results.

James ran a highly visible campaign. He clearly won the ‘sign war’ across the City, dominating early in that regard. He was visible, amiable, and congenial, always.

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Well, you can’t say this is a boring election

in Columnists by

Believe it or not, there are some smaller municipalities in Ontario where the municipal election is no big deal. We now have less than a week to vote in what is turning out to be a very interesting election. Despite the ugly and annoying bits, this is still a good thing.

There are 444 municipalities in Ontario, and according to the Association of Ontario Municipalities (AMO), 120 municipalities have had their head of council (mayor, reeve, etc) acclaimed in this election. These numbers are up from the last municipal election. Of the 3,273 municipal positions up for grabs this election, 536 have been acclaimed. Journalists from several media outlets are fretting the state of democracy itself.

Thankfully — with the exception of the various school board positions — this is not the case in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

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What is Ontario Proud doing in our election?

in Columnists/Community by
What is Ontario Proud doing in our election?
Although some of Denby’s signs have been taken down by Municipal Enforcement -- presumably for violation of the City’s sign Bylaw -- those gorgeous signs at Victoria and Kent Streets are, in fact, legal.

Ontario Proud, the largest digital political advocacy group in the country — and self-described anti-Liberal advocacy group — seems to have taken an interest in the City of Kawartha Lakes’ election.

The Lindsay Advocate has confirmed with Joel Watts, deputy returning officer of the City of Kawartha Lakes that Ontario Proud is not registered as a third party advertiser in this election. The only registered third party advertiser is Bill Denby, who seems to take credit for the ad in the comments section of the second CKL-related video posted so far this election.

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When local politics gets ugly — and most likely illegal

in Business/Community/Local News by
Andy Letham, Gord James, Brian Junkin, Peter Weygang.

A rather thick document — that purports to be a ‘report’ on Mayor Andy Letham — is now circulating amongst some members of the public. The document is clearly professionally produced and is ring-bound, containing approximately 300 pages. It is also accompanied by a 19-page summary ‘report’, which is basically a repeat of any original material in the larger document.

The Lindsay Advocate became aware of this document on Saturday, September 22 from mayoral candidate Peter Weygang. On Sunday, September 23, Advocate Publisher Roderick Benns met with Weygang, who in turn had invited mayoral candidates’ Gord James and Brian Junkin to discuss this for about 30 minutes.

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Grand opening of new Fenelon Falls splash pad

in Around Town/Community by
Making a splash: Grand opening of new Fenelon Falls splash pad

All residents are invited to join the Fenelon Falls Rotary Club as they celebrate the grand opening of the new Fenelon Falls Splash Pad on Saturday June 16th from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Garnet Graham Park in Fenelon Falls.

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