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Letham likely to return to private sector after 2022 election

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Mayor Andy Letham has about a year and a half left in the mayor's chair. Photo: Erin Smith.

One of the most difficult decisions for most politicians to make is to know when it is time to walk away and do something else.

In a telephone interview with the Advocate, Mayor Andy Letham shared his reasons for announcing he will not seek a third term in 2022, where he thinks council is headed, the pros and cons of a smaller council and what the future holds for him post-politics.

The decision

“I decided a while ago not to run (for a third term),” Letham said, “and if other people are thinking about it they can now put their minds to it. I don’t want to be seen as pretending (I am interested in a third term). I can now be as frank as I want to be. Council knew a month ago when I told them in closed session. Two terms was my goal. I like what we have done and where we are going.”

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Local man says Kawartha Lakes should allow tiny houses

in Municipal/Social Issues by
Local man says Kawartha Lakes should allow tiny houses

With local real estate prices spiralling into the stratosphere, Peter Wallace wants Kawartha Lakes to allow the construction and full-time occupancy of tiny homes.

Wallace argues it should be both tiny homes on foundations or on wheels as a partial solution to the lack of affordable housing in the area. He would also like to see tiny homes permitted as both secondary dwellings on properties with existing residential homes and as primary dwellings on vacant land.

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More off-road vehicle road access criticized in pitches to council

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Public shares differing views on off-road vehicle bylaw changes

Six local citizens took on the challenge of sharing with council — in just five minutes or less over Zoom — their views on ORV access to municipal roads in the south of the city. Five of them spoke out strongly against allowing more ORV access on city roads.

Their efforts earned the praise of deputy-mayor Patrick O’Reilly who said, “the deputations were well thought out and worthy of consideration.”

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Council approves ATV access in principle, details to come

in Municipal by

Kawartha Lakes council got one step further to allowing ATVs access to a number of designated rural roads in the south of the city, and  routes through Lindsay and Bobcaygeon — creating a united trail system for recreational vehicles running from the Ganaraska Forest all the way to Haliburton.

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Lively council meeting expected on ORV issue

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The committee of the whole meeting on May 4 promises to be contentious as Kawartha Lakes City Council hears more about the divisive off-road vehicle bylaw review.

Council will be discussing how many kilometres of local roadways will be opened up for recreational ORV usage, a possibility that has angered many in the walking, hiking and bicycling community.

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New sign bylaw approved with improved wording  

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Councillor Ron Ashmore. Photo: Sienna Frost.

Kawartha Lakes council gave final approval to a new election sign bylaw that will regulate the size, placement, quality and retrieval of election signs for municipal, provincial and federal elections beginning immediately.

One very important wording change was made in the bylaw at the suggestion of Ward 6 councillor Ron Ashmore.

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City trying to keep up with provincial pandemic orders

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Kawartha Lakes libraries are still open for pick-up service.

Since the arrival of COVID-19 in Ontario, the only constant in city planning has been change, as the municipality reacts to edicts from both the federal and provincial governments on health and safety protocols.

Chief Administrative Officer Ron Taylor reported to council on April 20 how the city is managing the new round of restrictions originally imposed on April 3, and then updated on April 7 and April 19.

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City to encourage conversation about basic income  

in Federal/Municipal by
The Ontario Basic Income Pilot was cut short when Premier Doug Ford's Conservatives were elected in 2018. Photo: Roderick Benns.

In a contested and close vote, Kawartha Lakes council approved a motion by Councillor Doug Elmslie to send letters to Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock member of parliament, Jamie Schmale, and federal finance minister Chrystia Freeland to encourage a meaningful discussion between Ottawa and the provinces on the issue of a universal basic income.

Universal basic income, or basic income for short, ensures everyone has sufficient income to meet basic needs and live with dignity. Basic income, in Canada, would look similar to the Canada Child Benefit. That is, as wages increase the benefit declines, but it declines progressively – not dollar for dollar.

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Letham will not stand for a third term as mayor

in Municipal by
Letham will not stand for a third term as mayor

Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham will not be running for a third term.

He informed council at their regularly scheduled April 20 meeting of his decision.  “I will not be running in the next election,” Letham told council. “We have accomplished much together as a team and we have much more to do. Let’s keep going.”

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City takes first step to change rules for election signs

in Municipal by
Mayoral candidates Andy Letham, Brian Junkin, and Gord James squared off in the last municipal election. There could be three elections in 2022.

With the possibility of a federal, provincial and municipal election in 2022, council has unanimously voted in principal to update the by-law currently in place regarding the size, content and placement of candidates’ signs anywhere in the city.

City clerk Cathie Ritchie and deputy clerk Joel Watts presented council with their recommendations in written form. These recommendations were motivated by their experience and the public complaints that emanated from the 2018 municipal election.

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