New and returning councillors talk about first steps
The 2022 Kawartha Lakes municipal election featured the election of four novice councillors and the return of one former councillor after eight years in the political wilderness.
After being sworn in, The Advocate caught up with these new members of Kawartha Lakes council and their mayor, and asked them what their priorities are in the weeks and months ahead.
Ward Two councillor Pat Warren, who is returning to council after two terms out of power, was excited to be back on council saying, “The environmental voice of Kawartha Lakes is back.”
Ward Four councillor Dan Joyce was asked if he is excited about the challenges ahead. “Absolutely,” Joyce said. “I hope to work hard on improving roads, family doctor recruitment, protecting community hubs like libraries, community centres and community halls, being efficient with taxpayers’ dollars and standing up for farmers and agriculture making sure that farmland is protected.”
Ward Seven councillor Charlie McDonald was asked what he is most looking forward to and said, “I am looking forward to talking to real people about real issues. I really look forward to beginning those conversations.”
Ward Three councillor Mike Perry was asked what his priorities are for the next six months. He said, “I want to learn the ropes so I can do the best job that I can. I want to learn what all the issues are and how the processes work. I also want to spend time consulting and listening to the residents of Ward Three.”
Ward Five councillor Eric Smeaton was asked what his feelings are now that he was sworn in. Smeaton said, “I am excited about getting started. I am really looking forward to this new position. My favourite moment was perhaps finding out that Pat Warren is also a drummer (as Smeaton is). Working with a veteran councillor like her will be a great experience. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be on council.”
Mayor Doug Elmslie was asked for his insights about the new council and councillors that he will be working with for the next four years.
“We have eight councillors,” Elmslie said, “and we will all be thrown in quickly with the upcoming budgeting process. It will probably take the new councillors about 18 months to be more comfortable with their new jobs. They will feel more comfortable once they have been through everything once and seen everything once.”