The other election

By Lindsay Advocate

Mayor Andy Letham won't be running in the next election. Who will replace him?

Most of us are rightly focused on the June provincial election. These contests are always important, given how much is decided at the provincial level in this country. However, given the historical reality of this particular riding, it’s a tough place if you’re anything except a Conservative.

Why? Because only three times since 1934 have local voters defeated an incumbent MPP. And the incumbent is usually a Conservative.

But that other election is coming quickly — the one that decides the makeup of our municipal government. While it doesn’t happen until October, municipal nominations open May 2 and close August 19.

Your option for mayor so far? Councillor Pat Dunn.

While we applaud Dunn’s willingness to put his name forward for the top job (we believe a willingness to serve the public should be respected), surely even he would acknowledge the best thing for our municipality would be a contest.

Given Dunn’s former candidacy as a Reform Party candidate, we believe it’s safe to say he would govern with a conservative, austerity mindset. Who then to provide a campaign counterpoint?

With Mayor Andy Letham winding down his time in office, is there a more moderate choice than Dunn waiting in the wings, biding his or her time? So far, we’ve only gotten a ”no comment” from Councillor Tracy Richardson. We haven’t received a firm no from Councillor Doug Elmslie, either.

Contrary to what people believe, being mayor of Kawartha Lakes is not some part-time gig. The job pays $114,000 per year, plus expenses — a reasonable sum for a job of this scope, though it’s not as much as many of the city’s senior staff make.

There’s still plenty of time for candidates to come forward for the mayor’s job as well as to run for council. We’re hoping to hear that we have a race on our hands, not a coronation.

1 Comment

  1. Joan says:

    Casting Pat Dunn as seeking acclamation is unfair as is casting him as an extremist. Pat Dunn is one of the fairest candidates the City could wish for and while he may hold deeply personal views about morality, he is anything but extremist in his approach to serving the public. Pat Dunn is thoughtful and fair and can more than handle the competition.

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