By Vivian Collings
If you’ve always wanted to make a difference in your community, now is the time to put your name forward.
The 2022 Municipal and School Board Election is only a few months away, and the deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers is Aug. 19.
Haliburton County residents will vote to elect a mayor, deputy mayor, members of council, and trustees for English and French public school boards in their respective townships on Oct. 24.
Currently, in the Municipality of Dysart et al and Municipality of Highlands East, only one person has filed nomination for 12 positions and five even sit vacant.
This means that if nobody else puts their name forward, these candidates will be declared elected by acclamation.
Andrea Roberts, current mayor of the Municipality of Dysart et al, wrote in an email, “I wish there were more people [running] in general for all positions … This complacency in the municipal election is disheartening and a bit frightening. I was in four elections, and each time there were two to five candidates for each position. The voters need choices and they need to get involved now. Let’s hope more people heed the call and put their names forward.”
In the Municipality of Dysart et al, the nominations are as follows; Murray Fearrey for mayor, Walt McKechnie for deputy mayor, Rob McCaig for Ward 1 councillor, Daniel Roberts for Ward 2 councillor, Tammy Donaldson for Ward 3 councillor, Rod Dobson for Ward 4 councillor, and Gary Brohman for English public school board trustee. There are currently no nominees for Ward 5 councillor.
Municipality of Highlands East nominations are Dave Burton for mayor, Cecil Ryall for Ward 3 councillor, Gary Brohman for English public school board trustee, Peter McEnery for English Catholic school board trustee, and Michel Charron for French school board trustee. There are currently no nominees for Ward 1, Ward 2, or Ward 4 councillors.
To become a candidate in Dysart et al, you must file your Form 1 nomination paper which can be found at forms.mgcs.gov.on.ca/en/dataset/017-9499p, provide at least 25 endorsement signatures from eligible voters in your township on Form 2, provide identification showing your name, qualifying address, and signature, and you must pay the nomination filing fee.
The filing fee is $200 for mayoral candidates and $100 for other council and school board positions.
Contact municipal clerk Mallory Bishop to make an appointment to file your nomination at email@example.com or call 705-457-1740 ext. 631.
For candidate instructions and information for the Municipality of Highlands East, visit www.highlandseast.ca/en/live-here/election-information-for-candidates.aspx.
In the 2018 election for Dysart, 45.19 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots at the polls. Highlands East saw only a 31.59 per cent voter turnout.
To check to make sure that you are registered to vote in the 2022 Ontario Municipal and School Board Elections, go to voterlookup.ca.
If you are a Canadian citizen, 18 years or older, and either live in the municipality, own or rent property in the municipality, or if your spouse owns or rents property in the municipality, you are eligible to vote in the upcoming municipal election.
A “So you want to run for Council?” information session was held on April 26 at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 129 in Haliburton to educate those interested in learning more about municipal council and the roles and responsibilities of those elected.
“Council represents the public. Members of council are out in the community bringing concerns of people in the community to the council table,” said municipal coach Fred Dean at the session.
To watch the information session, visit www.dysartetal.ca/en/news/council-candidate-information-session.aspx.
Time is running out, and now is your chance to be able to have your voice heard in your community.