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New Tec council fills Ward 5 vacancy, 14 vie for the spot

November 27, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek


The 14 candidates for Ward 5 were allowed a 10 minute presentation during a special meeting in Council Chambers, on Monday, November 20, to outline their qualifications before council decided who would fill the interim ward vacancy.

In the end, Ward 5 resident Peter W. Anderson was elected in a two stage vote.

Ward 5 was declared vacant by Council after elected Councillor, Donna Jebb, was appointed for the position of Deputy Mayor, following the passing of deputy mayor Jamie Smith in August. The Ward had been without council representation since October, 21.

Anderson, who was eleventh to speak of thirteen candidates who asked for time at the podium (former councillor Bob Marrs declined to speak). He used his time to talk on his affiliation with the Lions Club in Strathroy, and their mantra, “We Serve,” – a motto he says he’s adopted into his everyday life, and why he put his name forward for council’s consideration.

Having worked in the agricultural business across Canada for almost 50 years, Anderson said, “Farmers are our bosses”.

“I know (farmers’) concerns, I know their problems,” he said of the rural ward he now represents.

The 17-year resident of New Tecumseth is the current Board chair for Green Briar, and has sat on several advisory committees, including the United Way, public boards and hockey clubs. He has lived and worked across the country – from Quebec to Alberta, and places in between, following his path in agriculture.

“I will be a definite asset,” Anderson said to council during his deputation.

The candidates (in speaking order) were: David Wood, Erwin van Laar, Alan Masters, Laurie Mortimer, Cam Simone, Terry Meginnis, Stuart Starbuck, Kennard Pratt, Zachery Giuliani, Peter Barbati, Peter W. Anderson, Stephanie MacLellan, Doug Kowalinski, and Bob Marrs. All of the candidates had provided identification to the clerk, and most had submitted a background package to aid councillors in their decision making process. MacLellan and Cam Simone did not.

Although a vote prior to the onset of the meeting allowed councillors to ask questions of the candidates, following their presentations, only two candidates were questioned. Ward 7 Councillor Shira Harrison McIntyre asked MacLellan and Simone for more of their background information, “work history or otherwise”, and Ward 4 Councillor Fran Sainsbury asked MacLellan how her social media posts would change, should she become elected.

In the first round of voting, Peter W. Anderson received four votes (Deputy Mayor Jebb, Ward 1 Councillor Biss, Ward 3 Councillor JJ Paul Whiteside, Ward 4 Councillor Fran Sainsbury); Stephanie MacLellan received three votes (Ward 6 Councillor Richard Norcross, Ward 8 Councillor Chris Ross, Ward 2 Councillor Michael K Beattie); Alan Masters received one vote (Ward 7 Councillor Shira Harrison McIntyre); David Wood received one vote (Mayor Rick Milne).

With no clear winner having achieved fifty per cent of the popular vote, and because only three names would move forward into round two voting, Masters and Woods’ names were placed into a barrel for random lot, and Masters name was pulled. He then, along with Anderson and MacLellan, moved into phase two voting.

Anderson was then elected by a 5 to 4 win over Ward 5 resident, Stephanie MacLellan. Of the nine current members of Council voting, Anderson was elected by votes from: Jebb, Sainsbury, Biss, Whiteside, and Shira Harrison McIntyre.

Beattie, Norcross, Ross, and Milne voted for MacLellan.

Alan Masters received no votes.

Jebb, who says she plans to run for re-election in her Ward in the fall 2018 election, stood with Anderson after the special council meeting, shaking his hand and congratulating him.

Anderson was immediately sworn in by Town Clerk Cindy Maher, and took his seat at the council table. His role as Ward 5 Councillor is effective immediately, and for the remainder of the Council term ending on November 30, 2018.

His first duty a councillor will be to advise in 2018 budget deliberations, already underway.

“We would like to thank each of the 14 candidates for their interest in serving their community through the Ward 5 councillor position,” said Mayor Rick Milne. “We are pleased to have appointed Mr. Anderson as Ward 5 Councillor and look forward to him joining our council as our new representative for Ward 5.”


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