Mulmur councillor runs for deputy mayor

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Shirley Boxem is running for deputy mayor in Mulmur, taking on incumbent Earl Hawkins.

Boxem has served one term on council after receiving the highest number of votes in the 2018 election, bringing to the table her “knowledge of Mulmur’s land use and community character to bear on issues of conservation and communication.”

“It has been an honour to serve as a Councillor,” said Boxem in a media release. “As deputy mayor, I will continue to be respectful of your precious tax dollars and vigilant in protecting this very special place we call home.”

Boxem was already active in the community having served as a board member of NDACT when the Mega Quarry application was withdrawn, and taking an active role in creating Food and Water First.

As Executive Director of Headwaters Communities in Action (HCIA), she oversaw Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance, the creation of DC MOVES, Volunteer Dufferin, and the Dufferin County Community Grants process. Through HCIA, she supported the founding directors in the creation of the Dufferin Community Foundation, to ensure community support in perpetuity. She is currently a Board Director and member of the Outreach Committee.

Boxem said she is passionate about community and environmental issues, always striving to make the community a better place for all, and fosters transparency and better communications.

“I envisioned a monthly newsletter shortly into my term. We need to be better connected to our ratepayers” she said. “We cannot rely on over-the- fence conversations to keep people in the know.”

The outcome was the creation of a monthly newsletter being sent out to more than 800 subscribers, instituted by the Communications Advisory Committee.

Boxem’s husband Thomas John Long has deep roots in Mulmur. Long learned his grandfather was a blacksmith in Stanton before eventually settling in Creemore. Like many former “city folk” and “weekenders” now deeply committed to Mulmur, Tom and Shirley wanted to find a place where they had some roots.

“It was why we originally wanted to move to Creemore” she admitted, “but the right property presented itself in Mulmur instead over 16 years ago. We were stunned to discover much later that the first Thomas John Long lived close by for a time. Surely, we were meant to be here!”

As a full-time resident, Boxem said she is deeply committed to the quality of life – now and into the future.

She plays an active role being the Mulmur representative on the board of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority. With previous experience as a citizen member of the Committee of Adjustment and her leadership in NDACT, she was well-qualified to deal with the issues raised at the NVCA. As the province threatens to override the conservation authorities on key development proposals, she sees the urgent need for board members to be active advocates.

“With the pressures of development and growth residents want a Mulmur that retains its countryside feel while allowing for economic opportunities and housing options. They want continued fiscal management but with an eye on long term impacts. I believe I have the ability and the experience to move us forward,” she said.

The municipal election is on Oct. 24. The filing deadline to run in the election is August 19.

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