Mulmur mayor hopes for a ‘winning hand’

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Mono Mulmur Citizens’ Coalition, better known as MC2, hosted an all candidates meeting Sept. 17 for those seeking seats at Mulmur’s council table.

MC2 is a ratepayers’ organization founded in 1988 to act as a voice for the residents of the Mono and Mulmur, working primarily to protect the rural environment.

“The importance of every vote should not be underestimated,” said moderator Don MacFarlane in his introductory remarks to an audience of 40 people gathered at Mulmur town hall to hear from two candidates running for deputy mayor and six candidates vying for three council seats. Five of the six are first time candidates, including Barry Smith who was absent due to illness.

The meeting gave each candidate a chance to make opening and closing remarks, with time between to answer questions from the audience.

“I am very thankful for your faith that I can do it again for another four years,” said acclaimed mayor Janet Horner, thanking the “dream team” of staff and council who all brought their skills to the table. “As a council we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and some of the accomplishments of the past term have been years in the making.”

She talked specifically about the ongoing effort to bring high speed internet to Mulmur, encouraging growth in the hamlets, noting plans of subdivision for Mansfield and Primrose park, development of a recreation plan, work on a new Official Plan, road safetyand community events.

“As for the future, while I’d like to hope for world peace, I want municipal peace,” said Horner. “We’re going to shuffle the deck. It’s in your hands whether we having a winning hand going forward.”

Controlled growth and land use surfaced as the top issue for candidates, with connectivity, mostly through high speed internet, being a clear second.

Incumbents highlighted some of their accomplishments including the launch of the monthly newsletter, banning of single use plastics, and declaring a climate emergency.

Deputy mayoral candidate Shirley Boxem said her platform ensures the fundamental needs are met while protecting Mulmur’s beloved qualities: controlled growth and protected watershed, fiscal management, strong core services, local business, housing options, building community, good leadership and transparency.

“True service to community puts community interests first,” said Boxem. Incumbent Earl Hawkins outlined his experience on boards and committees during his 25 years on council and said his priorities include avoiding tax increases, climate change initiatives, resident input, preserving water and the environment, “always preserving the beauty and rural character of Mulmur.”Patty Clark is running for a second term on council, saying her first term was a very positive experience and said she would like to continue to work on creating new recreation opportunities, environmental protections, communication and outreach, and planning.

“I have enjoyed my last four years as councillor and I thought that I was able to positively contribute to the decisions that were made,” said Clark. “I would like to be your councillor again so we can continue on with the good work we started.”

Newcomers laid out some of their ideas and motivation for standing for election.

Andrew Cunningham was sworn in to fill a vacant council position in August. 

“I bring forward a skill forth a skillset that would prove beneficial to the role of councillor, employing my knowledge of environmental sustainability, fiscal responsibility and the implementation of community service amenities. I would be a great asset in projecting and implementing community growth within Mulmur,” said Cunningham. “I believe that growth is inevitable. When we are responsive to our community needs, we can embrace potential community development and enhance with a progressive mindset.”

He said new development should contribute to healthy community initiatives for current and future residents, investments in parklands, and improvements to the local arena.  

Kim Lyon said she joined the committee of adjustment when she disagreed with the development that was happening around her home in the Violet Hill area.

“Yes, we need to develop and yes we need to grow but we need to plan for commercial development to support future residential growth but we have to be proactive with early planning to allow us to preserve our rural character,” said Lyon. “We need to attract more businesses and professional services while still protecting and preserving the natural attractions around here because that’s why we are all here.”

She also talked about creating affordable housing, and accessible community meeting space.

Daryl Stansfield moved to Mulmur last year. He has worked in sales and marketing for 25 years and hopes to bring some of that expertise to elevate Mulmur’s communications.

“Things are happening up here so we need to make sure that everyone’s engaged, everyone’s involved and then Mulmur looks like we want Mulmur to look like so that’s why I wanted to run,” said Stansfield.

Timothy Trafananko is offering up his professional mechanical, gas fitting and refrigeration expertise, saying he would like to offer his expertise to maximize sustainability in the community, “rather than hiring expensive consultants and incurring undue expenses to the community.”

Note: The original version inadvertently omitted comments made by candidate Andrew Cunningham. The Echo apologizes for the error. 

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