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 voters may find that they have a lack of candidates to choose from.
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 Township of Minden Hills and the Township of Algonquin Highlands, only one person has filed nomination for eight of 16 positions and some even sit vacant.
This means that if nobody else puts their name forward, these candidates will be declared elected by acclamation.
Liz Danielsen, current Haliburton county warden and deputy mayor of the Township of Algonquin Highlands, wrote in an email, “When a seat does become available, as I believe remains the case in all four member municipalities, I would urge folks who have a genuine interest in their community and its growth to come forward. While it can be a learning curve and seem a bit daunting, there are lots of supports offered to help make the job easier.”
In the Township of Minden Hills, the nominations are as follows; Bob Carter for mayor, Lisa Schell for deputy mayor, Tammy McKelvey and Trevor Chaulk for councillor at large, Jennifer Hughey, Ivan Ingram, and Shirley Johannessen for Ward 1 councillor, Pam Sayne for Ward 2 councillor, and Gary Brohman for English public school board trustee. There are currently no nominees for Ward 3 councillor.
Township of Algonquin Highlands nominations are Liz Danielsen and Mike Lang for mayor, Jennifer Dailloux for Ward 3 councillor, Lisa Barry for Ward 2 councillor, Julia Shortreed for Ward 1 councillor, and Gary Brohman for English public school board trustee.
Danielsen said there could be a variety of factors contributing to the lack of candidates at this time.
“Often individuals who are thinking about it like to wait until the last minute to determine who their competition might be. It could be that folks are generally frustrated these days, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19 and all the lifestyle changes that have hit them, and are giving up hope that anything will ever change, not realizing that they could be part of the solution,” she said.
To become a candidate in the Township of Minden Hills, visit mindenhills.ca/clerks-department/elections/. For candidate instructions and information for the Township of Algonquin Highlands, visit www.algonquinhighlands.ca/candidate-information.php.
The filing fee is $200 for mayoral candidates and $100 for other council and school board positions.
In the 2018 Minden Hills municipal election, only 33.77 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots at the polls. Algonquin Highlands had the lowest turnout in the county with only 12.9 per cent of voters taking to the polls.
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 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 during his information session.
To watch the information session, visit www.dysartetal.ca/en/municipal-government/2022-municipal-and-school-board-election.aspx.
Time is running out, and now is your chance to be able to have your voice heard in your community.