South Stormont fields agreeable group of candidates

LONG SAULT – The effect of South Stormont’s current mayor and deputy mayor running against each other in this year’s mayoral race means there will be at least one new face at the council table after voting closes October 24.

Potentially there could be up to four new members of council, depending on voting results.

There are a trio of big issues that all candidates in this year’s municipal election campaign agree on: the need to expand or replace the Ingleside Wastewater Treatment Plant; safety issues on Highway 138; and continuing to work with the St. Lawrence Parks Commission to gain more access to the Ingleside and Long Sault waterfronts.

Two candidates are running for deputy mayor, current councillor Andrew Guindon, and challenger Richard Waldroff.

Guindon, who is finishing his first term as a councillor, did not expect to put his name forward for deputy mayor and had already filed his nomination papers seeking another term as councillor.

“I saw this as an opportunity to make a greater impact in the community,” he explained. “With Council and [SDG] Counties Council, files are covered from roads to rural education. Without an incumbent, I thought it was a good opportunity to make that move up.”

He said that there needs to be a forward thinking council to push the agenda forward in dealing with parks and recreation, as well addressing the water treatment plant issue.

“I think we need someone with the knowledge and experience in dealing with upper levels of government to advocate for funding for the Ingleside plant,” Guindon said.

Waldroff is a lifelong resident of South Stormont. He served on South Stormont council from 2014-18 as a councillor and was unsuccessful in his run for the deputy mayor’s seat in 2018.

“I really care about the community and feel I have a lot to offer to the role,” Waldroff said about why he was running.

He said that to address issues like housing affordability and funding for the Ingleside wastewater plan help is needed from the provincial and federal governments. Waldroff added that the water level issues on Lake St. Lawrence and how those affect residents, boaters, and tourism are important to address during the next term of council.

“We need to work with the water resources agencies and the IJC to come up with a solution that works well for everyone here,” he said.

Councillor candidates

Five candidates, including two incumbents, are running for three available councillor positions this fall.

Louise Leclerc – A former federal government employee living near St. Andrews West, she said she wants to help out more in the community, especially addressing safety issues on Highway 138. Agricultural issues and ownership of South Stormont’s Lake St. Lawrence waterfront are important for her to address in the next term of council.

“I want everyone to see that South Stormont is a great place to go to, visit, and stay,” she said.

Jennifer MacIsaac – One of two incumbents seeking re-election, MacIsaac said she wanted to continue the work that began in the 2018-22 term of council. That included adopting a four-year budgeting plan, attracting new industrial and residential development, and increasing passive recreation opportunities like playgrounds, the walking trails in Long Sault and new parks in areas. Managing growth in the long term is a challenge she identified.

“Growth doesn’t come without challenges,” she said. “We have to continue to upgrade old infrastructure and plan to support the growing municipality.”

Reid McIntyre – Calling himself a “retired guy” McIntyre worked for 43 years in the construction and infrastructure industries and feels his work experience is an asset when dealing with municipal projects. He explained that all the different major issues in the township, from landfill to waterfront access, and residential and industrial growth are all interconnected and need a hands-on approach.

“I’ve been in the office and I’ve been out in the field with a shovel,” McIntyre said. “I think I can add new perspective for council.”

Tammy Spittal – Helping everyone, including the most vulnerable in the community is important for Spittal in her run for council. She said that accountability and transparency needs to improve in South Stormont, including reducing the number of in-camera meetings held by the township. Spittal explained that representation in the community needs to improve.

“Council seems to be making whatever decisions they feel are best without consultation with the public,” she said. “It’s our township, we elected these people, and they should reflect our values and our vision for what we want in our township and not just what they want.”

Cindy Woods – Woods has served on South Stormont for three of the last four terms of council and called this term of council a “great term.” She highlighted the multi-year budget and implementation of the asset management plan which makes the infrastructure needs of the community easier to manage. In seeking re-election, Woods wanted to continue working on getting the waterfront plan in place, and manage the growth in the community. With at least one new person joining council, Wood said her experience, especially in finance, is an asset for the next term of council.

“There’s a balance. Everyone has their strengths at council,” Woods explained. “The last four years have been a great term and I want to get more done in the next four years.” Voters in South Stormont will head to the polls along with voters across Ontario on October 24 to elect the next four-year term of council. For a profile on the two mayoral candidates for South Stormont – Bryan McGillis and David Smith – see the September 28, 2022 issue of The Leader.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader