Adelaide Metcalfe council candidates

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Adelaide Metcalfe residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting their four councilors this election.

Seven people are vying for the four council seats. Current councilor Susan Clarke has been elected mayor, meaning there will be at least one new face at the council table next term.

Five of the seven candidates responded to emailed requests for profile interviews: current deputy mayor Mary Ann Hendrikx, outgoing councilors Mike Brodie and Betty Ann MacKinnon, and challengers Eric Denison and Arend Noordhof. Gerald Sanders and Garret Kingma are also in the running.

Online and telephone voting takes place October 17-24 and newsletters must be in mailboxes by October 14.

Mary Ann Hendrikx

With the position of deputy mayor being abolished as of the next term, Mary Ann Hendrikx is now running as a councilor instead. She and the rest of the council voted unanimously earlier this year to scrap the position and increase the number of councilor positions from three to four.

Hendrikx was a councilor before becoming deputy mayor in the last election. In addition to her background in agriculture, Hendrikx is involved in her church and the Optimist Club.

“I served on the Ontario Pork Producers marketing board for 12 years, so I have a ton of governance experience,” Hendrikx said.

She said becoming a councilor would help her finish the work she and the rest of the council had started.

“I learned that in municipal politics, things don’t run like a business. You can’t just say it’s done and it’s done,” Hendrikx explained.

“So things that I would have liked to see happen now like the Strathroy deal, like Kerwood Park… they’re not, so I’d like to finish them. And just continue to see our township creatively grow and prosper,” she added.

Agritourism and the expansion of agriculture-related businesses are things she would like to see flourish. If elected, Hendrikx would like to see internet connectivity for all, growth on the Highway 81 corridor, and also Kerwood Road if it fits in with surrounding agriculture.

She also described a more “liveable” place for people.

“Not to get in the way or support things that the Optimist Club would like to do, or if any company has a plan to do something a little different,” she explained, already citing organic gardening and alpaca walking. as examples.

“Just interesting things to do here without having to go to town or city to do something interesting,” she said.

On the idea of ​​Strathroy-Caradoc looking to extend its boundaries to Center Road or merge with Adelaide Metclafe, Hendrikx said it was a tension that had been happening for 100 years.

“It’s an important part of our tax base. We have residences and agriculture, and without this Strathroy-Cardoc corridor, we don’t have a lot of other commerce… We’re not a viable township if we only have houses and barns,” said said Hendrikx.

Mike Brodi

Holder Mike Brodie said he is self-employed as a farmer and owns a spray and lime application business, with his dealership Maizex Seeds.

“I really enjoyed my first term as a councillor. You get to learn a lot about what’s going on in the Township, which I found very interesting and enjoyed a lot,” Brodie said when asked why he was showing up again.

He wants to get things done over the next four years, adding that it is not easy to change things quickly in government.

“Not really,” he replied when asked if there was anything specific he wanted to work on.

“I feel like I’ve done a good job on the board. I’m pretty well known. I work hard on it and take it very seriously,” Brodie summed up explaining why he was the right person for the job.

On the service agreement, he said it would have been nice to be able to sit down with Strathroy-Caradoc.

Brodie declined to comment on an offer made by Adelaide Metcalfe now.

“An offer presented to us by Strathroy-Caradoc was unsignable,” he said.

Betty Ann MacKinnon

Outgoing councilor Betty Ann MacKinnon has a lot of experience in municipal politics.

She said she was clerk treasurer for 31 years in Mosa, which is now part of South West Middlesex. MacKinnon became a director of Southwest Middlesex after the merger in 2001 until his retirement in 2006.

“My acquired knowledge of the township since my first election in 2007 has given me a broad understanding of the issues affecting Adelaide Metcalfe as a whole,” MacKinnon said.

She added that this meant understanding working with other levels of government and knowing what powers the township does and does not have.

If re-elected, she hopes to continue working on Kerwood Park, getting internet everywhere, the community improvement plan and the five-year review of the official plan. A partnership with the county on walkways and trails is also something she would like to explore.

MacKinnon is also concerned about the environmental impacts of the proposed biosolid fertilizers on the Sydenham River and area, and neighbors are concerned about the associated odors, dust and noise.

Expanding the Highway 81 corridor is also on his to-do list.

“Most important is the service agreement with Strathroy-Caradoc,” said MacKinnon.

She said that when Adelaide Metcalfe made a counter offer to Strathroy-Caradoc, they didn’t even have a meeting with the board.

“At Adelaide Metcalfe, we try to work in collaboration with Strathroy-Caradoc. I don’t believe all the information there was given to the council – hopefully anyway – because that water pipe and sewage pipe was costing Adelaide Metcalfe, and it was just at Adelaide at the time, over a million dollars,” MacKinnon said, adding that the whole process had been frustrating.

“We had to pay part of the operating costs. It was not given to us, we paid our share.

His long list of community and organizational involvements includes serving on the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority Board of Directors since 2007, 30 years on the Conservation Services Board of community support from the Four Counties Health Services to help people with developmental disabilities, the Four Counties Hospital Local Advisory Committee, Strathroy The Hospital Alliance Governance Committee, the Western Fair District Programming Board, the province’s Normal Farm Practices Protection Board which resolves disputes over what constitutes a normal farm practice, and the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal, the former Secretary of Hockey Glencoe miner and the Salon-Sale red brand for young cattle farmers.

“I have the passion. I respect the decisions of others on the board; if we’re good advice, we won’t always agree with each other,” MacKinnon said of why she thinks she’s the person for the job.

“I think there’s a misconception that people have: they think they can come to the board and change things. You have to work as a team and if three out of five members vote one way, that’s the board’s decision. So I understand that and I respect that.

Eric Denison

A self-proclaimed man of action, Eric Denison says everything he’s touched in the community so far has become “gung-ho”.

He pointed to the free Kerwood Soccer League.

“Children football has grown from five to 164 this year, and we would have been bigger, but Covid kind of reduced our numbers because we had to close for two years. And then the playground (at Kerwood Park), when I got involved in that, like nine months, I built the whole thing for $80,000.

“There were several people involved. We are a team and that’s one thing I want to push forward is that we are a team. You need to rely on your key people and use them to move forward. We need to take the I’s off the board and have a we,” Denison said.

After running unsuccessfully eight years ago, Denison chose not to run in the last election because his big issue of separating more homes from farms to entice more families to move in was passed.

But the service agreement with Strathroy-Caradoc prompted him to run again this time.

“I was in the water, I still have all my tickets to work in the water, and that’s why lane 81 has me wall climbing,” Denison said.

“Their attitude towards making a deal. There are too many businesses and livelihoods at both ends that depend on this corridor. »

“It’s not about us, it’s not about Strathroy. We are almost identical when it comes to this hallway,” he added.

The idea of ​​Strathroy widening the boundaries to use this corridor is something that cannot be done due to Adelaide Metcalfe’s need for the tax base, he added.

“We have to put our grudges aside. It’s going to be expensive for us to use their infrastructure, but that’s the way it is. Any new advice won’t be able to take it or give it, you just have to make a deal,” Denison said.

Denison has also been with the Optimists since 2010 and is a hobby farmer in addition to his work leading a sewer infrastructure team for the City of London.

Arend Noordhof

The recently retired fire chief wants to continue serving.

Arend Noordhof was chief for 20 years and was in the fire service for 20 years before that. He also ran an engine repair business for 32 years.

“I was looking for something to do to give back to the community, to serve the public,” Noordhof said.

Transparency is something he would like to improve by having fewer in camera items, which are board business not open to the public.

“I think some decisions that were made should have been more public,” Noordhof said.

“And better control of expenses,” he added of his ideas for the next four years.

“I think we’ve spent too much on IT and legal consultants. Now I know that all this is also necessary, but there is a limit,” Noordhof said.

Some of these legal fees will be used to settle the Strathroy-Caradoc service agreement in court.

“It has to be a fair deal for both municipalities. I see no reason why we just can’t get along,” Noordhof said.

He was also against the idea of ​​amalgamating or giving away too much land along the Center Road corridor.

Noordhof ended by saying that knowing people is his strength.

“I know a lot of people in the township and a lot of people know me, so I know what taxpayers’ needs and wants are,” Noordhof said.

Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, The Middlesex Banner

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