Mono mayoralty candidate Stephen Unwin challenging Laura Ryan

August 16, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Stephen Unwin is running for the position of Mono’s Mayor, the first time he has sought public office.

Despite his first time seeking office, Mr. Unwin looks at the top spot on council, wanting to handle the difficult and tedious task of being the town’s mayor.

“This is my opportunity to give back,” he told the Citizen, adding it’s important for voters to have choice. He will be challenging incumbent Laura Ryan, who is seeking a third straight term as mayor.

A resident of Mono for nearly four years, Mr. Unwin stressed that “municipal government is the one that touches people locally,” which was one of the reasons he chose to run.

One of his key issues is on broadband access, noting the town’s objection to Xplornet putting up a tower. He said he understands the push to not have towers and stay rural. “But the reality is that this is the only cost-effective way to provide the solution.”

He added, “Whether we like it or not, it’s going to come. So we can be involved in making that decision and how it’s going to be deployed, or it’s going to get shoved down our throat.”

Mr. Unwin also spoke on the issue of garbage, as the town has a joint contract with Dufferin County. “From a cost perspective, we would have been better off staying with our dump, rather than trucking our garbage somewhere else.”

He described his concern with future generations being unable to afford living in rural areas. “It’s more of making sure that the services within the region fit the needs of the different population base,” he said. “We have to have the technology base that can support having small businesses here.”

Mr. Unwin said the hardest part is on finding the balance between rural and urban. “They’re not always mutually exclusive.”

He said the best council would have a “mix” of those from the different areas of the town.

“If they run opposed, they don’t have to put forward what their platform is or how they’re going to address this, it just becomes the status quo,” he noted. “Or it becomes a small group of people who make decisions based on what their personal needs are rather than the needs of the community.”

Mr. Unwin said that he understands running a town is like running your own business, something he has done. “I think I’ve got a little more experience on a larger budget scale on how things work.”

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