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Races under way for all Orangeville Council seats

By Tabitha Wells - On Monday afternoon, Councillor Jeremy Williams announced that he had filed his papers, and is officially running for Orangeville Mayor in the October 27 municipal elections.

Accompanying him in making the announcement was Orangeville resident Kim Reid, who confirmed she will be running for Deputy Mayor.

Although the two were the first to announce their candidacies, the current office holders have since confirmed their names will also be on the ballot.

“Kim and I have worked together on various projects over the years,” said Councillor Williams. “It's not enough to just have me run for Mayor, we really need a change at the top.”

The mayoralty race will be welcomed by many residents who have been declaring their hopes on Facebook for the last several months that Councillor Williams would run for Mayor.

Councillor Williams and Ms. Reid emphasized that part of their running has to do with what they see as a need for change in the town's leadership.

“Nothing against the Mayor of the Deputy Mayor, but they've been there a long time,” said Councillor Williams. “Orangeville has grown and for us to continue to grow, keep our taxes down and to control our expenses I feel that we need somebody who can provide more time to the position. Rob works full-time in the city, and he's done a fantastic job, but it's time to have someone who can be around more.“

A hot topic on social media has been a perceived lack of transparency from council to Orangeville residents concerning issues such as police expenditures and other decisions made by council. According to Councillor Williams, that is one thing he hopes to see changed if elected mayor.

“I have fought from the very beginning of me being on council to increase transparency,” he said. “I don't like in-camera meetings. If you get used to that philosophy that we're working together, that we're not separate from the people, we are the people, it helps with the transparency. I try to share all the information that I have available with our citizens and I believe I have a good record of that.”

In his four years as councillor, he has become known as someone who is quick to respond to the public and try to get issues resolved.

He can often be found on Facebook helping residents find answers to questions and issues they are facing, which has earned him a lot of respect and support by many in the community.

“I am very approachable, and I think that I have set the standard of approachability for others on council, and I'll continue being that,” he said. “Of all my successes on council, that's probably the number one.”

While Kim Reid has never been involved directly in Orangeville politics, she cited work she has done in the past with Councillor Williams as well as her drive to see and implement changes as factors that led her to jumping directly to the Deputy Mayor candidacy.

“I think we need a big change in Orangeville. To sit around and say hopefully changes will come around the next time isn't my style,” she said. “I'm not one to sit around, I think that you need to make things happen if you want them to. I think we need the changes and I think that everybody has ideas here and there, but I am the person to make these changes happen.”

While they are not running as a team, each has the other's support in their candidacies, and both have similar platforms regarding  issues facing the town, including the discussion regarding the Orangeville Police Service.

“We're running separately, but we're aligned,” said Councillor Williams. “We have the same values and the same goals for Orangeville, and I support Kim 100 per cent. It's going to be more effective if I have someone on council with me that feels the same as I do.”

As far as the police issue goes, Ms. Reid added there needs to be large changes in the way the situation has been dealt with.

“We shouldn't have to call a marriage counsellor to fix the problems with the police,” she said. “Somebody on council should be able to sit down with them and say what's up and let's talk about this.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Rob Adams emailed an official announcement to the  Citizen confirming that he will be seeking re-election.

“Four years ago you gave me the opportunity to serve as your Mayor,” he said. “It has been an awesome privilege to work for you, and together we have made Orangeville better for our seniors, better for our families and better for our businesses.”

He added that during the last four years he  successfully worked in cooperation with the federal and provincial governments alongside council to complete and begin an unprecedented number of important projects that have helped improve the town.

“The combined $30 million investment in infrastructure, including roads, sidewalks, sewer and water, ensures our residents have the required services, including safe drinking water,” he said. “In partnership with many amazing community organizations and volunteers, we have been able to make Orangeville better for our youth, seniors and families.”

Other accomplishments  he cited include the Orangeville Lions' new sports pad and park, Orangeville community gardens, Friends of Island Lake trails, and the new Rotary Splash Pad at Fendley Park.

“Most importantly, I have been accountable to you,” said Mayor Adams, addressing the transparency issue. “We have open council meetings which are televised on Rogers Cable so that you can see your council in action. We have a public question period allowing you to participate on any issue at council meetings.”

He added they also open up Town Hall through the Mayor's local cable show “Your Orangeville” and engage residents through community meetings and being out in the community at over 1000 events every year.

Mayor Adams identifies himself as the ‘Tax Fighter' on council, working to hold the line on taxes and ensure residents tax dollars as well spent.

“I have worked full time as Mayor, meeting with you and your neighbours during the day, at night, and on weekends in your homes and businesses,” he said.

Mayor Adams believes in celebrating the unique things which make the community special, which was part of the focus of the 150th Birthday Bash for the Town, and believes in working for the residents to make the community better for everyone.

“The 2014 election is an opportunity to have a big community-wide conversation about the future of our community,” said Mayor Adams. “We have the opportunity to make Orangeville even better. It's important to elect a Mayor who will get us to that ‘Better Orangeville', so please join with me as together we will make Orangeville even better.”

On Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Warren Maycock confirmed his bid for re-election.

A native of Grand Valley and graduate from Centre Dufferin District High School who attained his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo and his Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario, he has been a resident of Orangeville since 1987, and teaches at Princess Margaret Public School. He and his wife Michele have four children.

Having served on Orangeville Council as a councillor from 1997 to 2000 and 2003 to 2006, and as Deputy Mayor since 2006, he boasts a wealth of knowledge and experience he sees as necessary to make important decisions, including a term in 2011 as Warden of Dufferin County.

“For the past four years it has been an honour and a privilege for me to serve as your Deputy Mayor,” he said in a news release. “During that time, council has accomplished many things. By partnering with the Federal and Provincial governments we invested tens of millions of dollars into improving our roads, sidewalks, sewers, and water system. By partnering with local service clubs and citizens groups, we have a new outdoor sports pad, a dog park and a new splash pad.”

Although proud of the progress made, he said there is “still more work to be done. There are several projects to move forward on; Bravery Park, implementing the Arts and Cultural plan, a special Canada 150 project and attracting more businesses and jobs to Orangeville.”

Municipal elections will be held on October 27th. The deadline for nominations for council and Mayoral positions is September 12.



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