Windsor·#WEvotes

Meet the people running for council in Amherstburg

20 people are running for council in the Town of Amherstburg. Here is a little bit about each one of them.

20 people running for 7 seats

(CBC)

In the Town of Amherstburg, 20 people are running for 7 spots on council: 1 mayor, 1 deputy mayor and 5 councillors.

For the mayoral race, video-journalist Meg Roberts made 'player cards' for each candidate. She captured a photo of each candidate doing something familiar or fun to them, and asked them to answer three questions.

Reporter/editor Jonathan Pinto contacted candidates for the rest of council, asking them to submit a photo and respond to an email questionnaire.

Answers may have been edited for clarity or because they exceeded the character limit given.

Mayor | Deputy Mayor | Councillors

Mayor

There are 2 people running for mayor.

Aldo DiCarlo
Email | Twitter

What is your top priority if elected?
Work on completing developments of the former Duffy's site, Belle Vue, the Community Hub at the former St. Bernard's school and moving the recreation facilities lost to the new high school. Also finalise the re-branding initiative and begin implementing the many recent studies, for example the Parks Master Plan. Continue building an environment to promote new developments, businesses, industry and hotels.

Which council decision made last term would you change?
Probably the deferral of the Wendy's development. The optics did not present the town as open to new development, which I believe we are improving on.

What is your favourite activity in your municipality?
The festivals and events, all of them. I don't just go to all of them, I participate. It's the best part of the job, interacting with residents and visitors while doing what we currently do best.

Glenn Swinton
Email | Website | Facebook

What is your top priority if elected?
My top priority will be to openly review the Windsor Police Services proposal, sharing the discrepancies that have been so heavily shielded from the public eye and looking for a financially feasible means to revoke the contract before it's effective date.

Which council decision made last term would you change?
The decision to outsource our police services was made despite the fact that it was faced with strong public opposition. This decision, having been voted into effect with merely 3 of 7 members of council in favour, would be the number one decision I would change or at the very least, ensure that it was given enough time to go through the election process as a topic of interest.

What is your favourite activity in your municipality?
We are a waterfront community and I am an avid boater that both works and plays on the waters surrounding our town. Boating is by far my favourite activity to participate in when my time permits.

Deputy Mayor

There are 4 people running for deputy mayor.

Richard (Rick) Fryer
Email
(Richard (Rick) Fryer)

Age: 48

Occupation: Currently employed by Ford Motor Company of Canada as an Industrial Maintenance Mechanic.

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
I've had the privilege to be elected in 2006 and most recently 2014 as a councillor and feel my voice will be effective not only in Amherstburg as the Deputy Mayor but at the county level as well.

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
The next phase is the revival in Amherstburg to bring back jobs. Amherstburg should be the place where someone doesn't have to leave to work. Commercial and industrial development is the key for the next 4 years.

Leo Meloche
Email
(Leo Meloche)

Age: 65 years young

Occupation: Self-employed providing accounting and consulting services

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
Over the past 40 years I have been active in the field of accounting, business administration and consulting, as well as owning and operating my own businesses.

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
As my campaign slogan states... keeping the momentum. Amherstburg is poised for significant growth in new development. Recently we acquired 2 key properties that will enhance our tourism by way of cultural and recreational opportunities.

Diane Pouget
Email
(Diane Pouget)

Age: (Not answered)

Occupation: Retired

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
14 years municipal experience of honest, accountable leadership.

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
Significant debt load and insufficient reserves. It is imperative to reinstate Finance Committee and pursue industry to create jobs and a larger tax base.

​Bob Rozankovic
Email
(Bob Rozankovic)

Age: 62

Occupation: Sales & Account Manager - Tool & Mould Industry 

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
Current Chairperson of the Amherstburg Police Service Board and Past Chair of the Amherstburg Economic Development Committee 

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
Ensuring our finances continue to get better and long term debt remains under control. Ensuring our taxpayers are respected with every decision made by council.

Councillors

​There are 14 people running for 5 councillor positions.

Frank Cleminson
Email
(Frank Cleminson)

Age: 52

Occupation: Heavy Line Truck Operator / Locator, EnWin Utilities

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
Member of the Amherstburg Police Services Board from 2004 to January 2015. Past Chair of Board & been active member in the community with Amherstburg Minor soccer and hockey associations. Have great passion for our town and hope to serve residents of Amherstburg. 

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
There are number of projects pending: 1. Duffy property/ marina 2. New High School 3. St Bernard School property 5. Bellevue Site 4. Our Roads project & finding dollars for these projects.

Peter Courtney
Email | Facebook

Age: 44

Occupation: Firefighter (Corp. of the City of Windsor)

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
My career as a firefighter has taught me to be a sound decision maker. My passion as a coach and mentor has taught me leadership and teamwork skills. I strongly believe these experiences combined, provide me with the relevant skills to be an effective member of council.

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
The biggest issue in our municipality in my opinion is the lack of transparency surrounding the process, planning and procedures for new business development in our town. (ie, Wendy's, Duffy's property, and Centennial Park)

Pauline Gemmell
Email Facebook | Twitter
(Pauline Gemmell)

Age: (Did not answer)

Occupation: Executive Director at Essex County Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
Experienced executive level management responsible for the developing operational and capital budgets, strategic planning, business development and expansion, Ministry reporting. Over 30 years of experience serving on various Boards. Creating operational and capital budgets.

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
The debt level of the town of Amherstburg has been one of the biggest issues in the municipality of Amherstburg. Newly elected councilors need to understand and value the needs of the community which will lead to better decisions.

Elizabeth (Libby) Keenan
Email
(Elizabeth (Libby) Keenan)

Age: 65

Occupation: Horse Farmer

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
Effectively dealing with higher levels of provincial government to negotiate lower hydro rates for residents of Ontario. Serving as President and Vice President over the past 30 years of several charitable organizations in order to raise funds primarily for youth in sport.

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
How best to draw businesses and investment to the Town of Amherstburg.

Jason Lavigne
Candidate did not reply to CBC questionnaire 

Lena Lazanja
Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter
(Lena Lazanja)

Age: 42

Occupation: Teacher

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
I am an active resident, volunteer, and community leader. I have worked with the residents of Amherstburg, with a variety of service organizations, participated on several advisory boards, and assisted with the implementation of many local projects and community-wide initiatives.

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
Amherstburg residents deserve a continued commitment to transparency and accountability, with a focus on responsible economic development, investment, and lucrative growth, in order to guarantee a progressive and sustainable future in this region. Let's "be the change together!"

Donald McArthur​​
Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter
(Donald McArthur)

Age: 47

Occupation: Communications Officer, County of Essex

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
I covered councils for nearly 20 years as a journalist and I've written editorials blasting politicians for breaking promises or meeting behind closed doors. I know how the system works and I want to put the people into politics by engaging my constituents online and in person.

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
Our future. Amherstburg is on the verge of great things and the new council needs to seize this momentum as it makes several important decisions on key properties and issues that will shape this town for generations to come. We need to boost tourism, create jobs and grow smartly.

John Menna
Email
(Ron Giofu/John Menna)

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
Born and raised in Amherstburg. Common sense that says fix our core issues, ex. fix our roads, ex. 2nd concession road, there solution to fix roads is putting patches on our pot holes. The road is beyond repair, replace the road.

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
The biggest issue this election will be the policing. We will be debating this issue again because council did a poor job in ending the debate on local or Windsor policing. We had a 3-2 split vote with 2 not voting. We should have had a referendum vote.

Gregory Moore
Email | Facebook
(Gregory Moore)

Age: 49

Occupation: Chrysler Canada for the last 19 years

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
​My most relevant experience is managing my household on a single income. Managing and mentoring a music department at our local church as well as serving as a director of the board for over 15 yrs. Managing and supervising over a half million dollar project on time and on budget.

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
Over spending. Increased taxation. Police outsourced. Community recreational facilities being removed without definitive plans for replacement. Such as Pool, basketball/tennis courts, baseball diamonds, volleyball courts, boat ramp and marina at the recently purchased Duffys.

Michael Prue
Email
(Michael Prue)

Age: 70

Occupation: Retired. Last job MPP Ontario.

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
26 years municipal and provincial elected experience: councillor, mayor, MPP. As mayor, produced 5 budgets with no tax increase, paid down $8M debt. Now serve A'Burg Committee of Adjustment, member Branch 157 RCL, treasurer Belle Vue Conservancy, director SKA:NA Family Centre. 

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
Major issues are debt & lack of commercial/Industrial revenue. I solved these problems as Mayor. A'Burg must renew its economic development plan, recruit a full time E.D.Officer, reduce red tape and push ahead with waterfront, heritage and tourism to increase commercial growth

Marc Renaud​
EmailFacebook
(Marc Renaud)

Age: 56

Occupation: Ford-Unifor Local 200 Training coordinator 

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
I've dedicated myself to understanding municipal politics and community issues. Based on my experience, I believe council can serve the needs of the community better. If elected, I plan on bringing a more responsible and accountable council to the taxpayers of Amherstburg. 

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
Amherstburg's purchase and redevelopment of the Duffy's property is very important. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire waterfront property. I pledge to consult the community before committing to any plans for the Duffy's redevelopment.

Patricia Simone
Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter
(Patricia Simone)

Age: 38

Occupation: Business Development Research Coordinator at the Cross-Border Institute, University of Windsor

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
I worked for both Fed/Prov gov't and the business community. I serve as board member for the Aburg Police Services Board and other volunteer organizations. I bring my strong work ethic, my knowledge of the issues, my dedication and drive to make my community better for everyone. 

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
Whether it's policing, infrastructure or taxes, the residents need representation at Town Hall. This means having councillors that show up, talk to residents, know the issues and are willing to debate them. If elected I will be that councillor.

Ron Sutherland
Email
(Ron Sutherland)

Age: 72

Occupation: Semi-retired

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
Deputy Mayor, Amherstburg: 2010 -2014, Chair, Drainage Board, Director, ERCA, Director of Windsor-Essex Community Housing Corporation, Past-Chair, Amherstburg Police Services Board

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
There are 2 very important issues in this election. 1) Outsourcing of local police to Windsor: too many unknowns that are not being shared/discussed with residents. 2) Lack of council transparency.

Lori Wightman
Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter
(Lori Wightman)

Age: 52

Occupation: Employed as a Resource assistant at the Amherstburg branch of the Essex County Library

What is your most relevant experience for this position?
As Chairperson for CUPE 2974 (Library) I advocated for the whole while recognizing the diverse needs of the individuals. I dealt with contracts, negotiations, budgets and learned that compromise, collaboration and flexibility are important in representation and in moving forward. 

What is the single biggest issue in your municipality?
The issue that most are talking about in Amherstburg is the policing deal. Approved and slated to start in January, I believe we should respect this decision by council, monitor the change, of course, but we need to move forward to the more pressing concerns facing our town.

About the Author

Jonathan Pinto is a reporter/editor at CBC Windsor, primarily assigned to Afternoon Drive, CBC Radio's regional afternoon show for southwestern Ontario. Email jonathan.pinto@cbc.ca.