As rumour and potential wrong-doing in the Village swirl around, the municipal election of 2018 has begun under something of a cloud. The atmosphere is really quite nasty, as rumours and anonymous accusations are being spread around the community about politicians and staff members, and it does not bode well for the election campaign that is just starting.
With four candidates for Mayor, pitting the current Mayor, the previous Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and a current Councillor against each other, it is certainly a very experienced slate of candidates for voters to consider. In a surprisingly balanced list, there are four candidates for seats in Wolford Ward, and four vying for votes in Merrickville Ward, so the contest will be interesting in both wards. In each, four candidates are competing for two seats.
Of the current Council, only Victor Suthren is running for re-election. Anne Barr and Chuck MacInnis are trying to become Mayor next time. No other sitting Councillor has chosen to run again this time. What this means is that the next Merrickville-Wolford Council will have a new look, with possibly all but the Mayor new to office.
They will probably have to deal with the fall-out from the investigation into the ex-CAO, John Regan, and his departure from that position; the results of the OPP investigation into the possibly illegal recording of municipal staff members; and whatever those recordings prove to show. The election campaign is starting in a poisonous atmosphere, and we can all only hope that the air is soon cleared and the contest can be carried on in a transparent and fair manner, for the good of everyone involved.