Lake of Bays Mayor Bob Young has decided to throw his hat in the ring once more. He’ll be joining McLean Ward Councillor Terry Glover and local business owner Charles Cooper as they compete for the township’s top elected position.
Young, who has been in office for two terms, has indicated in the past that he did not intend to run in the upcoming fall municipal election. He said he had a change of heart when Deputy Mayor Nancy Tapley decided not to run for mayor due to health issues. Had she run for the position, Young said there would have been what he referred to as a continuity of governance in the Township.
He said the single most important issue impacting the Township is the lack of affordable housing. “Time and time again, I hear of people, especially younger people, who would like to live in the township so they can be near family or work but such housing is just not available,” said the Mayor. “If elected I would hope to lead council in creative, out-of-the-box thinking to look for acceptable solutions.”
Young said another major issue impacting the municipality is the lack of high-speed Internet. “The typical maximum speed most residents can get is 3 Mbps [megabits per second]whereas high speed is now defined as 25 Mbps, minimum. The Federal Government had a program to support the running of fibre into the south and north of the township. Applications were made, but we received no funding,” said the Mayor, adding that finding a solution is one of the big challenges for the municipality.
Asked what achievements he is most happy with during his time as Mayor, he said he’s particularly pleased with having had a hand in establishing the Dorset Community Health Hub. “Obviously, it was not my effort alone. I used the office of the Mayor as a facilitator and enabler to support the local community in reaching this achievement,” he said. “I am also very proud of the work I have done to stabilize the finances of the Township. When I arrived we had a deficit. When I leave we will have built two major buildings and still have a stable balance sheet,” he noted.
He said he is also proud of the fact that the municipality is no longer known as the Township of no. “When it comes to planning and building, we have made both processes smoother, simpler and more user-friendly. There is more to be done but we have made great strides forward,” he said.
Asked about his dislikes as Mayor, Young said it was dealing with District issues. “Since the Townships have fewer votes than the Towns, trying to affect change is extremely frustrating. We have tried to fix the inequities of police billing – denied by the Towns. We have tried to change the council composition – denied by the Towns, so far. We have tried to change the governance at Muskoka Airport – denied by Bracebridge and Gravenhurst. Angst, frustration and heartburn,” exclaimed the Mayor. “But the battles are worth fighting and I’ll continue if I am re-elected.”
Asked why he’d be the best person for the job, Young stated: “I have the knowledge, experience and support, I believe, of a broad cross-section of the township. I have no learning curve. I also believe that, trite as it may sound, my record speaks for itself.”
Municipal elections in Ontario take place on Monday, October 22, 2018. Candidates have until July 27, 2018 to file their nominations.
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