Wasaga Beach race for mayor
In Wasaga Beach, the highly anticipated municipal election has residents packing into the all-candidates meetings.
With 18 people running for town council, two for deputy mayor and two for mayor, there is a kaleidoscope of election signs on every street corner in the town.
“We get a chance to do it right, and we want to make an informed decision when we go and vote,” says resident Gayle Kirk.
Mayoral candidate Brian Smith is running for re-election with deputy mayor Nina Bifolchi challenging him for the top job.
Bifolchi has served as town councillor for eight years and spent the last four as deputy mayor.
She says the community has been divided on several issues over the past four years including the downtown development. Her priority is to heal those rifts while refocusing the council’s role.
“Create a business plan for our beach, to develop it responsibly, and get back to the core mandate of the municipalities role,” says Bifolchi.
If re-elected, Smith says his focus will be on moving forward with plans to build a new downtown and to redevelop the waterfront at beach areas one and two.
“We are at a point in time now where we have never been before, and that is that shovels can go in the ground in 2019 to move the town forward,” says the mayoral candidate. “So that will be a top priority for me.”
There have been some raucous moments at council during Smith’s term as mayor.
Police were even called to clear council chambers on one occasion.
Several key members of the town’s staff have also either quit or retired.
Wasaga Beach has both internet and telephone voting available for the municipal election.
Polls will open on October 12 at 10 a.m.