Jeff Heuchert email@example.com
It’s been a quiet start to the nomination period here in Stratford for this fall’s municipal election. Just one candidate has filed papers and, until now, all 10 city councillors and the mayor have been silent as to their intentions.
With a little over seven months until we head to the polls, the Gazette reached out to each of the incumbents this past week to find out whether they have made up their minds about seeking another term in office. While some jumped at the opportunity and announced their candidacies, the majority of council was understandably not ready to commit just yet.
Either way, we’re happy to give our readers an early look at where their elected representatives stand. Below are their responses, edited only for grammar and punctuation.
Mayor Dan Mathieson
“I still very much enjoy the opportunity to serve the citizens of Stratford as Mayor and feel privileged to do so. My family and I will make a decision regarding my candidacy in the coming months.”
Coun. Brad Beatty
“As one of the current members on council I still have approximately 20 per cent of our present mandate to serve. I can say that I have been thinking about the election in October and my family fully supports whatever decision I make. I am enjoying the experience of serving Stratford and feel that I am providing a valuable contribution to our community. So with that … a definite maybe … will make a firm decision later this spring.”
Coun. George Brown
“Have not made any decision at this time. A little too soon. I will make my decision sometime in September.”
Coun. Tom Clifford
“I have not decided if I will run again. I will be consulting with my family and making a decision later in the summer.”
Coun. Keith Culliton
“I’m happy with the progress all of us on council have made in the past four years. I’ve given it serious consideration and I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to run again. I’m ready to give it another good go.”
Coun. Bonnie Henderson
“I’m definitely running, there’s no doubt in my mind. I like what I’m doing, and as long as people keep phoning asking for my help I’ll continue to run.”
Coun. Frank Mark
“With the nomination (deadline) still six months away, it’s a bit early for me to say for sure, one way or the other, about running for office again. A lot can happen in six months that might sway my decision. Right now, I guess it would be safe to say that I am considering it.”
Coun. Kerry McManus
“?I am looking forward to seeing who puts their names forward for council. I have not made a decision yet.”
Coun. Paul Nickel
No comment. Nickel has been on a leave of absence due to a medical condition since early February. At the family’s request, the circumstances of his leave have not been released officially, but in a statement to the Gazette Mayor Mathieson said everyone at City Hall is hoping for a speedy recovery so Nickel can resume his duties with the city.
Coun. Martin Ritsma
No Comment. Ritsma is away on holidays and could not be reached as of press time.
Coun. Karen Smythe
“I enjoy my work as a councillor for the City of Stratford so I will let my name stand.”
For individuals interested in running for office (including school board trustee positions), registration is open until Sept. 11. Nominations can be filed at City Hall between regular business hours, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the city clerk’s office.
Municipal election day is Oct. 27, however in Stratford the voting period will be open continually from Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. to October 27 at 8 p.m. for people wishing to cast their ballots by phone or Internet.