Haydt weighs his options
Simcoe councillors Doug Brunton (left) and Peter Black are both seeking re-election in the fall municipal election. File photo
Norfolk council could be headed for its largest turnover in the county’s 18-year history.
Three incumbent councillors have declared they will not seek re-election this October. And a fourth – Port Rowan Coun. Noel Haydt – hasn’t decided whether he will stand for a second term.
“I’m undecided,” Haydt said Tuesday. “I have work to do this term yet and I’m focussed on that.”
If Haydt decides to move on, he will join Port Dover Coun. John Wells, Windham Coun. Jim Oliver and Waterford Coun. Harold Sonnenberg as council members taking their leave. The latter declared their intentions in recent months.
Meanwhile, two more incumbents filed their paperwork this week. Simcoe Coun. Doug Brunton is pursuing a second term while Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus – an inaugural member of council dating back to 2001 – has also thrown his hat into the ring.
“I enjoy working with the people and helping the residents of my ward and Norfolk,” Columbus said. “I still have the energy and enthusiasm and free time to make Norfolk a great place to work and play.
“I pledge my level best to continue to serve the residents of Ward 3 Delhi-Windham as a hands-on councillor who leads from the trenches with an ear to the ground and an eye to the future.”
The floor opened for nominations May 1. This week, Brunton said he would have filed his paperwork sooner but he hadn’t got around to securing the 25 signatures needed for a complete application.
Brunton will run as a budget watch dog always on the lookout for frivolous spending.
“I’m always looking at things from a dollars-and-cents point-of-view,” Brunton said in an interview.
“No matter what we do, everything eventually comes down to money. I’m always asking what do we need, how much will it cost and how are we going to pay for it?”
Last but not least is Langton Coun. Roger Geysens, who is also an inaugural member of Norfolk council. Geysens has yet to file his paperwork in Ward 2 but said Tuesday that it’s coming.
Other Norfolk council incumbents who have confirmed their intention include Mayor Charlie Luke and Simcoe Coun. Peter Black.
People who live in Norfolk or own property in the county have till July 27 to file their paperwork with the clerk’s department at Governor Simcoe Square. Excluded are Norfolk residents and property owners who have been disqualified from the Oct. 22 vote.
The incumbents can always change their minds. However, as it stands, Norfolk is headed toward a lame-duck council as of July 28.
Under Ontario law, if more than one-third of a sitting council doesn’t seek re-election, that council forfeits a long list of powers related to spending, hiring, firing and the disposal of municipal assets.
In council’s place, these powers are vested in senior staff until a new council is sworn in.