News

Huffman hopes to build on 2014 campaign

Jacob Robinson

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer

Kim Huffman

Kim Huffman

WATERFORD - 

Waterford's Kim Huffman knew as soon as the 2014 municipal election was over that she would run again in 2018.

In her second straight campaign, Huffman lost to longtime incumbent Harold Sonnenberg by just 95 votes four years ago. That result gave her the confidence to take another shot in 2018.

“It was so close,” she said. “And to be able to come that close to a long-term incumbent was very promising ... after that, it was just a no-brainer, I was definitely going to run in the 2018 election.”

Huffman has been a community advocate for many years. She's been a vocal supporter of a proposed 'Norplex' facility in Simcoe since the idea to build a multi-use recreational building was tabled in 2015.

That's not all - her efforts include sitting on a board looking to build a skateboard park in Waterford and helping start the town's farmer's market three years ago.

“There's a lot of stuff that I'm interested in and I want to bring to the forefront,” she said.

The past two elections have been a learning experience for Huffman, who feels the voters in Ward 7 have a clear idea of the ideal candidate.

“I learned that people want a face, they want to know who you are,” said Huffman. “They want a voice at the table, they want good customer service, they want to know if they call you-you'll be the voice for them, they want emails returned, they want you to be involved in the community.”

There are a number of issues on Huffman's mind heading into the election. She mentions the continued revitalization of downtown Waterford as one, as well as cannabis production, which has been talked about at council in recent months.

“Another issue that has come to the forefront – it's been an issue for the last number of years but has really spiked the last couple years – there's been a lot of vandalism in Waterford and I know outside of Waterford as well, in all of Ward 7,” said Huffman. “That has a lot of citizens really concerned, so I would like to look at the options in terms of community policing and looking at some ways that we can integrate (that) into our community.”

Huffman said it's imperative for councillors to keep an ear to the ground, maintain an interest in the community and work cohesively with fellow elected officials.

With all that said, Huffman is well aware of what the opposition has said regarding the proposed 'Norplex' – which could include two ice rinks, a seniors' centre and Olympic-sized swimming pool – but feels the benefits far outweigh the risks. She went so far as to promise if elected, that no community loses their current rec facilities if the multi-use facility is built.

“I know a lot of people when they hear 'community hub' it's about Simcoe getting new arenas and a swimming pool,” she said. “To me, the community hub is much more about community and engaging everyone in the community and looking at a variety of generations and what we can offer in terms of health and wellness ... It's much more to me than concrete, rinks and a swimming pool.”

jrobinson@postmedia.com