Election races stalled in district

It’s T-minus 30 days until the deadline to file nomination papers for the municipal election in November but the races haven’t attracted much attention yet.
As of Monday, no one had filed nomination papers for a seat on councils in Alberton, La Vallee, Chapple, Rainy River, Emo, McCrosson-Tovell, Morley, and Morson townships.
Only Eltjo Wiersema, currently a councillor with the Township of Dawson, has filed nomination papers to seek the reeve position there.
“I’ve been thinking about it all the time and I figured, why wait for the last minute,” Coun. Wiersema said yesterday,
As reeve of Worthington for 15 years and Blue for three, Coun. Wiersema felt he brought a wide range of experience to the position.
While he admitted there were challenges–especially for rural communities–with all the changes coming down, he noted the communities had taken a proactive role by amalgamating, and gaining efficiencies in the process (Atwood, Worthington, Blue and Dilke became the Township of Dawson on Jan. 1).
And he noted through it all, all the councils had worked well together.
“That’s why I think I can lead them into the next three years,” added Coun. Wiersema, who couldn’t speculate on whether he would have any competition for the seat.
“I have no idea. That remains to be seen,” here
But district returning officers insist they aren’t too worried that the nomination papers are slow to come in. In fact, they say it’s normal for things to be quiet two months before the election.
“They usually wait until nomination day. That’s been the practice here,” noted Anna Boily, clerk and returning officer for the Township of Morley, adding all the candidates were acclaimed to seats on council there in the last election in 1994.
“We haven’t had an election since the time before last [1991],” echoed Doris Dyson, clerk and returning officer for the Township of Chapple.
Pat Giles, who is clerk and returning officer for Dawson, Morson and McCrosson-Tovell, figured there would be elections in those townships this year.
But because there isn’t much campaigning done in the country, he said there isn’t really a need for individuals to file their nomination papers early.
“In rural areas, the people, they know you,” agreed Coun. Wiersema, adding they also know your views on issues, especially those who had been on council for a while.
In Emo, candidates usually wait until nomination day–or very close to it–to file their papers. But clerk and returning officer Brenda Cooke noted candidates weren’t normally acclaimed to the positions.
“We normally have an election,” she said, which costs the township about $2,500.
And voter turnout is usually quite high in Emo, with 65 percent of the eligible voters casting ballots at the two polling stations there in 1994.