Avis to run for mayor Rest of council likely to run again

FORT FRANCES—At least two people will be vying for mayor here in the Nov. 10 municipal election after Coun. Roy Avis announced his bid Wednesday morning.
“Today, I announced my decision to run for the privilege of being your mayor,” Coun. Avis said in a press release.
“As a lifelong resident of Fort Frances and a councillor in the town for nine years, I have gained an understanding of how an effective government can work together in the best interests of our citizens, and the role of the mayor in leading that process,” he added.
“I pledge to the citizens of Fort Frances that if elected, I will work with you towards our common vision of a stronger future,” he wrote. “Where we all enjoy a quality of life second-to-none, where people can live safely, contributing to their town, and making a difference.
In addition to his tenure on council, Coun. Avis has been very active in the community, serving on a number of organizations, including:
•the Rainy River District Board of Education (trustee from 1980-82);
•the Fort Frances Curling Club (president from 1969-82, and chairman 1982-92 during the fundraising and construction of the new facility);
•Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association (hockey coach from 1988-92);
•Fort Frances Power Corp. (board member from 2002-present); and
•Fort Frances Network Services (board member from 2002-present).
Avis, owner of West End Motors, and his wife, Barb, of 37 years have two children, Kim and Chad.
“I’m extremely pleased Roy Avis is going to run for mayor of Fort Frances,” Coun. Tannis Drysdale said Wednesday morning.
“I’ve had the opportunity to sit on council with him for the past three years,” she noted. “I’ve found him honest, trustworthy, and I think he’ll make an excellent mayor for the town.”
“Anybody who puts their name forward to serve the community is quite honourable,” said Mayor Dan Onichuk, who filed his nomination papers back in January.
“There’s a considerable amount of time they have to commit,” he added. “Quite frankly, the mayor’s position is 24-7. It’s all the time.
“Regardless of one or two meetings a month, with the amount of issues that we have going right now, it’s more than a full-time job,” he noted.
“Nominations close on Sept. 29. As you’re well aware, last time there were people who put their names in and people who withdrew their names.
“I think once the nominations are closed, and we know for sure who’s running, the campaign begins at that time,” Mayor Onichuk continued.
Meanwhile, most of the current councillors have indicated they’re likely to be on the ballot come Nov. 10.
“I’m looking forward to representing the people of Fort Frances, and to the best my knowledge will try to please them,” said Coun. John Albanese, who definitely will be running again.
“They showed me their respect by putting me here, and I want to make sure I work for them for the next term,” he added.
Coun. Albanese has been a member of council since being appointed last September following the death of Coun. Struchan Gilson. He was sworn in Oct. 11.
Prior to this term, Coun. Albanese served on council from 1985-91.
Coun. Todd Hamilton, who expects to be filing his nomination papers by next week, said he’s learned much during his first term on council and looks forward to serving the electorate for another four.
“One thing I wanted to be sure of is my family was fine with it again,” he said. “I missed a few hockey games and dance recitals and baseball games on the Monday nights, but we’ve been very fortunate to have people step in and help us out.
“And they’re willing to do that again,” he noted. “So I’ll be running again for sure.
“It’s been a real positive three years,” added Coun. Hamilton. “I’m looking forward to four more. We’ve done some good things, and we’ve got some real challenges ahead of us.”
“Unless something drastic happens now between now and Dec. 1, [I’ll be running],” said Coun. Neil Kabel, who will be vying for his fifth non-consecutive term on town council.
“Right now, I’m leaning towards running,” said Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft. “It appears as though I will run, unless something, family-wise, happens in the interim that will force me to withdraw.
“But right now, I’m leaning towards running.”
Coun. Drysdale said she’s still undecided about running again for council.
Anyone interested in running for mayor or council must file their papers with Clerk Glenn Treftlin at the Civic Centre prior to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29.
Mail-in ballots will be sent out in October.
(Fort Frances Times)