With the deadline to file nominations to run in the Oct. 25 election coming up Sept. 10, both Mayor Roy Avis and Coun. John Albanese have joined Coun. Sharon Tibbs among those council members seeking re-election.
“It’s not a last-minute decision,” stressed Mayor Avis, who filed his nomination papers yesterday.
“I’ve been thinking about it since we knew the day was coming,” he remarked.
“I just felt I have enjoyed working for the people for past 13 years, and I enjoyed the last four years as mayor, so I felt I still have a little bit I can offer,” the mayor added.
“As well, there’s many things not completed yet that we’re working on.”
For instance, Mayor Avis said he’d like to see the ongoing land claim issues resolved, and also more done with the town’s sewer and water infrastructure reconstruction plan.
“All of those things are just coming to fruition, we’re just starting to reap some benefits,” he noted.
Mayor Avis said the community has gone through a good few projects in recent years, such as the Portage Avenue underpass, which have caused some headaches.
“[But] we’ve seen all those tough days, and I think the days ahead are looking a little bit nicer, a little bit greener,” he added.
That said, Mayor Avis has no illusions the near future won’t be challenging due to the state of the economy.
“It’s going to be a tough road the next four years, and I think I am up to the challenge,” he pledged.
“I don’t see [infrastructure money] flowing the way it did in the past. I am sure we’re going to see the tap turned off,” the mayor warned.
“It’s going to be falling more on municipalities, and we have to spend our dollars the best way we can, be as prudent as possible,” he stressed.
Mayor Avis said he’s enjoyed working with the current members of council over the last four years, and wouldn’t mind seeing them running for re-election in October.
“Our council has worked very well together,” he remarked. “I think that every councillor that is serving at the present time has the best interest of the community at heart.
“As a whole, they’re very concerned the decisions we make are in the best interest of the constituents.”
Mayor Avis, who also owns West End Motors, added it’s likely he will retire sometime in the near future, and if elected mayor for a second term will have a little more time for a position that carries a demanding schedule.
“I’ve got some very good management people [at West End Motors], and also my son’s here and I’ve been gradually handing [the running of the business] over,” he noted.
“Retirement is on the horizon.
“Being mayor keeps me busy, but I enjoy being busy,” Mayor Avis added.
Coun. Albanese, who also filed his nomination papers yesterday, cited a love for politics and the Town of Fort Frances as his reason for seeking re-election this fall.
“My goal is to continue the job I am doing and to listen to the people, make sure their concerns are being addressed,” he remarked.
“There are some issues we are dealing with, and I’d like to be part of that.
“I enjoy being on council and enjoy working with the council that’s there today,” added Coun. Albanese.
“I hope the majority of them put their name in, and we can continue what we’re doing.”
Coun. Albanese has served on council for the past five years (four years plus the final year of the last term of the late Struchan Gilson), and also served for two-consecutive terms from 1985-1991.
Coun. Tibbs filed her nomination back in late March.
Anyone interested in running for mayor, council, or the two local school boards must file their papers with the clerk at the Civic Centre (or their respective municipality) prior to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10.
Withdrawal of any nominations also must be made by then.
Nominees must pay a $200 fee to run for head of council (mayor) or $100 for any other position (i.e., councillor or trustee).
They also must be a Canadian citizen aged 18 or older, and either be a property owner, someone who leases property, or the spouse of someone who owns/leases property.
Election day will be held Oct. 25. The first day of the new council term will be Dec. 1.
Municipal terms are four years after being increased from three just prior to the 2006 election.