Howe Islanders turn out for meetings and the recent All Candidates meeting hosted by HIRA (Howe Island Ratepayers Association) was no exception. The meeting brought together Frontenac Islands- Howe Island ward candidates, Pat Norris, Matt Fiene and rookie David Jones and Mayoral candidates, incumbent Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek and Councillor Denis Doyle. HIRA president Kim Nossal was the moderator.
In his opening statement Denis Doyle said that his Frontenac Islands included Howe Island. It is his intention to open up lines of communication with the public, hold summer meetings so ”residents do not feel disenfranchised”, look for feedback on issues and not shy away from serious debate. Doyle noted that the debate over the amenities agreement (wind power money) has been going on for years. The issue is a priority for him. He will seek legal council regarding both the amenities and amalgamation agreements to better understand both before meeting with the public. He would look at the present formula for the division of administrative costs between Howe and Wolfe. He has concerns about the dollars to the County, Howe Island ferry service, winter ferry service and pledges open government to deal with issues.
Jim Vanden Hoek stands on his record noting Frontenac Islands has the lowest tax in the county; stimulus money for Howe roads, two new public spaces on the waterfront, a seat on county council . “This latter is very significant,” he said. He is aware that Howe wants ATV use on municipal roads and Sunday hunting, continued low tax rate, more road improvements. “If re-elected I will work on your behalf. Vanden Hoek acknowledged that residents want to participate saying within the first three months he would look at improving communications strategies,electronic message boards etc.
David Jones noted he is the rookie, the new kid on the block. His interest in running is to serve the community he has come to love. His areas of expertise are finance (asset management). “ At the moment since I have never been on council before, I have an emotional opinion about roads, costs, lack of gravel on lower side road , ferry service and a fixed link.” Jones said he would study the issues, offer educated opinions and communicate with the whole community and seek opinions. “I will be a visible, accessible and accountable councillor.”
Pat Norris said that as a lifelong islander he brings the balanced perspective of the concerns for both old and new residents. He noted his resolution led to Howe Island having representation on County council. “The Deputy Mayor will have a seat for the 4-year term.” He noted stimulus money for roads, small ferry operational all winter, parks with Garden Buds, training with Fire Service. “We must recognize the uniqueness of each island. Decisions for one may not be the answer for the other. Norris said he is knowledgeable about municipal government having served for 36 years. “I have been told that I have been the voice of reason at the council table,” he said.
Mat Fiene thanked the community for their support. “I have learned much and would like to continue serving you.” His Issues include the administrative split between Howe Wolfe, ferry service, preserving road allowances (no sale), and compromise. “There are many issues and only 5 of us.” He noted his new awareness to things like bio mass, sustainability, new possibilities, community needs.
Questions ranged from: what makes you different, speeding on the roads, would community be involved in large projects(wind farms), use of local companies/equipment and the ferry service. (It was noted by Pat Norris that the ferry agreed to was not the ferry received ), what to do about possible conflicts of opinion between Howe and Wolfe at the county, how to deal with not so primary roads, private roads, budget deliberations, waste management, signage.
*According to all reports, turnout at the Advance Polls on Howe and Wolfe Islands was very high……..
Communication (transparency), transportation (fix it now), roads (who paid & how much) and the use of the WI Wind Farm amenities money (where is it going?) were the focuses of many of the questions directed to the 2 mayoral and 3 councillor candidates at the Frontenac Islands, Wolfe Island ward all candidates meeting moderated by Liz Crothers and sponsored by the Wolfe Island Business & Tourist Association.
Islander Denis Doyle, a retired business man is running against incumbent Jim Vanden Hoek for the position of Mayor of Frontenac Islands. Vanden Hoek was acclaimed in the position for a second term in 2006. Doyle has served as a member of council since elected in 2006.
Two dynamic woman, labour lawyer Peggy Smith, and business woman (marketing, finance), Barbara Springgay, along with Wayne Grant, life long islander and farmer (who is seeking re-election), are the 3 candidates vying for the two Wolfe Island ward councillor positions.
Crothers outlined the meeting protocol and with that, opening statements began as each candidate outlined why they wish to serve the community, how they propose to do it and what changes or additions they would make in the governance of Frontenac Islands.
Barbara Springay, in her opening remarks noted that transportation as an issue that must be solved. And developing a strategic plan for the use of the amenities money is a priority for her. Her areas of concern were youth, seniors, health care, and the environment.
Peggy Smith said the list of issues in the community, transportation, speeding in the village, road conditions, community centre, spending of the amenities money is the same list that was on the agenda 4 years ago. “I pledge that those issues will not be on the list 4 years from now. We have to take immediate action and set goals.”
Wayne Grant views good roads and improved ferry transportation as island priorities. Education with regard to the landfill site, its use and longevity is another priority. He supports the community centre, and a seniors residence has long been on his agenda. He sees the setup of a WI fund from the amenities money as important.
Current mayor Jim Vanden Hoek stands by his record. He outlined what has been done by council during his term – lowered tax rates, revenues from amenities will benefit community for years, $5million spent on roads (Province, Federal, Canadian Hydro), support for Community Centre Board request for refrigeration at Community Centre, etc. “As a team we have worked very well together. We are tough negotiators. Also we achieved new Simcoe and Howe island ferries,
Mayoral candidate Dennis Doyle sees more public participation as important in decision making and keeping the public in formed as priorities. “I will not shy away from tough debate,” He proposed to call a meeting with MTO and the city of Kingston regarding island transportation. How to spend amenities money on sustainable projects, such rural road work, sewage etc as well as the establishment of a Heritage fund, are on his agenda. He also has concerns about the amount of money going to Frontenac County.
A spirited Q&A period followed. *Public participation at council meetings? *Who paid for road work? * What about transparency, how? * The Large Community Centre Project- Yes-No? *Distribution of amenities money? But it was the final questions regarding transportation that elicited the most response by candidates, i.e. Request to be at table with City of Kingston re WI Ferry study; no more studies left on the shelf; free ferry, add a passenger ferry, add another car ferry, better signage and parking, no fares etc. etc., a priority sticker on every WI car to board ferry, and finally a reminder that it is MTO’s study that is going on and we must be actively involved……
And there they were, more than 40 participants, many of them arriving off the early morning ferry, all intent on the task at hand, to plough with horses or mounted tractor, the vast fields made ready for them, at the Dick & Lisa Posthumus farm on Wolfe Island .
The enthusiastic ploughmen and women at the 54th annual WI Ploughing match, held within sight of island’s wind towers, were greeted with a bright sunny day, warmish weather, light winds and tough ground. Friends, neighbours, the island’s Queen of the Furrow Linay Repath and visitors from across the region were on hand to spur them on. This year’s judges were Greg Timbers and Bob Campsall.
Along with the more experienced there were younger men and women ploughing in a bid to keep up the long tradition of expert ploughing on the island. W.I’s Denis Mosier, an experienced ploughman (national & international judge), had not one, but all four of his young, curly headed grandsons, Hunter, Cowl, Reed & Orrie Chown competing in the match under his watchful eye.
There were displays as well as equipment demonstrations. There was food. And of course there were many people there renewing acquaintances and catching up on the news as they waited for the day’s results.
Lunch for participants was provided by KFC (Nat, Kate & Paul Lollar). TRI Heart provided fuel for participants. Twenty-five businesses and individuals sponsored the event. Trophies were donated by businesses, industries & the W.I. Plowmen’s Association.
The Wolfe Island Plowmen’s Association was formed in 1956. (Competitions have been held since 1947.) The Association’s president is Jason Pyke, (www.pykeviewmeadows.com) Secretary: Wilma Sjonger.
Around Town: *Wolfe Island’s Hwy #95 & #96 now have yellow centre lines (on Road Super. Leo Greenwood’s, before winter, Wish List) Thanks Leo. *At the WI Medical Clinic (speakers series): Colds-Flu Oct. 14th 7pm. *Please note: Date extended to Oct. 31st to submit photos to Fargo’s store for the WI Photo Contest * Plan now for WI Christmas Market, Sunday, Nov. 21st at St. Margaret’s Hall. (Photo Contest winners will be announced at the same time).Interested in having a table at the market ? contact: Linda 385-1947. *WI All Candidates meeting, Thurs. Oct. 7th WI. Community Hall 7:30 pm
Due to Thanksgiving, Frontenac Islands council meets nexton Howe Island, Tues, Oct. 12th- 6:30 pm.- Howe Island All Candidates meeting.St. Philomena’s Hall Wednesday, 13 October 2010, at 6:30 p.m., with mayoral candidates Denis Doyle and Jim Vanden Hoek, and HI Ward candidates Matt Fiene, David Jones, and Pat Norris.
2010 Wolfe Island Plowing Match results
CLASS 1 – HORSES
1. Marwin Antoine; 2.Terry Linton; 3. David Gamble
CLASS 1A – HORSES
1.Terry Hadwen; 2.Glenn Hulton;3.Terry Phillips
CLASS 2 – TRACTOR – JUNIORS (under 14)
1. Hunter Chown; 2. Cole Chown
CLASS 3 – TRACTOR - JUNIORS (under 18)
1. Jeremy Posthumus
CLASS 4 – TRACTOR 2-FURROW
1. Dick Posthumus
CLASS 5 – TRACTOR 2-FURROW
1. Ron Stinson; 2. George Burns; 3. Allen Hills
CLASS 6 – TRACTOR 3-FURROW
1.John Posthumus;2. Danny Berry;3. Henry Posthumus
CLASS 7 – TRACTOR –4+ FURROWS
1.Dave Woodman; 2. Dwayne Woodman; 3.Tom Woodman
CLASS 8 – LADIES & QUEEN OF THE FURROW
1. Jolene Stinson; 2. Linay Repath
CLASS 9 – ANTIQUES
1.Craig Hulton; 2. Marvin Dillon; 3.Chris Streight
CLASS 10 – NOVELTY & SPECIAL EQUIPMENT
1.Reed Chown; 2. Orrie Chown