CITY COUNCIL 2014: Who's in, and out, with a year until the election

CITY COUNCIL 2014: Who's in, and out, with a year until the election
Clockwise from top left are councillors David Murphy

CORNWALL, Ontario - There's a growing list of candidates who will seek election in the race to fill council seats in the next municipal election.

And there's also a few surprises about who might be considering sitting out the 2014 campaign.

Incumbents the Seaway News spoke with this week who confirmed they will run again include Mayor Bob Kilger and councillors Glen Grant, Syd Gardiner, Maurice Dupelle, Gerry Samson and David Murphy.

But other councillors like Denis Carr, Bernadette Clement, Denis Thibault and Andre Rivette are holding their political cards fairly close to their chest.

Rivette's decision is perhaps the most interesting. Rumours suggest he's ready to retire and support his son Rodney in a bid for office next October.

But when contacted by Seaway News Rivette insisted he hasn't made a decision – but did confirm his son's involvement.

“If I don't run, Rodney will be running,” he said.

Carr, the elder statesman at city hall, was likewise coy.

“We've got lots of things to do yet, before the election,” he said, alluding to the 2014 budget. “It's something you think long and hard about.”

On the flipside, Murphy said he wants to continue to bring a message of “fiscal restraint” to city hall.

“We have to decide what are the needs-to-have, and what are the nice-to-haves,” he said. “What business are we in?”

There are also a slew of candidates, not holding office, who want to make the plunge into municipal politics.

Chief among them are people like Todd Bennett, and Agape Centre executive director Alyssa Blais. Bennett has put in nearly as much face time at city hall, perhaps more, than existing city councillors.

“Overcoming a little bit of the distrust that built up over the last three years,” Bennett said of the biggest challenge facing a new city council. “There's been a lot of trust lost...through things like all the (private) meetings and the whistleblower complaints.”

Blais has indicated council needs more of a female presence.

“We need more women at the table,” she said. “I'm excited about the whole process.”

Former city councillor Mark MacDonald, rumoured to be running for mayor in 2014, said in an interview that's not the case.

“I would rather work towards a cause - like getting taxes (reduced) in Cornwall,” he said.

So wouldn't the best way to do that include being part of the decision-making process at the table?

“I'm interested in maybe getting people elected who share that cause,” he said.

Phil Poirier, a former Cornwall mayor who is also rumoured to be considering a run for the big chair, would not confirm a decision one way or the other.

“It's still in limbo,” he said.

Coun. Elaine McDonald could not be reached for comment.

More to come.

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