I believe South Huron is looking for a Mayor who through education and lifelong learning, is skilled at leading our municipality, and will be a valued member of the Huron County Council. My career began at South Huron Hospital, after receiving a diploma as Registered Nurse and continued on with courses and certifications, later attended Western for a BA, followed by a Masters in Health Administration. This base helped me advance my career to be Chief Nursing Officer, and Clinical Site Leader. As a Canadian Health Care Executive, and Accreditation Specialist, the opportunities were there to
evaluate and promote Quality Improvement Standards, Strategic Planning, Pandemic Plans, Board Policies, and Ethical Decision Making.
As services, programs and standards expanded, I taught the medication standards for RPNs for Fanshawe College, as well as PSW courses, person centred care and facilitated in-house training reducing barriers to education and building a competent
Education and work experience has lead to a head for critical decision making based on research, best practise and facts. There is an abundance of information, and opinions, sometimes misinformation or misinterpretation, but I abide by open honest
communication whereby information provided can be validated by facts. It is important in the RFP process that the most qualified be awarded the contract. For example considering the Recreational Master Plan, all conditions such as public input be
adhered too, and that the plan be delivered on time to the taxpayers who paid for it. All plans need to be accepted, rejected or amended, followed by direction to staff to put strategy in to action.
Those who work in Health Care administration understand the challenges of working within complex systems. We cannot work in silos. As a local government we have a mandate to set policies/plans designed to deliver collective services to the community,
with limited resources. Volunteers are a strong asset to our community, and we recognize each other, often working in the background, without a need for recognition.
Working within a system, we recognize, include and respect all of the players. In the case of Affordable and Attainable housing, we need to come to common ground and goals, such as those identified in the SH and Huron County official plan. We then look at what the successes are within our community, such as housing offered with supports, by Turning Point, Women’s Shelter, Huron County, Second Stage Housing, CMHA, and Community Living. With respect to the budgeted 5.4 million renovation project at SHRC, and 2.3 million for Stephen Arena, we need to recognize and respect the role of all genders in being sports officials. I remain a strong advocate for more than one officials’ room, at SHRC.
My experience in applying for funding, is that governments and funders require a Project document addressing the criteria, return on investment, outcomes, and a business case.
Looking forward to working with a council that in the first three months would:
- endorse and support 3 advisory committees,
- be made up of members from our diverse community, that report directly to council,
- have 2 way communication through open minutes ,video recorded meetings,
- recommended motions for council to make decisions that provides staff direction.
1. Housing/Planning Committee to develop a housing strategy by acknowledging the plans already in place such as SH Official Plan, Huron County Official plan, and Housing strategy. The South Huron Plan 2023 would promote various and diverse housing needs to partners such as other levels of government, developers, and investors. They would determine the need for a secondary plan or new Official plan.
2. ONE Recreation, Parks and Culture Committee, that would assist in developing a 10 year Master Plan, in 2023 and make recommendations to improve efficiencies and effectiveness in the 2 million dollar tax payer subsidy for such.
3. Financial Sustainability/ Policy Committee, to review anticipated budget requests such as RPC Master plan, Strategic Plan, Asset Management Policy, Transportation study, Master Fire plan, debt policy and capital requests. This committee could also
review government funding and community fundraising opportunities, to control debt.
Good relationships and sound policy will serve our community well… spite and pondering seldom does.
I am looking to our community to vote for an authentic leader who aspires to create a culture that rewards enthusiasm, creativity, honest two way communication,
collaboration, and collective impact.
My name is George Finch and I am the proud incumbent Mayor of South Huron. I was raised on a Century farm near Belmont, ON, which is now a sixth-generation farm my family still operates. I am married with three grown children.
I served 30 years as an OPP Officer in Huron County trained in Crime Scene Investigations and was part of the OPP Marine Unit among other skills. I am the recipient of the O.P.P. Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for 20 years and the Police Exemplary Service Medal, First Bar, for 30 years of Professional Policing.
I have lived in Exeter since 1986 and volunteered extensively to make South Huron vibrant.
Amongst many other accolades, I was also nominated four times as South Huron Chamber of Commerce "Citizen of the Year and was humbled as the recipient in 2010 and 2016".
In 2018 I was asked by South Huron residents to run for Mayor "To fix the mess" that South Huron was in because of the previous "leadership" issues from 2014-2018. (Details can be found in the "Fred Dean Report" on my Facebook page).
The landslide majority I received made it clear that we needed to move forward.
There had been no housing developments in the previous term. Mollard Line was shut down due to a culvert malfunction with no plan to repair it. The Dashwood Community Hall was in desperate need of new washrooms. The community was divided on recreation between needs, wants and affordability and both Stephen Arena, South Huron Rec Centre and the Centralia Hall were in dire straits. The fire halls had been left without any support and Huron Park had to close due to health and safety due to mould and asbestos. Dashwood fire hall is no longer adequate due to today’s apparatus. There had been no action taken in the Strategic Plan and South Huron was crumbling.
Tough decisions had to be made but that is what leadership is all about. Making the tough decisions to protect the public and being fiscally responsible while doing it.
UPDATE: During my term while carrying a Global Pandemic:
- Seven new housing developments consisting of 950 units approved.
- Mollard Line culvert replaced.
- Dashwood Community Hall washrooms replaced.
- Both arenas were upgraded and Stephen arena is now available for year-round use.
- Centralia Hall was removed due to safety concerns. Community to discuss options for that space.
- Fire Master Plan recommends new hall in Dashwood and Exeter station upgrades.
My Goals moving forward into next term:
- Phase two of South Rec Centre consisting of a walking track and gymnasium to be completed within three years. Funded by grants, community and corporate opportunities.
- Break ground for a new fire hall in Dashwood in 2023.
- Work with any developer to build more housing suitable to South Huron.
I welcome you to visit my Facebook Page at "Re-elect Finch for Mayor"
for more details and endorsements from the public and various leaders.
Karen has lived in Exeter, South Huron for over 30 years. Prior to moving here, Karen was born in Toronto, received a BSc. (Anthropology) from Trent University, accepted a job that moved her to Innisfil where she lived for several years and eventually married and had two children. When the marriage ended, Karen moved with her children to Exeter to be closer to family living in London.
With a background in sales and business management, Karen launched a business that distributed aids for daily living in 1998. Brown Healthcare, evolved with a primary focus on fall and injury prevention. Hearing stories of families struggling to find information led to the creation of The Oldish, a news and information website publishing daily articles focused on aging. Weekly Facebook Live programs have highlighted issues of
interest since 2018. The needs of our followers led to a realization that nearly 50% of our population - more including their caregivers - does or will have challenges that could be better supported in residential environments. Holding three certifications as an Accessibility Strategist, Real Life Renos was created to address the need more globally, educating homeowners and builder/renovators about available options. A video series
and podcast team up to look at residential solutions and take deeper dives into thinking differently about our homes and bringing forward solutions that elevate independence and dignity.
Karen is a trained headshot photographer and has assisted her daughter in fostering 13 puppies for the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guide Program. Karen has served on many boards and committees in the South Huron community including Habitat for Humanity, the first and second RCMP Musical Ride events, South Huron Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement, served on school councils throughout her children’s
school years including president of the South Huron District High School council for five years and volunteered with the music program as photographer and chaperon for 10 years. Karen recently concluded nine years on the South Huron Hospital Board of Directors, the last year as Board Chair.
Currently, Karen is running for the position of Deputy Mayor in South Huron. Her platform focuses on the development of a new strategic plan with meaningful public input, updating the Official Plan and renewing Secondary Plans, the need for affordable/attainable housing, bringing back the Rec/Hub Committee to complete their work as Council works on a 10-year Master Rec Plan, bringing public transit to South Huron and strengthening our relationships at the County level. We have a lot of work to do but it all begins with public input which hasn’t been solicited since the development of the last strategic plan in 2015. Knowing where our residents see the municipality heading and how they want their money spent is key to a community working together in a mutually supportive environment.
My name is Jim Dietrich and I am honoured to hold the position of Deputy Mayor of South Huron since 2018.
I was born on the family farm that was started by my grandfather on Shipka Line. I now live with my wife Linda at that same family farm. I raised my two children, Mary Lynn, and Jim in South Huron and I'm proud to say that they have chosen to make the area home as well where they are choosing to raise their children.
I have volunteered here throughout my entire life, coaching minor baseball and hockey, supporting our Hockeyville endeavours in the area and have been a part of the Crediton Community Centre Project.
Presently I am the chair of Huron County Victim Services, I Chair the South Huron Police Services Board and the Ontario Police Services Board and I am the Co-Chair for the Rodeo Committee that brings the annual event to South Huron for the last 25 years.
I am proud to have been appointed by Council as their representative for the Fire Agreement without Neighbouring Municipalities in Lambton Shores and Bluewater. Along with two other members of the Council and stall I have sat on a committee to put together a report for a Fire Master Plan. I am an active participant along with two other councillors and two volunteers from Centralia who will help decide how to move forward with the park.
I also take my role as part of the oversight committee for both arenas in partnership with staff and other supporting council members very seriously. I believe these arenas play an important role in South Huron and look forward to completion.
At the Huron County level, I chair the Library board and I sit as County Representative for Clean Water Review Committee. Affordable Housing and Homelessness are a priority at the County level and I share the concerns of the citizens of our Municipality always.
If elected I will continue to give honest and open representation to all residents of South Huron at the Municipal level and the County level.
I live here, farm the land here and call South Huron home. For all of you that have chosen this as the place you live I ask for the continued opportunity to be your voice at the Municipal Council and the County level.
I was born in Stephen Township and still reside at, and farm, the property I grew up on.
I have been married to my wife, Barb, for so long I can't remember being single. We have two adult children, Leanne and Brad, both of whom attended SHDHS. Our grandchildren, Owen and Jaden, are bright lights who keep us on our toes and make us proud every day.
In terms of education, I have been learning every day of my life so far. The foundation I got in high school has been enriched by a variety of work experiences over the years, combined with a healthy dose of common sense.
In addition to the work I have done with numerous construction contractors, I have also served as the Chief Building Official for Stephen and Hay Townships, the Villages of Zurich and Hensall prior to Amalgamation, and the Municipality of Bluewater following Amalgamation. Following my retirement I continued to work part-time in the town of Goderich, and for the Municipality of South Huron, as Building Inspector when needed.
I have been a member of the Knights of Columbus for 40 years. Helping at FreeThrow basketball games with students of local schools, was a fun and rewarding experience.
I feel that I am a good candidate for this position on Council. I have a deep understanding of the community, having lived and worked here my entire life, and I will approach issues with integrity, reliability, and common sense. I have an active mind and a keen desire to continue to improve our community.
Should I be successful in my bid for a position on council, I will collaborate with the other councillors to guide Ward 1 of our municipality, based upon the input and vision of you, our community members.
I am excited by the opportunity to grow our community so that it authentically reflects the interests and wishes of all constituents.
I was born and raised in Stephen township and live at 70508 Grand Bend line along with my wife.
My family have lived in Stephen since before my great grandparents. I was educated in Stephen for grade school and then attended South Huron high school where I graduated grade 12.
I am a member of New Life Community Church and sit on the council where most of my volunteer work is done.
I spent 25 years in the farm drainage industry and 20 years working for Hensall Co-op, driving truck delivering product and picking up product from farmers. Because of that I have a good relationship with the argiculture industry.
As for being a good candidate, I know the history of Stephen ward 1 which is built on agriculture and that includes the small communities.
I am pro agriculture, I am for affordable housing, to buy and rent, and for more infrastructure in rural wards.
We also need housing that has easy access for seniors and people with disabilities.
As a ward 1 councilor I would listen to the residents of ward 1 and take their concerns to council.
A little bit about my family, my father Jim (McLeod) grew up in Middlesex County on a little farm with his parents and his many siblings. My mother, Sharon (Wein) grew up in Crediton with her family. I have been married to Greg Haggitt for 21 years who is a general contractor and I have been the family law clerk at Little Masson & Reid Since January 2005. We have 2 daughters, Emma who has a degree in business marketing and in Sports and Recreational Management. My youngest daughter Becca is a certified funeral Director in Toronto.
I worked very hard in 2016 to help save Amethyst, a Provincial Demonstration School in London. I attended several meetings with the Minister of Education and the Child and Youth Advocates Office in Toronto. We were successful as the Demonstration Schools are still open. I was also the president for the parent council for Amethyst while my daughter attended there.
Have been working with the Huron Perth Unit Way for the past 3 years. Was on the board of the South Huron Community Food Bank.
I have a very strong passion for helping others.
Lack of services in Ward 1. The communities feel a lack of want and need from the Municipality as whole. Services are being removed and no strategic plan to replace any of the services. For example, closing of the Huron Park Fire Department, tear-down of the Centralia Community Centre, proposed precast plant being built in Centralia's residential area, a new subdivision across from Oakwood Inn.
There seems to be NO community input and they feel like their voices are not being heard.
I have been thinking about this since the last election when one of the current members of counsel asked me why I was not running after we meet at one of the "meet the candidates" meetings in Centralia. This is not something that I ever thought I would have a passion for but now it is my turn to try and make a change.
Over the last 5 years listening to the members of my community and surrounding area
I believe that whoever is elected to represent our Municipality should show Transparency and Accountability. We are the ones making the decisions, so we need to ensure that we are fiscally responsible.
I'm passionate about this community, see tremendous potential and want to help realize it. For too long, it's been stunted. It's time we build our community, together.
If you know anyone close to me, they will tell you if I'm asked to do something even if it's a struggle, I will find a way to get it done.
"Public Input" through my term will also be top priority.
I want to work towards Affordable and Attainable Housing as we have a very big housing crisis in South Huron right now. But in doing so, we need to listen to what the people of South Huron are wanting and asking for.
I want to work on a "Community Improvement Plan" to help our municipality grow so that we can offer many things to all our residents and not only focus on certain community groups.
I want to make connections with Huron Shores Transit and advance an acceptable level of public transit in South Huron to allow more public transit for those are in need.
"Strategic Planning" is key for a Municipality to thrive.
I would also like to work towards brining all 3 wards together. We are ONE municipality, and we need to all be treated the same as we all pay taxes. We are meant to be advocates for all members in our municipality. Each decision by council regardless of who is on it needs to have the best interests of the entire municipality and not just one Ward. We need to come together and maximize your taxes receives so that all wards are receiving the same level of benefits.Wendy McLeod-Haggitt
Birth - I was born in Saint Mary's hospital in Kitchener on January 17,1947. According to my parents, I was almost born on the highway between Elmira and Kitchener. My mother opened the door to throw up and fell out while the car was climbing up a hill at a very slow speed. She ended up underneath the vechicle and Dad stopped in time.
My wife and I are married for 50+ years. We have two grown up daughters and one grandson. We reside in Huron Park for the past 9+ years.
- Militia-Royal Canadian Army Medical corps.
- Westminister Hospital Back Wards, cared for Military victims. Worked as an orderly.
- London Psychiatric hospital, started in 1967 for 20+ years as a Registered Practical Nurse.
- Foster Parent from 1983 to 1988 in London.
- University of Waterloo, Renison College. Earned my BA in Social Developmental Studies and certificate in Social Work.
- Involved with Lions for the past 15 years - 9 years in Centralia/Huron Park as Club President (service club).
- Dale Brain injury for 13 years as as Rehab Councilor and Chief Stewart. Turned 65 and retired.
- Over 40 years of community service.
If elected in Ward 1, I would like to encourage a lline communication with all our popluation centres in Stephen Township. I helped institute some important changes in Centralia and Huron Park over the past 9 years, and would like to expand into out other communities in Ward One. To make sure each community gets a fair share from our Municipality of South Huron.
"BECAUSE I LISTEN AND FOLLOW THROUGH WITH YOUR COMMUNITY NEEDS!"
I am Sheila Preszcator a mother of two daughters, who were raised in South Huron. I was born at South Huron Hospital. I am proud to say that J. D. McCurdy was my first, just across my backyard. I have worked here in South Huron and volunteered in many different ways over the years whether it was when my children were in school or more recently with New Outlook out of Huron Park.
New Outlook is a group that was started by P2P and I’ve been a part since the beginning. It started as a group a women looking to change their community and now it’s doing it slowly. We bring service providers and the residents of Huron Park and surrounding area together, building the bounds that are not there due to lack of transportation or lack of internet. I would love to see some of the life brought back to our smaller communities, like I remember in the 70’s and 80’s. I guess the short answer is I’m running for community and unity within. I want to see growth and prosperity.
I want to focus on housing issue we have. My other concern is jobs everyone seems to be hiring but I hear of lots looking for work….. doesn’t add up.
I’ve spent 5 years at the ground level working with residents, service providers, municipal officials, and many others during that time.
My name is Philip Van Raay, and I am running for counsel to represent Ward 1. I was born in Exeter and currently reside east of Dashwood on our family farm that was established in 1962. Growing up in Huron County, I found many ways to be involved in the community. My love of sports led me to volunteer as a coach of the senior boys' volleyball team at St. Anne's Secondary School in Clinton for over 5 years. I attended Georgian College and obtained a Bachelor of Human Services in Police Studies degree. Throughout college, I looked for other ways to combine my love of sports with community service and completed my level 1 rugby referee certification. This certification allowed me to referee rugby for over 14 years across Southwestern Ontario. After completing my degree, I came back to South Huron and decided to pursue a career in agriculture and grow my family farm business. I completed a diploma in Business Agriculture Management in 2019 to further this goal. After 10 years of acting as a delegate for the Ontario Pork board, in 2022 I was voted President of the Huron County Pork Producers Association to represent the needs of local producers at the provincial table. One of our local initiatives includes donating locally produced pork to our Huron County food banks, to further support our community.
Community involvement is very important to me. I have been a volunteer firefighter for South Huron since 2016. Throughout the last six years, I have seen our community through an emergency services lens, which has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the needs and challenges within our local community. I have also been a member of the Dashwood Men's Club for 10 years, which is a community group focused on supporting Dashwood and the surrounding area through donations and financial support.
In 2021, our farm built a new barn and residence, and I had significant leadership throughout the building process. This experience inspired me to run for counsel this year; I believe that an agriculturally based voice would be beneficial on counsel in our rural community. I aim to use a logical approach to represent the constituents of Ward 1. I believe it is important to consider all perspectives prior to deciding on public matters. I will consider the needs of the residents of South Huron, as well as the current and future financial implications of all decisions. I believe it is important to have fair representation of all wards in the decision-making process. I want to welcome new businesses to South Huron, and ensure that infrastructure exists to help our existing businesses grow. In welcoming new businesses, we will also welcome new residents who wish to call South Huron home. I believe we can support new families in their transition to life in South Huron, and ensure that our existing residents continue to feel at home in South Huron. I am passionate about continuing to better the community of South Huron and am excited to represent the community as a counsellor for Ward 1.
I am Marissa Vaughan, incumbent Councillor, Ward 1, Stephen.
Born in Windsor, Ontario. When I was 5 years old, my parents bought a cottage in Oakwood Park, Stephen Township. Home is where my heart is, and I love living in South Huron.
Background and Education
~Ryerson University - Toronto
~Ivey School of Business – London
~CIBC – Director of Information Technology and General Manager, Liability Management, Channel Management, Customer Operations, Large Corporate Sales (A 32-year, professional financial services career with extensive and diversified management experience, including traditional banking, multifaceted project management, technology solutions and sales disciplines)
It’s my honour to serve the people of Ward 1.
Over the past 8 years, I have enjoyed talking with many of you and taking your concerns and needs forward to Council. I dedicate my time and energy to fully preparing for discussions, debates and decisions at Council, always ensuring I am well informed and confident that I am serving the interests of my constituents,
both now, and into the future.
As your Councillor, my top priority is to continue to safeguard the well-being and the pocketbooks of the people of Ward 1. I am fiercely prudent with your tax money. I tackle every budget and project with my thorough attention and analysis, ensuring we live within our means while delivering safe and reliable services.
I do my homework, research the issues, ask tough questions. I enthusiastically support smart decisions about our services and how your money is spent. I’ve been doing the work to serve you, the taxpayers:
~ Millions of Capital Investment dollars to improve Ward 1’s Roads, bridges, culverts , water, and wastewater infrastructure
~ Significant upgrades to Community Facilities, Dashwood Hall, South Huron Recreational Centre, Stephen Arena, Multi-Use Sports Courts
~ Approving new economic development activities with 700+ mixed use residential housing unit approvals apartments, townhouses, single family and secondary suites, in Exeter and Crediton
~ New policies and plans in Asset & Debt Management and Technology Advances
Representing and advocating for you on Boards, Committees and at Conferences:
~ Chair, Mayor’s Community Recovery Task Force for COVID 19
~ Vice Chair, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority
~ Member, Grand Bend & Area Joint Sewage Board
~ Member Climate Change Adaption Advisory Committee
~ Community Adcocate – Federation of Canadian Municipalities
~ Chair, Special Purpose Committee for Wind Turbine Fund
Going forward, I will stay focused on efficiently maintaining our vital infrastructure and emergency services and work with the County, Municipality, community partners and citizens to meet our community's housing needs.
Priorities for the coming term:
~ Implementing new Fire Services Master Plan; buildings, equipment and coverage zones
~ New master Services Transportation Plan for roads, culverts, bridges and sidewalks
~ Recreation – Active & Passive Parks, upgrading of Port Blake and Centralia
~ New Zoning By-Laws and Official Plans to further reflect the increasingly diverse and changing housing needs and choices of our citizens
It is my privilege and commitment to deliver on community initiatives that make life better now and for generations to come.
Re-elect Marissa Vaughan so I can continue working hard on your behalf
My name is Marc Denomme and I am honored to be running for the Councillor position for the Exeter Ward of South Huron.
I am proud to be a seventh generations Huron County resident, being born, educated, and working here. I am especially proud to be a South Huron resident. My family and I have utilized just about everything this town has to offer. Throughout my childhood years I spent my winters at the South Huron Recreation Centre and summers at Ironwood Golf Club. I can still be seen at both of these facilities with friends and family, including my amazing wife Stephanie and our four beautiful daughters.
My post-secondary education was my only time spent away from this community, as I attended Georgian College in Barrie and obtained an Automotive Marketing Diploma which I use on a daily basis at our family business, Eric Campbell Ford Lincoln, which has operated in Exeter since 1986. Being part of a family business has taught me all about hard work and dedication to a job. I have worked in almost every department, cleanup, parts and sales and have honed the business acumen necessary to make decisions based not only on today, but the future.
I am currently the Vice President of the Exeter Lions Club and have successfully chaired many committees and hosted many events over my years of service to the club. My greatest Lions achievements come from the Lions Cup Golf Tournament where my team has been able to grow the event by 400% during a global pandemic. I believe the Exeter Lions are a very important part of our community and if elected I hope to help all service clubs operating within South Huron, engaging them to help us grow and strengthen our community, together.
South Huron and Exeter has been growing rapidly over the past two years. I believe we need to ease some of the growing pains and help Exeter’s sense of community be restored. The community needs to continue to upgrade our current facilities to support community growth but also diversify our facilities to be more inclusive and accessible to all! I believe this can be done through government grants, the community and corporate opportunities.
My strong community involvement and current employment will allow me to not only act in our communities' best interest, but also to utilize the business acumen that I have developed to insure that there is a strong and prosperous future for South Huron.
I am easy to work with, a listener, and extremely approachable which will allow me to work with other council members and community members with the ultimate vision of continuing to grow a strong and welcoming community, South Huron. Having lived here my entire life, and raising my family here presently, this is very important to me.
We all want this community to prosper and provide the services that are necessary to attract people and business, keep our children active and engaged, and our seniors safe and active. This requires a person of vision and a person who is prepared to be involved in the decision making. I am prepared to do this and I am asking for your support on October 24th.
Marc Denomme Ward 2 Councillor
My family has lived in South Huron since the 1880’s. My paternal great-grandfather, Alexander Neeb, served as Reeve of Stephen Township and as Huron County Registrar in the 1920’s and 1930’s. I grew up on a farm on the Babylon Line in South Huron. My parents, Rosemary and Curtis, were dairy farmers for 25 years. I credit my work ethic to working with my parents on the farm. I attended South Huron District High School and was heavily involved in student government and the music department.
After high school, I was accepted to the University of Western Ontario where I studied music, history and education receiving an Honours Bachelor of Music degree and an Education degree. I was awarded the Don Wright Faculty of Education Scholarship for excellence in instrumental music pedagogy.
After graduation, I began working for the Avon Maitland District School Board teaching Music and Canadian and World Studies. Working in the arts, I have chaired the Huron Arts and Heritage Network and the Cultural Collective. Through my volunteer work, I have had the privilege of being nominated for Citizen of the Year in 2019 and won the Youth Excellence Award in 2018.
In 2018, I married my wonderful wife Katherine whom I met while studying music at the University of Western Ontario. That same year, I was elected as Councillor for Ward 2 Exeter and have had the opportunity to serve the residents there. In 2020, in the midst of the early part of the pandemic, we welcomed our son Henry Aaron Curtis Neeb into the world. My family and I live in Exeter where my wife teaches vocal music.
As a Councillor, it is my duty to ensure that I vote for the best decision that can be made and that the Municipality and its committees do not take on unnecessary liability. Since 2018, I have had the opportunity to serve on the following Boards and Committees:
- Committee of Adjustment (Member, 2018-2020, Chair; 2020-2022)
- South Huron Recreation Task Force (Member, 2021-2022)
- Exeter Business Improvement Area (2018-2022)
- Drinking Water Quality Management System Review (Member, 2020)
- Mayor’s Community Recovery Task Force (Member, 2020-2022)
- Procedural Bylaw Review Committee (Member, 2022)
In addition to serving on these committees, I have learned about all aspects of Municipal governance giving me insight into where I believe we should go in the next 4 years. If elected, my goals are to:
- Invest in South Huron’s Fire Halls
- Proceed with Phase 2 of the South Huron Recreation Project
- Invest into South Huron’s Asset Management Plan
- Amend South Huron’s Official Plan to include higher density Builds
- Complete South Huron’s Community Improvement Plan
While these are my goals, collaboration with fellow councillors is key in order to ensure these items are accomplished. Collaboration and respect are essential skills on council and committees where you are only one voice at the table. As your councillor, I will continue to develop positive relationships with council, staff and the community in order to move South Huron forward—tactfully and responsibly.
In 2018, I was fortunate to be elected to council, in the Municipality of South Huron as councilor of Ward 2 Exeter. My name is Barbara Willard and I was born and raised in the village of Exeter. I attended Exeter Public and South Huron District High School. My Parents, Roy and Marie Ferguson were hard working parents, raising six children. They taught us to work hard and the rewards would come.
After I graduated from high school, I moved to Toronto for work as back then work was not as plentiful as it is today in the area. I was unhappy with the big city life and knew there was much more I wanted to do. So, in 1978, I took a leap and joined the Canadian Armed Forces. I served on bases from the East Coast to the West Coast of this beautiful, amazing Country. In 1995 I took my release under the Force Reduction Program and returned home, Exeter. This was the place I wanted to be to raise my son, Alex. Alex also attended Exeter Public and South Huron District High School. He too is living with his beautiful wife Kassie and my three amazing granddaughters, Kinsley, Avery and Molly in Exeter.
The military taught me many things, work hard, be open to new adventures and do what you are told. These life lessons I still use today. So, I took that knowledge and on retirement taught at a truck driving school and later decided to teach new drivers how to drive cars. This involved working with young adults and seniors and was very rewarding and challenging all at the same time. I still speak to many of the students today and the children I drove on the school bus. After the teachings of driver education, I went on to use again my Military background to take on a job a Dispatcher for Bluewater Recycling Association in Huron Park. I continue to work here today.
Along with working full time and as an elected official for South Huron, I soon learned very quickly that changing the Municipality was not going to happen as quickly as I had hoped. But in the last 4 years our Municipality has seen new growth, renovations to both arenas and the rebuild of the tennis courts to make them universal courts to name a few. Council has worked together to make these things a reality from the working ideas of past councils and the present council.
With the Pandemic for most of the four years there has been many challenges the next council will have to work on. Affordable housing – this is something that will take all levels of government starting at the Federal level. It also involves the community and developers. Having a safe place to call home promotes a healthy vibrant community. The council must be transparent with the community. Information must pass from the council to the community and vice versa. Council must then make the decisions keeping in mind affordability and what is in the best interest of our diverse community. We must treat the Municipality as one not as Zone 1, or Zone 2 or Zone 3. Whatever council does must support equality and diversity inclusion for all. We must meet the needs of all community members with respect. Strive for better housing, recreation and culture.
Has this council met these needs? I believe that we have touched the surface but there is much more creative work that needs to be done. I also believe that doing something is better then doing nothing at all. I would like to be part of this process. So, on 24 October 2022, I am asking for your support to be re-elected for the next four year term as councillor of Ward 2 in the Municipality of South Huron, our beautiful diverse community. I would like to thank the Chamber for letting me be part of this Election process and a chance to voice my views and maybe let the people know who I am. Thank you and please vote, be a voice and lets make South Huron better then it has ever been.