The voters in the City of Kawartha Lakes have four options for Mayor when they make their mark next month. Andy Letham, profiled in a previous article, is running for re-election, and is being challenged by Peter Weygang, Gord James, and Brian Junkin.
Peter Weygang, from Bobcaygeon, is a retired educational bureaucrat running on a very different kind of platform than is typically seen in the CKL. Weygang believes that too much time is spent listening to the “expensive fancies of staff” and not enough time is spent listening to “the wisdom possessed by the electorate.” Weygang believes there needs to be absolute transparency at City Hall, and promises that his first act will be “taking the door off of the Mayor’s office.” Weygang postulates that the City is “drowning in red ink” because of staff costs that he claims includes 114 current staff on the provincial Sunshine list. Weygang wants to encourage direct democracy, decisions made by public referendum, all budgets and hiring approved by the public at large, and most City work outsourced to the private sector to avoid creating large permanent and expensive staffs.
Gord James, a retired GM employee, farmer and councillor for Ward 12 since 2006, would also like the voter’s consideration for the Mayor’s chair. James is campaigning on a platform of tax increases being kept to the rate of inflation, reducing City borrowing and paying down the debt, preparing the City for future growth, and promoting what the area has to offer to tourists from far and wide. James wants the City to be more business friendly and to treat ratepayers with more respect when they have questions or concerns. James believes that future growth and good jobs will be coming to the City when the 407 is completed, and access to the GTA becomes easier. James is also pushing for the re-opening of some or all of the eleven dormant gravel pits and quarries across the City. James believes that those quarries will provide good jobs, and with gravel and stone available locally it would only increase the level of road building and resurfacing in the City, hopefully making roads safer for all.
Brian Junkin is also a retired GM employee and two term councillor from the north of the City hoping for your support. Junkin is very proud that he has not missed a council meeting in eight years, and believes that with the reduction in councillors from 16 to 8, the new council needs to be made up of “better councillors” to meet the demands of the new civic structure. Junkin is campaigning on a platform that includes improvements in City assets like roads, bridges, buildings, equipment and land. Junkin would also like to see the City debt brought under control and reduced significantly. Junkin believes to that a key engine for economic development is to help owners grow the businesses that we already have, rather than focus on the ones we don’t. Junkin believes that through his time on council, he understands the “unique qualities” of all the communities in CKL, and hopes that knowledge will make him a better Mayor. Junkin promises to treat all areas of the City equally, not favouring one area over another.