Casey running to be Dysart’s deputy mayor
By Sue Tiffin
Published May 29, 2018
Dennis Casey is ready to “step up.”
Casey, who has been a Dysart councillor for nine years, filed his nomination papers on May 22 to enter what is now a deputy mayor race alongside Pat Kennedy.
Casey had served as Ward 2 councillor in the ‘90s, and then again in 2010. An unsuccessful bid for the deputy mayor position against Andrea Roberts in 2014 caused him to lose his seat on council, but he was appointed by current councillors and sworn in as Ward 2 councillor in 2016 after Derek Knowles resigned from the position halfway through the term.
Casey said he has numerous interests in county level topics, which he’d have access to as deputy mayor, including transportation, environment and tourism and the switch from councillor to deputy mayor would be a step up in role and duties.
“Currently I’m sitting on eight different boards and committees, all relevant, all current,” said Casey, who also volunteers as a Rotarian and as a radio show host for Canoe FM. “I just felt I have the qualifications and the background and the experience to make a difference [in] the deputy mayor position.”
Casey has chaired the environment committee, and sat on the economic development committee, committee of adjustment and transportation task force. He’s also a director of the Haliburton Village Bioenergy Corporation and is involved with the development of the skate park. Professionally, he has experience as a resort operator, in finance and on road crews.
“I feel there’s depth there because of all of that, and I’m from Haliburton, born and raised here,” he said. “A lot of the community cares about our area. They care about our environment and what we have to offer here. Those thoughts with me are identical. I don’t want to ruin what we have, but I think we have to move forward. I don’t want to stall. The laws of nature dictate that you have to improve and do things better. My kids are here, my grandkids are here, I’d like to keep involved in helping our community grow as long as I can.”
As a Rotarian, Casey leads organization for the Bluegrass Festivals held in the county.
“I’ve always believed ... if there’s a project on, I’m in the trench,” he said. “I don’t believe in belonging to something or being involved in something if you’re not in there getting dirty, for a lack of a better phrase.”
Facing issues while sitting on council has at times been difficult, but Casey said he finds joy in working on council to find solutions to problems.
“It’s challenging for sure, but resolving some of those issues is where the enjoyment is for me. Being able to come to compromises and work stuff out – that’s what makes me happy.”
Patrick Kennedy announced he had filed his nomination for deputy mayor of Dysart on May 4.
“I am running because I want to help shape and mould our future at both the local and county level,” said Kennedy. “I believe that we are on the verge of something truly great here, but our council needs someone to bring fresh ideas and the ability to ‘think outside the box’ when dealing with the challenges as well as the opportunities before us. I believe I am that person.”
Current Deputy Mayor Andrea Roberts has entered a mayoral race with current Mayor Murray Fearrey.
A race for Ward 5 councillor is also underway between Councillor Walt McKechnie, who has filed papers to reclaim his position, and Glenn Scott.
In Ward 1, Councillor Nancy Wood-Roberts has filed papers to reclaim her position.
David McKay has filed papers to run as councillor in Ward 2. Aaron Walker has filed papers to run as councillor in Ward 4.
At press time, in Highlands East, Ward 3 Councillor Cec Ryall had filed papers to reclaim his position.
For school board trustee, current trustee Gary Brohman is looking to retain the English school spot. A candidate for the French position has not yet been announced.
The deadline to file as a candidate for October’s municipal elections is Friday, July 27 at 2 p.m.
Election day will be held on Oct. 22. Unofficial lists of candidates are being updated daily in election sections of municipal websites.