Highlands East races heat up near deadline
By Angelica Ingram
Published Aug. 7, 2018
With the deadline to file for the municipal election now passed, there is only one acclamation in the upcoming Highlands East election, with current Ward 3 Councillor Cec Ryall running unopposed.
Ward 1 incumbent Cam McKenzie now has competition, with former councillor Steve Kauffeldt looking to reclaim his seat.
The race is most competitive in Ward 4, where there are four candidates running to fill the position currently held by Joan Barton (who is not seeking re-election).
The candidates include James (Jim) Deterling, Peter Fredricks, Bradley Keller and Ruth Strong.
Fredricks said he is running for council so that he can follow his passion to help his community.
“My passion has always been to help, and volunteering was the best way to become involved in the community,” he told the paper in an email. “I sat on four Highlands East committees of council, The County Doctors recruitment committee, became an announcer at Canoe FM and I am presently sitting on the board of HCDC. From this volunteering I have learned more about the many challenges and opportunities in Highlands East. Working with HCDC has taught me the issues faced by local businesses in the area.”
Born and raised in the GTA, Fredricks has a background in finance, as well as advertising and marketing. He is married with children and grandchildren.
If elected to council, some of the goals he would like to focus on are working with the community to develop Herlihey Park.
“As a council, I feel that we need to deal with the lack of affordable housing, address the need for more jobs and training for apprenticeships in the area. This is to tackle the labour shortages that are felt by many business owners. In addition I would like to work with the municipality to obtain a full-time doctor in the Wilberforce Medical Clinic, continue the work with EORN to bring better cellular service, and bring a financial institution back to the area,” Fredricks told the paper.
Running against Fredricks is Keller, who is seeking the position of councillor because he felt it was time to get involved in politics.
“I have some concerns with the way things are run within our local government and I would like to see some changes made,” he said in an email.
Born in Etobicoke, Keller has lived in Gooderham for the past 17 years and “plans to stay here forever.”
If elected, he said reducing the amount of nepotism in Haliburton County is one of his priorities.
“I would also like to create more opportunities for employment for young people in the municipality,” he said. “I would also like to see more business move into the area but we would need better cell service and high- speed internet before this can happen. I am also focusing on low cost housing knowing that it is also a concern of most of the council and hopefully we can resolve this within the next four years.”
The final candidate running in the ward is Ruth Strong, who served on council in the past, she said.
“I have 50 years’ experience working in an office and feel I have the qualifications to be able to make decisions to benefit our community,” she wrote to the paper. “I would like to give back to the area I have lived in most of my life.”
If elected, Strong would like to see certain priorities tackled at the council table, including approaching banks to review the possibilities of an ATM machine, finding a doctor for the area and supporting geocaching.
Strong would also like to “have a voice in the development of Herlihey Park as I have an interest in this project as I was an employee of the veneer mill for 35 years and during most of the time Mr. Harold Herlihey was the owner and manager,” she said.
The full list of candidates running in Highlands East:
Mayor: Dave Burton, Cheryl Ellis
Councillor Ward 1: Steven Kauffeldt, Cam McKenzie
Councillor Ward 2: Suzanne Partridge, Jane Russell
Councillor Ward 3: Cec Ryall (acclaimed)
Councillor Ward 4: James Deterling, Peter Fredricks, Bradley Keller, Ruth Strong