McKechnie, Scott campaign for Ward 5
Walt McKechnie is looking to retain his seat as Ward 5 councillor, which he’s held for two terms. McKechnie credits the experience and growth gained in his past two careers as a professional hockey player and restaurant owner for helping guide him through his third career in politics.
McKechnie played for the NHL for about 17 years, and for five of those years, was elected by his teammates to represent the team as a player representative.
“I guess I’ve always dabbled in wanting to help people, and the guys all knew that I was never shy to stand up in front of people and talk,” said McKechnie. “Hockey ... helped prep me for what I’m doing today. I don’t mind standing up in front of people and talking and don’t mind talking to people if they have concerns. To be on council you have to be a good team player, and I was always regarded as a good team player. I think I have the same reputation on council.”
McKechnie ran for council after opening and running McKeck’s restaurant on Highland Street for almost 24 years.
“I learned so much about being a business man, whether it was working with a budget, financial statements, staffing issues on a day-to-day basis, and having to deal with customers’ concerns.”
When he sold the restaurant in 2009, he said he wanted to remain involved in the community.
McKechnie said he’s been hearing from constituents while knocking on doors, most recently with wife Suzanne. He has lived in Ward 5 for more than 40 years. He’s concerned about the water quality of local lakes and rural Ontario’s struggle with lack of government funding for infrastructure, landfill sites and septic waste disposal. He notes his achievements in sitting on the environment committee and committee of adjustment, in working on the committee to make Dysart’s recent arena renovation happen, and in helping to hire department heads over the past few years.
He also noted “being on council and trying to be a strong voice for my ward, trying to represent everybody in my ward. Everyone who has a concern, I try to follow up right away to get the concerns to the proper department.”
Glenn Scott filed his nomination for the Ward 5 seat in May. Scott was a cottager for 40 years, and retired as a Hydro One electrical engineer on Haliburton Lake in 2017.
He has been on the board of the Haliburton Lake Cottagers’ Association for six years, as president for the past three years and is a board member at the Haliburton Curling Club since last year.
He has been observing council, economic development and environment and conservation meetings since earlier this year.
“I believe I can add value through my career and community experience to council,” he said.
“I want to apply my action orientation to resolving issues in Ward 5.” Scott said key issues in Ward 5 relate to roads and bridge infrastructure, lakes and environment, waste management, internet and wireless service and short term rentals.
Running in Dysart:
Mayor: Murray Fearrey (incumbent), Andrea Roberts
Deputy-Mayor: Dennis Casey, Patrick Kennedy
Ward 1 Councillor: Bram Lebo, Nancy Wood-Roberts (incumbent)
Ward 2 Councillor: Larry Clarke, David McKay, Mike Stinson
Ward 3 Councillor: Cindy Baumhour, Tammy Donaldson (incumbent)
Ward 4 Councillor: John Smith, Aaron Walker
Ward 5 Councillor: Walt McKechnie (incumbent), Glenn Scott
English Public Trustee: Gary Brohman - Acclaimed
French Language Public School Board: Sylvie Landry, Anna-Karyna Ruszkowski