New competition for top job on Dysart council
By Sue Tiffin
Published May 22, 2018
Current Deputy Mayor Andrea Roberts is entering what is now a race to become Dysart et al’s next mayor. Roberts filed her nomination papers on May 17, preparing to run against current longtime Mayor Murray Fearrey, for council’s top spot.
“I would like to see some changes in that position,” said Roberts. “It’s a natural progression. I still want to be on council, and I’m ready to take the head of the table and show leadership in a new way, in a fresh way.”
Roberts began her political career in 2006 as Ward 1 councillor, a position she held for two terms until she ran for deputy reeve in 2014. She said she wanted a better understanding then of the added responsibility of the county-level positions, and wanted more experience at the county table prior to running as mayor.
“I said quite clearly even in that campaign that I was running in anticipation that if I felt confident in the role and if I had something to offer then I would consider running as mayor,” said Roberts.
Roberts noted that she has long been involved in the community, as a church member and board member prior to her political work.
“Taking the mayors position is cranking it up a notch from what I’m doing,” she said. “But I’m a pretty energetic person for those who know me. I actually function better when I’m busy and have a lot going on.”
Roberts said she and Fearrey had “good conversations” prior to nominations opening, and that Fearrey had expressed his intent to run.
“My attitude right now is that I’m not running against Murray, I’m running because I want the job,” she said.
Fearrey was first elected to Dysart council in 1971. He filed his nomination for mayor this year on May 3, though in the past he said he would not run for re-election.
“I know that I indicated that this term would be my last one,” wrote Fearrey in a press release.
“However during this term there have been a number of very positive initiatives undertaken within the municipality that were under my guidance. They will be coming to fruition over the next few years and they will have a definite beneficial effect on the whole of the township. It would be remiss of me not to follow these through to their completion.”
Patrick Kennedy has filed to run as deputy mayor.
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.
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.