One-term councillor Peter Kelley is ready to get to work as Mayor of Muskoka Lakes.
“I hadn’t really allowed myself to think about the possibility of winning,” he says.
The town’s website says there was a 35.4 percent voter turnout.
“Thankfully the town voters of the Township of Muskoka Lakes have decided I am the right person to lead,” he continues.
Joining him around the council table will be Ruth Nishikawa and Allen Edwards, who will return as a District of Muskoka councillors, Glenn Zavitz who is back as Ward A’s representative, and Susan Mazan, who won again in Ward B
Newcomers include Guy Burry who was acclaimed in Ward C and Sally Moyer Kent and Rob Bosomworth who won in Ward C.
“I think I have a pretty good handle on who they are, what motivates them, what kind of issues were bringing them into public life,” Kelley says. “That was a nice head start.”
He says he has already spoken to most of the winners and plans to reach out to the remaining winners, and all others who ran, in the coming days. Kelley says he also has a meeting scheduled with Derek Hammond, Chief Administrative Official, to discuss how the transition period will go. “I want to get going quickly,” he says.
“This election was clearly about the Muskoka Lakes Association and Friends of Muskoka controlling council,” outgoing Mayor Phil Harding wrote on Facebook after the unofficial results were published.
“I fundamentally disagree especially with the use of the word control,” Kelley says. Harding wrote later in the post that “the people have spoken” and Kelley says “that’s more accurate.”
“I think it’s insulting to the extreme to imagine that turns into some kind of mind control over the voter,” Kelley says.
He adds that ratepayers associations like the Muskoka Lakes Association are like news organizations. “They do a job of looking out for the people they represent by gathering the information and distributing it in a way that can be used, along with other sources of information, to make a good decision,” Kelley says.