Wauchope runs for mayor
By Rick Vanderlinde Simcoe.com June 21, 2010
INNISFIL — Promising to build bridges with Barrie after an acrimonious annexation battle, Deputy Mayor Gord Wauchope launched his campaign for mayor Monday
“I want to mend fences with the City of Barrie,” he said. “I’ve left all my strong feelings at the decision table.”
Barrie Coun. Alex Nuttall was in the crowd to support Wauchope’s campaign.
Wauchope said one of his top priorities would be to bring public transit to parts of Innisfil by creating a partnership with Barrie.
Wauchope continued to push the need to service the industrial area in Innisfil Heights, a common theme during the last term of council.
“The people who live in Innisfil will benefit greatly from the jobs that will come with that development.”
Surrounded by dozens of supporters in front of the new recreation complex, Wauchope said he hopes to build a consensus on the next council.
“I want to work as part of a team that builds consensus, moves Innisfil forward and makes this town a place to work, play and stay,” he said, to cheers and applause.
Wauchope has been on council for 13 years, which includes four years as deputy mayor and nine years as ward councillor in Alcona.
Wauchope, who has lived in Innisfil for 25 years, retired in 1996 as a detective-sergeant in charge of narcotics with Metro Toronto Police.
He stressed the need to make the mayor’s position a fulltime job, saying the town’s growth demands it.
“I want to set a new standard for the mayor’s office by making it fulltime,” he said. “I’m not being paid for the hours, I’m being paid for the job.”
Wauchope is running against Barb Baguley, a former deputy mayor who lost to Mayor Brian Jackson in the 2006 municipal election. Jackson has yet to declare his intentions for this year’s Oct. 25 vote.
Wauchope pointed to several of council’s accomplishments while he was deputy mayor, including the new recreation centre in Barclay and an urbanization project that will see Innisfil Beach Road in Alcona re-constructed. Wauchope also worked on the committee that helped bring Nantyr Shores Secondary School to Alcona, meeting with former education minister Dave Johnson.
“I have worked hard while on council and I am very proud of all that has been accomplished,” he said. “However, we must continue to move forward. There is a lot more to do.”
Wauchope has become a mainstay on the local volunteer scene, most notably with the Innisfil Community Events Corporation, which organizes community events such as Winterfest, Summerfest and the Santa Claus parade.
“I’d like to thank all the people who first got me into volunteering all those years ago,” he said. “The more I got involved, the better it made me feel.”
Wauchope said when he first moved to town 25 years ago, he never dreamed he would be running for mayor one day.
Supporters from the other municipalities at the campaign launch included Bradford West Gwillimbury Mayor Doug White as well as that town’s deputy mayor, Dennis Roughley. Mayor Dave Guergis of Essa also lended his support as did Barrie Police Chief Wayne Frechette, an Innisfil resident.