Dowdall credits win on voter urge for new direction in Essa
New Tecumseth Free Press Online October 27, 2010
Mayor-elect Terry Dowdall reasoned simply that Essa Township voters chose to go in a new direction when they elevated him to the mayor’s chair Monday night over incumbent David Guergis.
“I think people just wanted a change,” wrote Mr. Dowdall this morning in an email reply for this story.
It was a clear shift as the deputy mayor since 2003 polled 3,063 votes to Mr. Guergis’s 1,481, ending a string of about 20 years as a member of Essa council.
It was an acrimonious campaign fueled by charges of nepotism, and self-interest over the NVCA and its activity particularly around Angus and the affects on growth. On advice from its lawyer, the Township issued a press release in August that refuted claims by Ward 1 candidate Archie Duckworth that suggested the NVCA and Essa were having negative affects on township’s ability to grow and property values.
“I tried to run a positive campaign and I think that is what Essa residents wanted,” added the mayor-elect. “The voters want a positive and inclusive council that will reflect the needs of the community.”
Essa will also have a new deputy mayor in Sandi MacDonald, who moves up from Ward 1, winning the seat by a margin of 1,642 votes over Shawn Bubel. Another incumbent, Rick Newlove also lost his seat in Ward 2 to Michael Smith, who’ll be joined by Keith White in Ward 1 and incumbent Ron Henderson who kept his Ward 3 seat.
Mr. Dowdell noted that he intends to push for stepped up focus on developing a strategic plan and implementing its vision over the next four years.
“Each new elected member has been out at the doors and it is time to bring those concerns collectively together and formulate a plan,” he wrote. “We need to work with our EDC department to find a way to not only attract new commercial development to Angus but maintain and promote our existing businesses as well.”