Wasaga Beach candidates face voters
By Trina Berlo Simcoe.com Sep 14, 2010
WASAGA BEACH – Candidates running for municipal office faced voters last night in the first of two all candidates meetings taking place this week. The meeting, hosted by the Wasaga Beach Chamber of Commerce, took place at the RecPlex and was moderated by chamber president Glenn Cunningham.
First up was mayoral candidate Steven Fishman, followed by incumbent Cal Patterson.
In seven minutes or less, Fishman outlined his vision for Wasaga Beach and Patterson also looked ahead while highlighting some of his accomplishments during his 19 years on council, focusing on the past seven years he has served as mayor.
Fishman, the manager of a live theatre in Vaughn, vowed to be a full-time mayor.
“As the mayor you are the leader of council as well as the leader of town,” said Fishman.
“People have a dim view of politicians and I want to change that view.”
Patterson said he has the leadership skills, a background in municipal government and the financial expertise for the position.
“I have been involved in Wasaga Beach since the day I arrived back in 1980,” said Patterson.
Current deputy mayor David Foster is being challenged by Sandy Smardenka.
Foster, who has been a member of council for seven years, made experience the focus of his speech.
“There is no question in my mind that experience counts more now than ever,” said Foster, later adding, “We can’t afford to lose momentum.”
Smardenka, owner of Boston Pizza and Swiss Chalet, said she took a leap of faith when she opened two restaurants in Wasaga and through hard work and community involvement she has developed them into successful businesses and has helped develop Stonebridge Town Centre, where they are located.
“I am taking another leap of faith,” said Smardenka. “I want to be your deputy mayor.”
In alphabetical order 12 candidates for councillor also outlined their platforms.
The list includes Ron Anderson who sat on council from 2003 to 2006, when he lost his bid for the mayor’s seat, Morley Bercovitch, incumbent Nina Bifolchi, Gary Cerantola, incumbent Connie Gray, Sam Moncada, Tracy Rafter, Kelly Robertson, incumbent George Watson, Darlene Watters, incumbent Stan Wells and Beverly Wood.
Shawn Cooper, who is running for the position of trustee for the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board was the only trustee candidate to show up.
All candidates then fielded questions from the public. Voters were invited to write down their questions during the break, which were then delivered by the moderator.
Questions revolved around water rates, water and sewer servicing, tourism and the development of the beachfront.
Questions also surfaced about conflict of interest and candidates were asked to declare if they had any dealings in real estate or property development.