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Pair after big seat in Essa

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In Essa
Sep 23rd, 2010
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By MARG. BRUINEMAN BARRIE EXAMINER Sept. 23 2010
David Guergis has a challenger for the mayor’s seat in Essa Township.
Up against the two-time mayor during next month’s municipal election is current Deputy Mayor Terry Dowdall. Guergis has spent 16 years on council. He began in 1994 as a councillor and became deputy mayor three years later. Eight years ago, then-mayor Bob Davis resigned following a criminal allegation and Guergis was appointed mayor. The following year, he ran for mayor. He was then acclaimed in the last election.
Dowdall has served as deputy mayor in Essa Township for the past seven years and was on council for three years prior to that.
Guergis is running on his record, and he says it’s a good one. He is particularly proud about about the municipal tax rate, which, he says, is among the lowest in Simcoe County. Increased assessment offsets increased costs, he said.
And he boasts that Essa has almost triple the reserves that is typically considered healthy for a municipality.
“I fight for 0% increase every year … We probably have the best, most fiscally-r esponsible municipality in Simcoe County.
“I’ve been a lifetime resident of the Angus area and Essa Township … and I saw the shortcomings of the township,” he said, pointing to the need for an ambulance station in Angus, along with a high school.
Angus did finally get a fully-functioning ambulance station and a new high school is under construction.
Dowdall runs the Baxter Corner Store and lives above it with his wife and two daughters.
“We try to teach our children the importance of community service. As well, I believe in shopping local and supporting our local businesses,” he said. “I work and live in the township, I’m one of the fortunate ones.”
Dowdall wants to take the township in a new direction. He says it requires more input from citizens, increased communication and more of a focus on ope-ness and transparency.
“I think we need more input from local groups and residents,” he said.
The township has been focusing on paving more roads and it’s a program that is welcomed by residents and will continue. Other issues Dowdall has heard are important to residents is the need for a curb-side leaf pick-up program and an increased focus on recreational programming.
With two arenas, Dowdall says the township has done a good job addressing the capital needs of the community. Now it’s time to focus on program delivery.

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