As we stated Wednesday in this space, each election we offer our opinion as to which candidates we believe offer the best choice for voters. We do not do this to influence the electorate, but simply to offer an opinion, as we do every edition in this space, on the issues of the day.
Wednesday we endorsed incumbent mayor Rick Bonnette and Brent Marshall for the position of regional chair. The following is our view on the other races:
Two-term incumbent councillors Bryan Lewis and Joan Robson are being challenged by student Jason Hilts. Lewis and Robson have been good representatives for their mainly rural constituents and should be returned.
Incumbents Moya Johnson (four terms) and Mike Davis (one term) are being challenged by David Adair and David Kentner. While Johnson has been a steady voice for her constituents and deserves her seat at the council table the same cannot be said for Davis. His first term has been marked by a variety of foolish declarations, grandstanding and selfishness. Among his lowlights: he referred to 401 Corridor developers as "corporate welfare bums"; attempted to claim mileage expense for his use of a bicycle; wanted the Town to recoup money for the donation of unused space for a job centre to help recently laid-off Curwood Packaging employees and fought relentlessly for a bike path on the reconstructed Maple Avenue, even though the majority of residents did not support the path. Instead of bringing a new voice with solid ideas to council, he has chosen to often battle colleagues over innocuous issues and brings matters, on which he previously lost, back to the table. Adair has served on the Town's committee of adjustment while Kentner has spent months attending council meetings and learning the workings of council. Either challenger would be a better option than Davis, with Kentner's passion for the job giving him a slight edge.
Incumbent Bob Inglis-- a good advocate for his ward and a common-sense politician-- should be back for a fourth term leaving Kevin Duggan, John Duncan or Drew Riedstra to grab the other seat. All three, we believe, would be able to "learn on the job" and with the lack of all candidates' meetings to see the trio in action we believe this race is wide open.
Halton District School Board Trustee Wards 1 & 2
Halton Hills gets two trustees at the board table this term and will see two new representatives with the lamentable loss of longtime trustee Ethel Gardiner. In Ward 1 Gerry Ockenden's desire to ensure "the kids come first" make him a clear choice over "activist" Sean Haefner.
Halton District School Board Trustee Wards 3 & 4
Two excellent candidates-- Gillian Kutarna and Mike Parkhill-- vie for this seat. Parkhill has received a ringing endorsement from Gardiner and her opinion is to be valued. However, Kutarna, a lawyer, who has advocated in the past on behalf of special needs students and their parents, insists she is not a one-issue candidate and has a solid background serving on a variety of hospital and health-care service boards. This race is a toss-up.
Halton Catholic District School Board Trustee
Irene McCauley who has served 26 years as trustee is being challenged by Rosanna Palmieri. While McCauley is rebounding from serious health issues, change simply for the sake of change is not something we can support.