On Monday, October 24 2022 municipal elections were held in Huron Shores at the same time as new councils were elected across the province.
The Big Basswood Lake Association board participated proactively in the campaign running up to the election. We talked to many of the candidates individually, attended the all candidates meeting on Wednesday Sept 21 in Iron Bridge, submitted questions at the meeting and circulated an information communication to our membership prior to election day.
The information sheet that we provided called for our membership to be active participants by registering their vote. We also supplied links for online voting and listed out the candidates that were running in the election.
In that communication, we listed out the following issues that we believed were important to the BBLA in this election:
- Improvements to waste management and cleanup of the dump facilities – particularly in Ward 1 and 2
- Reinstatement of the private road grants that were retroactively phased out in the spring of 2021 with no consultation with private roads committees and no consideration of the value add that maintenance of our private roads provide to taxpayers and the municipality.
- By-law and official plan enforcement must be implemented for trailer parks within the municipality. The incumbent councilors and the mayor have not provided any guidance to staff on this matter over the past term. This enforcement policy should include provision of coordination with Algoma Public Health, the Ministry of the Environment, and a By-law enforcement officer on sewage disposal, water supply. shoreline density and setbacks. MPAC must also be contacted to review assessability of all structures within trailer parks.
- Careful consideration be given to the net amount of taxes being paid by BBLA ratepayers – taxes have increased by up to 30% over the past 4 year term of the incumbent Mayor and Council. More judicious use of our tax dollars for services that are important to Big Basswood Lake residents. This includes a transparent and open annual consultation process with the constituents of Huron Shores. It will also be critical for each member of council to carefully consider the impact of the upcoming MPAC market value reassessment, currently scheduled for 2024. Council must ensure that the mil rate is reduced to keep property taxes in line with a carefully planned and executed municipal budget.
- Active support of the environmental stewardship of Big Basswood Lake and it’s watershed. Examples include mandatory septic inspections and active municipal involvement in policing lake side trailer parks as previously noted.
In this communication, we called for change in the council to address these important issues.
We are pleased to acknowledge that there is, in fact, significant change in council as a result of this election. Following is the new council:
Mayor – Matt Seabrook
Councilor - Ward 1 – Roger Mulligan
Councilor – Ward 1 and 2 – Blair MacKinnon
Councilor – Ward 2 – Peter Falk
Councilor – Ward 3 – Tim Currie
Councilor – Ward 3 and 4 – Jane Armstrong (acclaimed) Councilor Ward 4 – Jock Perrie (acclaimed)
The board has already been in touch with Mayor Seabrook and he has committed his willingness to work with our association and the incoming council on these important issues that impact our lake residents.