The audience at last night’s all candidates meeting in Minden Hills were surprised to hear the possibility of another slate team in this year’s election. A resident addressed Barb Reid, Rick Ashall, Ken Redpath and Darryl Moore about their combined mail out that was sent to seasonal residents from the city. Members denied they were part of a team, but combined their ballot mail out in the same envelope to save money. When another resident asked if any other candidates were approached for those reasons, no one spoke up.
Reference to the last term of council was an obvious topic only a few residents addressed. Cheryl Murdoch who’s running for re-election as Deputy-Reeve summed up her feelings when she said she’s been a hurting unit for the past four years. She begged voters to research their candidates, saying they have the power to put seven great people at the table this term. Running for Reeve, Brigitte Gall was in the spotlight when asked why it took so long for her to speak up against things going wrong in council. Gall said she worked hard to table issues and voice her opinions about decisions that were made inappropriately. Barb Reid is running for re-election for Reeve and while she wasn’t called out specifically regarding past council, she said she was proud of the work council did in the past and the hard decisions they had to make. She said the Minden Hills business community is doing a lot better without empty storefronts and a cleaner downtown because of the work of council.
Need for community input was another issue raised more than once. Brent Devolin is running for Reeve and he said he wants to introduce in person and virtual town hall meetings to take advantage of the good ideas out there. Gall said community members need to be included in decisions and committee chair positions need to be turned back over the community members. Reid responded saying there has always been a process in place for people to request delegations to council to bring their ideas forward. Murdoch spoke up to say community members as the chair of committees is something that changed in the last term and it was not something she liked. She said a lot of volunteers were “treated like crap” and walked away from it because of that. Murdoch expressed her thanks to volunteers, as she said she often does and that without volunteers, small communities wouldn’t work.