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Councillor hoping to get ball rolling

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Coun. Wendy Brunetta filed her nomination papers on Thursday to run in the Oct. 22 municipal election here in Fort Frances—and she hopes more candidates will follow suit soon.

“I can't believe how fast four years went,” said Coun. Brunetta, who is wrapping up her first term as a councillor.

“I've been enjoying it," she noted. "I still feel like I have the energy and motivation to continue so I'd be honoured to represent the town again for another four years.”

Coun. Brunetta said she's “learned a ton” during her first term.

“I had no idea how many different things there were to running a town," she conceded. ”It's been a real eye-opener.

"And I feel like I've gained a lot of knowledge and experience in the four years—not even just locally but even regionally as I've been on the NOMA [Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association] board.

“There's so much that we can do as politicians," Coun. Brunetta added. ”I mean, sometimes we feel like we're not getting anywhere with the [provincial] government but I think our town is doing well and I want to continue to see it prosper.

“Just taking what I've learned and going forward.”

Nominations close at 2 p.m. on July 27 and Coun. Brunetta is urging others to seriously consider running.

“I thought about waiting and I just decided, 'You know, I've been telling people I'm running so it's not a big surprise,” she remarked.

"I kind of hope I can get the ball rolling and people will start thinking, 'This is something I should probably think about doing.'

“I knew a lot of people were waiting for the provincial election to be finished,” Coun. Brunetta noted.

“It's a pretty long campaign period until October but I wanted to get that one thing off my plate and start getting busy.”

Coun. Brunetta said any prospective candidates who have questions about the job, or would like advice, can feel free to call her at 274-3508.

For up-to-date information on the municipal election, visit www.fortfrances.ca/town/mayor-council/elections

Those interested in running should keep in mind that a new requirement for this municipal election is that candidates for mayor and council must get supporting signatures from 25 eligible voters before filing their nominations.

This is for municipalities with more than 4,000 electors, such as Fort Frances.

Candidates can begin campaigning as soon as they file their nomination papers.

This requirement does not apply to candidates running for school board trustee or the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB).

The signatures must be in writing from individuals who are Canadian citizens aged 18 or older and live in the same municipality the candidate is running in (e.g., Fort Frances).

Candidates also must meet the following requirements:

  • they must be a Canadian citizen aged 18 or older;
  • a resident of the municipality they are running in (such as Fort Frances), or an owner or tenant of land in the Town of Fort Frances or the spouse of the owner or tenant (this does not apply to corporations);
  • not legally prohibited from voting; and
  • not disqualified by any legislation from holding municipal office.

Nominees must pay a $200 fee to run for mayor and $100 for any other position. This money will be refunded to the candidates after the election, regardless of their success.

This is considered a personal expense, not a campaign one.

There also are changes to third-party advertising in municipal elections.

These parties include corporations, partnerships, unincorporated businesses and associations, and other groups that pay to have a message in any medium (i.e., newspaper, radio, billboard, etc.) that supports or opposes a candidate or a question on the ballot.

Third parties must register with the municipality where they want to advertise.

This registration began on the first day for filing nominations (May 1) and ends on the Friday before voting day (Oct. 19).

There is no registration fee.

As previously reported, the town will be using telephone/internet voting for this municipal election.

More information will be provided about voting once nominations close.

The new term of council will begin Dec. 1, 2018 and conclude Nov. 22, 2022.

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