LONG SAULT — A crowd of 200 or more people watched as South Stormont’s municipal and school board candidates staked out their positions at the podium Tuesday night at the township Community Hall.
Moderated by Gord Shaver, the South Stormont Chamber of Commerce event saw much of the focus placed on the candidates for deputy mayor and mayor — the only group given the opportunity to field a series questions assembled by the Chamber. Prospective councillors — who would possess the same voting power at the township council table — sat on the sidelines, limited to opening statements.
Mayoral hopefuls Tammy Hart — current deputy mayor — and Bryan McGillis — former mayor — and Christopher Bonneville differentiated themselves in their turns at the microphone. David Smith and Richard Waldroff — both current councillors — similarly made their pitches to stay on council but in the role of deputy mayor.
Incumbent councillor Donna Primeau stood among a field of nine contenders vying for three councillor seats: Also introducing themselves were Earle DePass, Helen Dunlop, Andrew Guindon, Louise Leclerc, Jennifer MacIsaac, Reid McIntyre, Dale Rudderham and Cindy Woods.
The meeting began with the impassioned opening remarks of competing school board trustee candidates — with John Danaher and Marshall Wilson speaking to the English Public voters in the room and Karen McAllister and Donna Nielsen appealing to English Separate School supporters.
In one of the more amusing moments of the evening, Tammy Hart acknowledged the Long Sault roundabouts among recent infrastructure improvements occurring during her tenure, “whether you like them or not” — prompting a chuckle from the crowd.
The candidates are next slated to meet Oct. 11 at the Cornwall Township Lions Club Hall in Bonville, starting at 7 p.m.