With eight years experience as a member of South Dundas council, the last four years as mayor, Steven Byvelds says he has a good feel for this community, and what needs to be done to keep South Dundas moving forward at a reasonable rate.
“Another four years is the right thing to do,” South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds told The Leader shortly after filing his nomination papers Monday, and officially announcing that he is seeking a second term at the head of the South Dundas council table.
Byvelds took a while to make his intentions known, making his announcement with less than three weeks to the September 12 nomination deadline.
“I really had to have a good feeling that this decision was right for me and my family, and right for South Dundas,” said Byvelds.
He further explained that, as a sitting mayor, he felt that it was important to keep his focus his work as mayor before shifting that focus to the coming election, which to him, is what filing nomination papers does.
For months people have been asking him his intentions, and he says he never really minded anyone asking. “People asking is a good thing. It means they’re interested.”
“I believe steady leadership is required for our path forward,” said Byvelds, who is proud of the many accomplishments over the last four years.
“During those years, we have moved South Dundas forward in a direction that was guided by our strategic plan. We have implemented a new economic development plan which has allowed us to retain and foster new business,” said Byvelds.
“We have received funding for the Iroquois Wastewater Treatment Plant and it is now complete, within budget. We have done significant rehabilitation work on the sewer systems in all our villages.”
“I am especially proud of working with our previous MPP Jim Brownell for the $3.2M funding which allowed South Dundas to finally upgrade the Lakeshore Drive Sewer Line which had been plagued with undersizing issues for a long time.”
“We built the South Dundas Municipal Centre which provides a new home for not only ourselves but the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic and the SDG Library. We have maintained our rural roads and we still can claim to have the best rural road system in Ontario.”
Throughout his eight years on South Dundas council and six years on the council of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Byvelds has built many good connections with colleagues locally and further afield, which Byvelds believes is another benefit of steady leadership.
“As Mayor, I have worked with your council to ensure they voiced their opinion at the council table. Our decisions were based on factual information and in the end, I ensured that council’s decision was reflected in how staff proceeded with policy and work assignments. We have kept budgets within reason knowing how our decisions affect those who live in South Dundas.”
Good leadership, a strong knowledge of municipal finances, an understanding of what the community can afford, along with the willingness to spend time researching issues, is what Byvelds says he brings to the South Dundas council table.
“The next four years can be an exciting time for South Dundas. We live in one of the most picturesque parts of Ontario with the St. Lawrence on the south and many beautiful farm and rural lands in the north. If elected, I will work closely with Council and staff to grow and improve our community and continue to make it a great place to live, work and play,” says Byvelds.
“Over the next nine weeks, please let me know your comments and concerns. I will have a website up soon (stevenbyvelds.com) and you can contact me directly by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (613-652-2271). I will also be ‘out and about’, so stop me and let’s have a discussion of the future of South Dundas. Remember, if we all pull the rope in the same direction, we will move forward.”
Municipal elections take place October 27. So far, in South Dundas, the mayor’s race is between South Dundas councillor Evonne Delegarde and South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds.
The list of municipal election candidates is not finalized until the September 12 nomination deadline passes.