MORRISBURG – The October 24 municipal election has its first two candidates for councillor in the Municipality of South Dundas. Incumbent councillor Lloyd Wells, and local cash crop farmer Tom Smyth filed their nomination papers on June 28 and June 24 respectively.
So far, the mayor’s seat is the only seat being contested as the South Dundas municipal election starts to take shape. Current deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner and former councillor Bill Ewing are seeking election to that seat.
Current councillor Donald Lewis is the only candidate to file nomination papers for that the deputy mayor seat to date. Smyth and Wells are the only two candidates to file their nomination papers to seek election to the three available councillor seats. The nomination period closes at 2 p.m. on August 19.
Tom Smyth seeking election as councillor
IROQUOIS – Last Friday afternoon Tom Smyth became the first councillor candidate in South Dundas for this fall’s municipal election when he filed his nomination papers with the clerk.
“Since high school, I’ve always wanted to do this,” Smyth said when he spoke to The Leader during his kids Saturday morning South Dundas soccer games in Iroquois.
“I recently made the decision that this is the right time,” said Smyth. He explained that with Steven Byvelds and Archie Mellan both announcing that they will not be seeking re-election, that could leave the farming and rural portions of this community without representation.
“I hope I can be that representation,” said Smyth.
Smyth, born and raised in South Dundas, is a cash crop farmer and truck driver for Kriska since 1998.
Going from a long-haul to a more local and regular driving position with Kriska within the last couple of years, means that Smyth knows he now has the time and availability to dedicate to serving on South Dundas council.
He recently took over the family farm from his father Orvill, making him the 6th generation of Smyths to live on the farm located on Orvill Road, in the former Matilda Township.
He lives there with his wife Amanda and four children ranging in age from 3-13.
Smyth is a director for the Dundas Federation of Agriculture and has been since 2018.
A history buff, Smyth said that his Great Grandfather George Smyth served as Deputy Reeve of Matilda Township in 1920, Reeve of Matilda Township from 1922-24 and was Warden of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry in 1924.
“I always saw that as a great accomplishment,” said Smyth.
And as a huge history buff, Smyth has his eye on serving on the Dundas Archives Committee should he be fortunate enough to be elected.
Smyth said that he has always tried to keep up with politics, at the municipal level in particular, and since he’s had his kids he has a good knowledge of this area’s amenities and their importance to the community including the children of this community.
He’s been watching council meetings, and has attended once in-person so far. “I like to think I have a pretty good idea of how things work at the council table and within the municipality,” he said. “And, I’m ready to learn the things I don’t know yet.”
Since Smyth has never before served on municipal council, councillor seemed the natural place to start.
“This is the first step to getting involved,” said Smyth.
He added that he filed his nomination papers fairly early on in the process because he wants to spend this summer getting to know more people and getting better known by the people of South Dundas. He plans to be at all of South Dundas’ major events this summer.
“I know being a councillor will be a lot of work, but I’m ready,” said Smyth.
Re-election bid for councillor Lloyd Wells
MORRISBURG – Monday morning South Dundas councillor Lloyd Wells informed The Leader of his re-election intentions.
“It’s my intention to run for councillor,” said Wells.
“I’ve enjoyed my time as a first term councillor and I’d like to continue with what we’ve accomplished.”
He added that they’ve made great strides when it comes to infrastructure, landfill and finances.
“But, there’s still work to do and I think I can help with that work if I’m re-elected,” said Wells.
He said that the municipality has to be run like a business. “That’s where I can help.” He went on to explain that the municipality deals with a lot of contracts, overseeing contractors, and overseeing facilities and infrastructure. “These are all things which I understand,” said Wells.
“I would like to continue to find ways to save money for the municipality,” he added.
Wells also said that he would like to continue to work on issues like affordable and geared to income housing, which is a huge issue here in South Dundas and across all of Ontario.
While Wells was taking his time to consider for which position he would like to seek election, he saw that there was already interest in the other two positions, so concluded that councillor would be the best fit for him.
“Being on council takes a lot of time, and I can make time to be councillor again,” said Wells.
“I would really like to continue what I started. I’m not finished yet. I need another term to get to where I think we should be as a municipality.”