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MidlandToday hears from candidates vying to join council

Asked why they should fill the role, nominees for appointment to Midland council shared their words ahead of Wednesday's decision
2021-05-31 midlandtownofficeflags
Midland municipal office at 575 Dominion Avenue.

On March 27, Midland municipal heads will take the opportunity to choose their next council member, and MidlandToday has a few words from those candidates applying.

MidlandToday reached out to nominees bidding for the council seat being filled through vacancy by appointment, left available last month when Beth Prost ascended to the Deputy Mayor role following the death of former Deputy Mayor Jack Contin.

In response, the seven candidates contacted had shared their views to the question posed: Why do you feel you deserve to serve as councillor for the town of Midland throughout the remaining term?

In alphabetical order:

Terry Condon

Citing the tight-knit mesh of council working together, Condon called Midland the place inspiring people to move to, work in, and invest upon. His ambition was to be a co-worker that could inspire others to give extra effort.

“Creating a safe community comes from within,” said Condon, “and a team of passionate dedicated council members lead by the current mayor can obtain the comfort level requested by our taxpayers.”

He noted harmonization and community success in his response, with an ambition for future years in the role. “My passion, my personality, my desire to help, and a true love for this town makes me the right person for the remainder of the term and future terms to come.” 

Bob Jeffery

In a reminder of serving Midland as a 31-total-year councillor for the residents, Jeffery listed the halting of the Midland Bay Landing development as a sign that council would satisfactorily meet the needs and wants of the community, with his ambition to once again be a part of that team.

“I sincerely believe that I am qualified as someone who can clearly help achieve the established strategic priorities and fulfill the demands of the position of councillor and relate to all the ratepayers of the Town of Midland."

Eric ‘Howie’ Major

Serving his second terms on two town committees, Major is a straight-talker who is engaged, interested, energetic, and available.

“I drive shuttle for (a local vehicle dealership), so I talk to more people in a day than you do in a week. I listen to people, and I give them suggestions like who to contact at the staff level, because I probably know more people in the staff at the town of Midland than most people do. I answer calls back; when people get a hold of me, I get back to them as soon as I can.”

Cody Oschefski

As a former two-term councillor until 2022, Oschefski declared confidence in hitting the ground running while stating he had been keeping up to date on meeting agendas and council attendance as a resident.

“I have kept myself busy at work and with boards but I am happy to refocus back to being a Town of Midland councillor,” said Oschefski. “I narrowly lost the deputy mayor election but did show that I had great support with the number of votes received. I am the most democratic option and eager to work with this council to move forward their Strategic Plan! Put me in coach.”

Jasmin (Jaz) Patel

Diversity is the core of Patel's ambition when it comes to his application for council, as his decades of experience in business management and the hospitality industry are key signifiers for his council ambition.

"My dedication to work and being on-call 365 days a year has given me inspiration to give back to the community of Midland in the same manner.  I supported the MAT (Municipal Accommodation Tax) to increase economic and cultural benefits to the Town of Midland.  My dedication is to organizing cultural events to attract investments and culture enhancements from diverse communities to Midland."

Rob Thorpe

Through an empathic career as a Midland resident since his early years, Thorpe shared that he felt an understanding of the needs of the town’s increasing diversity.

“My professional career as a funeral director and manager of 28 years in Midland and Weston has afforded me the skills required to understand the needs of people of all walks of life, including the struggles faced by our homeless or sheltered individuals,” said Thorpe. “I am an extremely empathetic person with attentive listening skills which was required to become a well-respected funeral director dealing with families in perhaps the most emotional and difficult days in their lives.”

Thorpe listed an extensive resume as a member and board member of many community organizations, and put emphasis on his want in helping to make the town the best it could be.

Yvonne Tietz

As a born-and-raised Midlander, Tietz cited her civic engagement in informing the town as a qualification, aiming for communication and collaboration between council and residents.

“I would like to bring forward new ideas to address high property taxes, homelessness, and improve our community,” replied Tietz. “With a budget savvy mind, I am eager to collaborate with current council with new ideas that would further benefit the residents in a positive manner.”

“Staff will administer the procedure at the special meeting on March 27th,” CAO Rhonda Bunn told MidlandToday, “which will include an interview process where the qualified candidates each make a presentation to Council. Following this, Council has the opportunity to ask questions of each candidate and make their decision based on the information provided.  The special meeting will take place in open session, and Council votes in open session to appoint the successful candidate."

Mayor Bill Gordon spoke with MidlandToday to share his thoughts on the candidates and the process.

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Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Derek Howard covers Midland and Penetanguishene area civic issues under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada.
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