Mayor approaches Guy Anderson to fill empty council seat


By Barb McKay

Kincardine council may have a candidate to fill its empty seat.


After a discussion last Wednesday, council decided the best way to fill the vacancy left by Ron Coristine is to approach the councillor-at-large candidate from the 2010 municipal election with the next highest number of votes. That person is Guy Anderson.


“I was given that opportunity when I started out in politics,” said councillor Randy Roppel. “If it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for that person.”


Councillor Ken Craig suggested that the municipality contact Anderson and if he isn’t interested give the next eligible candidate the opportunity for the seat.


Mayor Larry Kraemer divulged that he had already done some investigating regarding filling the position.


“I took it upon myself to see if that person (Anderson) would be interested and they indicated that they would,” he said.


Kraemer said Anderson is an experienced politician who has previously served three terms on council. In addition, he said, he doesn’t believe Anderson is interested in running in the next election.


Reached by phone Thursday, Anderson said Kraemer did approach him a couple of weeks ago about the situation and asked if he had any interest in the temporary position.


“I said, sure, why not,” Anderson said. “If I can help out I will.”


Anderson stressed that he has no agenda, if he is to sit in the council seat, but welcomes the opportunity to assist where he can. He has no current plans to run in the fall election.


Aside from his past council experience, Anderson is a director with the Penetangore Regional Economic Development Corporation and one of two agricultural representatives on the Kincardine Tourism Table. He owns and operates Anderkin Farms with his family.


Councillor Maureen Couture expressed concern about Kraemer having visited Anderson before the matter was addressed at council. She said that could sway other councillors in their vote on how the vacant seat should be filled.


“I don’t agree with someone approaching someone before it was brought to council,” she said. “I think that is inappropriate.”


Kraemer said anyone could have looked up the 2010 polls to see who the next eligible candidate is. He said one of his duties as mayor is to ensure the smooth operation of council.


“If I thought if there was an issue do you think I would speak to this group this way?” he asked.


“I disagree Larry,” Couture replied.


“Well that’s your opinion,” Kraemer said.


Deputy mayor Anne Eadie said she wasn’t influenced in any way.


“I firmly believe in democratic processes,” she said.


Roppel said all eligible candidates should have been approached about the vacancy.


“I ran my own process and I divulged it to you,” Kraemer said.


The appointment is expected to be approved at the May 7 council meeting and Anderson will be formally asked if he would like to fill the council seat until the fall election.