I've never done a political post like this before.
Part of me is nervous about opening myself up to potentially stress-inducing debate, but a greater part of me is a grown up who cares about this stuff big time.
Mississippi Mills has been blessed with a queen of a Mayor in Christa Lowry and it's really important to me that I do what I can to give her the support I can to keep serving our community.
One of the ways I can do that is by sharing who I'll be voting for in the hopes you might agree, and together we can build a really strong council for her to work alongside.
Here's who I will be voting for on October 17th, 2022.
Mary Lou Souter for Almonte Ward Councillor
Mary Lou Souter is a steadfast and committed member of the Mississippi Mills community. I first met Mary Lou (we called her Mrs. Souter then) in 1993 when she worked as Librarian at Almonte District High School.
Since then I’ve come to know Mary Lou as a neighbour, a friend, and an incredibly active member of our community.
“I will use a research-based approach to decisions: I’ll read the relevant documents, listen to differing points of view, and ask about things I don’t understand before making decisions.”
I believe her FIVE DECADES of experience on boards including the Hub/Rebound (22 years of service!), her work as chair of the MM Public Library Board (2011-2018), and her involvement with the Almonte General Hospital, Parks & Rec Board, etc etc etc are hard proof that genuinely cares about Almonte today and has the experience to guide us into the future.
A woman after my community-loving heart, Mary Lou believes that “quality of life involves more than infrastructure” and has held key volunteer positions with the North Lanark Highland Games, Almonte Centennial Celebrations and Puppets Up!
She deservedly won the Mississippi Mills Cultural Volunteer of the Year award in 2008.
Mary Lou has my vote.
Jane Torrance for Almonte Ward Councillor
On August 25, 2022, Jane Torrance was awarded a Community Builder Award by Mississippi Mills in recognition of the substantial and continued contributions she has made to the municipality.
When I saw she was running for council there was no question that she would have my vote.
Having served three terms (11 years) as a Councillor in Mississippi Mills, Jane has more experience as a Councillor in MM, she is extremely well educated in all aspects of municipal decision-making. She has chaired Planning & Economic Development, Recreation & Culture, and numerous other committees including Roads and Public Works, and Finance and Administration.
During her years as a Councillor, Jane led the Almonte 125th Anniversary celebrations, helped establish the Veteran’s Memorial Walkway in the Year of the Veteran, and sat on the committee that established the Gemmill Park renovations including installation of the splash pad, skateboard park, and play structures. Jane helped plan the expansion of the arena in Almonte, the library in Pakenham, the water sewage treatment plant in Almonte, and the first affordable housing strategy.
She also sat on the Mills Community Support Corporation (now Carebridge) committee that planned the expansion of County Street apartments.
Jane is a people person, a community builder, a champion of Almonte, and a strong advocate of community and economic development. In her 30 years as part of this community her life’s work has focused on collaborative community development.
Fun fact: Jane messages me on Facebook once every few months thinking she’s messaging her daughter Emily. I look forward to those happy accidents more than she knows.
Jane has my vote.
Rickey Minnille for Deputy Mayor
Rickey Minnille is the current Deputy Mayor for Mississippi Mills and previously served 3 terms, (2003 - 2014) as an Almonte Ward Councillor for the Municipality.
A Stone Mason by trade, Rickey has lived in Mississippi Mills for 65 years, owned and operated his own business for 45 years, raised a family, and successfully retired here.
Although I don’t know Rickey quite as well as Mary Lou and Jane, his reputation for being a colourful member of our community precedes him.
Always on his bike, always with a friendly smile and a wave, Rickey seems to embody what being an Almontonian means to me.
He’s involved, he's ever-present and, to be frank, seemingly well-liked by any and all who come to know him. In the words of my respected friend Stephen Brathwaite
“Rickey has worked hard and fairly in business and in government. He has empathy and is able to relate to a diverse group of constituents in a positive manner.”
Rickey has my vote.
Whether you share my choices, or not, I hope this OP encourages you to get out and vote beginning October 17th. Your opinions matter to the future of this little place we love. I think we can all agree on that.
NOTE: Voter information letters are currently being distributed by mail, and all residents of Mississippi Mills will be able to start casting their ballots online or by phone on October 17.