UXBRIDGE: The race for Uxbridge council's top job is officially on, after Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor filed nomination papers to seek re-election in October's municipal election last week.
Mayor O'Connor will be seeking her ninth term in office when residents head to the pools on Monday, Oct.
27. O'Connor was first elected to public office as Ward 5 Councillor in 1980, before moving on to the position of Regional Councillor in 1982, and was acclaimed as Mayor in 1985, a position she would hold until 2006, when she took a four-year sabbatical. In 2010, O'Connor returned to office, defeating incumbent Mayor Bob Shepherd, who will once again duke it out with O'Connor this fall. In total, O'Connor is undefeated in 10 municipal elections over her political career.
"I feel there's a lot left to accomplish," O'Connor told The Standard. "It's ongoing, and now we're dealing with more issues where the federal and provincial governments are making the rules and it's getting more complicated where the municipality doesn't have much of a say. Uxbridge needs a strong voice who understands the municipal side of it and is willing to fight for their constituents."
Over the past four years, Uxbridge councillors have embarked on several major infrastructure projects, and O'Connor is hopeful to remain on council to see them come to fruition.
"In the next term, I'd like to see us start work on a new pool, and continued development at the Fields of Uxbridge. Also, work is continuing on our new fire hall, and we're looking at plans now. It probably won't be started until 2016, but we have a nice nest of money put away, and this has to last the next 40 to 50 years, so it has to sustain us and what our needs are going to be in the future," O'Connor said.
As well, the township has parlayed successful partnerships with local service clubs into new facilities for the community over the past four years, notably the skate park and the splash pad, and O'Connor is hopeful that work can continue in the future.
"I'd like to see us continue our partnerships with local service clubs, such as the Rotary Club with the skate park and the Bonner Boys with the splash pad, as well as our work with the Trillium Foundation, which contributed funds to both projects," added O'Connor.
As well, O'Connor lauded the efforts of the Uxbridge BIA in bringing new business to the township.
"The work the BIA did with the Win This Space competition has brought new people and businesses to town, and I'd like to see that continue," said O'Connor. "I thought it was a wonderful program and we need to continue working with the BIA to entice more people to come to Uxbridge."
Ultimately, it is a deeprooted love for all things Uxbridge that has led O'Connor to once again seek re-election.
"I love this town and what it stands for," explained O'Connor. "I raised my children here, and my granddaughter is being raised here. It's a town with a heart and we have caring people living here. It's an honour and a privilege to be able to serve its residents."