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Scugog appoints Robert Rock as Ward 3 Councillor

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

SCUGOG: Robert Rock has been chosen as the next Scugog Island representative on township council.

At a special council meeting, on Monday, August 9th, councillors heard from five candidates for the vacant Ward 3 councillor position. Those included Mr. Rock, Marc Gibbons, Bob Gilmore, former councillor Don Kett and Donald McBey.

The position has been vacant since, now-former councillor, Angus Ross resigned in late June.

Each candidate was given five minutes to introduce themselves and explain why they would be the best candidate to be appointed to the role. Then councillors were able to each ask one question of each of the candidates.

Mr. Rock is a Scugog Island Community Association executive and currently works in Scugog for Communicate Freely. He has also been an administrator of the Scugog Island Neighbours Facebook page. He also lives on Scugog Island.

“Every day on that [Facebook] page, I connect with people, and I listen to their needs, their challenges, and also them sharing their successes,” Mr. Rock said.

During his speech, Mr. Rock explained he was encouraged, by former councillor Ross, to put his hat in the ring for the position. “When Councillor Ross stepped down, he phoned to encourage me to stand as his replacement. We had several conversations about major issues facing the ward and the township,” he shared.

Prior to the meeting, each candidate also had to provide the township with a two-page letter explaining why they are the best candidate for the role.

“While Ward 3 would be my focus, I understand the need for balance, compromise and negotiation when considering competing needs. Knowing when to speak up and knowing when to listen will contribute to my success on the council. I believe, [being] respectful and transparent is required to appropriately interact with all stakeholders; not only knowing but modelling and maintaining professionalism in all interactions, both positive and constructive,” Mr. Rock’s letter read.

When the process moved to nominations, two names were approved. Ward 2 Councillor Janna Guido nominated Mr. Gibbons, and Regional Councillor Wilma Wotten nominated Mr. Rock.

Councillor Guido said Mr. Gibbons would be a “voice of reason” on council, and is someone who is “always willing to understand other points of view.”

Councillor Wotten said, Mr. Rock is “very well qualified” for the role, and said, Mr. Rock’s conversation with former councillor Angus Ross “is a good indicator he is aware of some of the issues on the island.”

A recorded vote was held, and five out of six council members voted for Mr. Rock to be appointed to the role.

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