Dryden Byelection 2012 : meet the candidates

Presented in alphabetical order:

Gary Case

Gary Case

The submission of my name for the council seat in the present byelection is neither frivolous nor foolish. With 17 years of city council experience in my background, I am both willing and qualified for the position.

I am well-versed in all aspects of council business, functions and history that has served me well in the past.

Dryden City Council seems to have a burdensome problem on its hands. It is faced with a critical lack of funding due to circumstances beyond its control. In an attempt to ease the burden on the taxpayer, the council has had many ideas. While recognizing the problem is there, council cannot seem to speak with one voice to try to solve it. As a result everyone is supporting one or another solution and butting heads together to try to determine the best answer.

I would first like to admit that I am not the ‘facilitator’ who could bring these ideas together, but there should be some kind of help available in the form of a professional facilitator to unite the many ideas explored by each individual to achieve a consensus instead of antagonism.

I feel that someone could bring all the ideas together, reject the less favourable ones and embrace the best so everyone can agree on those which may be the answers to solving the problems.

I do not know where this professional help may come from, but I am willing to support the idea of seeking that sort of counsel.

I believe that any attempt to bring unity to our problem solving can be a powerful way to tackle these problems. I would stand up and be counted as a strong supporter of this type of co-operation.


Joe Delaney

Joe Delaney

I am a very proud citizen of Dryden. I am also honoured to have been elected to Council for two terms, owned a downtown business for 11 years and am involved in my community.

Dryden is not unlike most communities in Ontario in these times. No longer “business as usual“. Thinking out of the box is most essential . A mixture of ?scal responsibility and innovative solutions will rule the day.

Our economic development of?ce has spent the last few years supporting business interests that have come to town with information and ?scal resources. A strategic plan to solicit abroad for businesses and industry to address tax base and employment issues.

Many citizens feel that they are ill informed of the activities of the City. The City would suggest that the information is there for all to see. So what we are dealing with is “perception”. If so it must be bridged. Perhaps through a subscription link on the city website which would automatically notify those subscribers on current minutes, web streams and municipal news as it develop with a blog link for response. ‘

l believe that the process to ?ll this council vacancy was poorly chosen. When the seat was resigned we were ?nishing the ?rst year of a four-year term. The effective, approved and appropriate option would have been to look at the results and approach the runner-up candidate and offer the seat. That would have been Mr. Gary Case.

The process chosen won’t see that chair ?lled until the beginning of June and at a cost estimate of $25,000 to $30,000 taxpayer dollars.

I would he honoured and privileged to fill the vacancy on City Council.


Richard Jonasson

Richard Jonasson

I am running for City Council because Dryden needs a fresh perspective at the table.

As a resident of Dryden for over 20 years, and a local business owner, I discovered that running a successful business in our community takes a lot of vision, innovation, hard work, and financial responsibility. I hope to use these tools to help the City to prioritize spending and ensure fiscal accountability; as well as encourage incentives to promote the growth of our local businesses and our local economy.

Our community needs progressive leadership, which involves much more than attending meetings and showing up at events. I will take the initiative to call for accountability to taxpayers, explore alternatives to tax increases, and facilitate the necessary discussion and collaborations needed to promote economic development in our area.

I presently serve our community as Vice Chair of the Dryden District Chamber of Commerce and the Dryden Representative of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce and I would welcome the opportunity to be part of Dryden’s City Council.  At this time I believe that we need to harmonize the present council, using each of their individual strengths to focus on matters of importance.  I feel Dryden has many great opportunities for economic development.  Tourism industry, services for seniors, promotion of commerce and the support of local business are just some of the areas we need to address.

There must be more involvement of the community into the council, communication with tax payers as well as transparency of the council.  This my chance to give back to the city, that has given so much to my family and myself.


Gwen Kurz

Gwen Kurz

Why should I be chosen again to work on your behalf? Because I am experienced, educated, and enthusiastic about the future of our City; and because I will work hard with integrity, honesty, and common sense.

I served as an effective and respected member of Council from 2003 -2010. During that time I championed many quality of life initiatives (trails, parks and playgrounds, Municipal Cultural Planning), played an influential role on numerous Boards and committees (Strategic Planning, Library Board, Museum Board, Centennial Committee), and proudly represented the City of Dryden locally, regionally and provincially. I understand and take very seriously the role of Councillor, the complex issues facing our community, and I know how to get the job done by working collaboratively.

I am a lifelong resident and 3rd generation Drydenite. I am a parent of two awesome teenagers, and my husband Ken and I are both fortunate to have our parents and extended family as part of this great community. Every day I get the opportunity to see the community through the eyes of youth and older adults.

My priorities as your Councillor will be determined by what I hear from you. Communication between Council and residents is continually identified as a challenge. Council must be open, accountable, and innovative in order to share and receive information; building confidence, and demonstrating leadership.

As residents of this great City we share responsibility for electing a Council with balanced representation, that will work together to build a welcoming, healthy, prosperous community. I feel it is my civic duty to share my experience, ability, and passion for municipal government, and I ask for your support. Please contact me at 223-3806 with questions or comments.

Shayne MacKinnon

Shayne MacKinnon

Dryden is OUR home, and like many of you I am very proud of this community and love to boast about it to anyone who will listen. I talk about our seniors who created this safe and welcoming community through hard work and a sincere concern for future generations. I brag about the generosity of our community that never turns its back on a person or family in need. I mention the clean streets, the well-kept parks, our cultural events and the remarkable Centre auditorium we are all so proud of. I smile while talking about the youth of this community who are talented, healthy, engaging people with bright futures. I talk about our skilful business community and our new economy based on diversity and the pursuit of new industry. Above all I describe the people in our community and how they are approachable, sensible and kind.

I have always tried to give back to our community through volunteer work and leadership. With your vote I will use my municipal experience to revitalize our council and community. These will be our priorities:

* Work with council members to restore Dryden’s reputation as a leading community in Northwestern Ontario

* Support Council in enacting and enforcing a Code of Conduct for the Mayor and council members

* Ensure a balanced budget, and low taxes while moving the City forward

* Work with Seniors to ensure we maintain a safe and friendly community

* Continue to work with groups who recognize that our youth are our most precious resource

* Ensure that our council works with all levels of government(s)

Many people say that our council is divided and diminished. I will work with every member of council to overcome this belief and bring OUR community together. Regardless of who you support, make a choice to vote!


Chuck Schmitt

Why are you running for council “What’s your platform?” These are the two questions I am frequently asked. Simply put, my answer is Dryden.

As a parent, I am interested in seeing Dryden continue to be a great place for raising and educating children. As a professional, I am invested in bringing high quality health care professionals to our community, and as a life-long resident, I am committed to making Dryden a better place in which to live, work, play and retire.

I feel that I have a well-rounded set of skills, experience and community knowledge that make me an ideal candidate for member of Council. I have worked in several different sectors in our community, including volunteer services, First Nations education, employment and training services and, currently in the health care sector. I have been privileged to participate in community development projects where collaboration has been key to understanding and further developing a great community. I have assumed several community leadership roles over the past 20 years and see the opportunity to serve on City Council as an exciting next step for me.

My work in promoting Dryden to prospective professionals as a place to call home has provided me with a unique perspective. I regularly speak to people about the heartfelt matters that are important to families as they consider making Dryden their new home. Dryden is a progressive city with many wonderful assets and community groups to celebrate and showcase. If elected, I promise to bring a positive and practical approach to community leadership.  I encourage you to embrace the election process vote!  I would sincerely welcome the chance to discuss municipal matters:  schmitt@shaw.ca

Sid Wintle

Born and raised in Dryden, I am a retired Certified Management Accountant, with the experience, the ability and the time to work with and support the current council, living within our means, while moving forward.

I served twelve years on Council, nine as Finance Chair, and three as your Mayor, plus many years on local and regional boards, working to make Dryden an excellent community.

-The municipal tax increase for 2012 has been suggested at ten percent. Raising residential taxes to gain the revenue required to run the City is not the best path to follow. Keeping residential tax rates as low as reasonably possible supports our older citizens, many on fixed incomes. Many displaced when our papermill shut down are now working for much lower wages. We do not need to burden them nor our commercial sector with significantly increased taxes.

-I fully support our Dryden Development Corporation. The way to pay for increasing costs is to attract business, every single job created helps Dryden. We have to attract retail, commercial, and industrial businesses to Dryden. The DDC and Council must fully cooperate on attracting business to our community.

-Promoting increased usage of underutilized facilities will reduce the tax subsidy required.

-Our greatest asset is our citizens, and if the City can provide the facilities our citizens will volunteer and participate in all the programs and activities that will benefit the whole community.

-There are several issues circulating in our community on which citizens do not appear to be receiving any reassuring comments including: our telephone system, the deer problem, sewer and water, and the condition of our roads. There will always be new issues, and I can work with council to achieve practical solutions.

Above all we must move forward while living within our means.

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