WINCHESTER – The Township of North Dundas’ longest tenured council member is looking to become its next deputy-mayor.
Councillor Al Armstrong has made his intention known that once the nomination period officially opens, he’ll be on the ballot to become the municipality’s next second in command.
So why now?
“The biggest concern I have is no matter how this goes, we are losing 40 per cent of the council that I’ve sat with for the last eight years,” he told the Winchester Press recently. “I believe this has been a very good council; very cohesive. Obviously we’re losing arguably the best mayor of his time in Eric Duncan, and either Tony Fraser or Gerry Boyce will be stepping up, so there’s a vacuum of leadership.”
A hectic work schedule and multiple other commitments have kept the longtime municipal politician from stepping forward in the past, but Armstrong believes the timing is right to now make the move.
“After having a conversation with [my boss] Ed Duncan [JED Express president], who was actually one of the inspirations of me ever stepping into council in the first place, because of his community involvement, he assured me we can work something out. He was quite happy in wanting me to step up,” he said.
Armstrong is approaching 20 years as an elected official in North Dundas, and noted that he knows the history of this area better than ever now, and has been “rejuvenated” working with Duncan in the mayor’s chair.
Heading into this fall’s election, Armstrong is looking to successful election victories dating back to the first council post-amalgamation up to his uncontested return to the table in 2014.
“It is the time for me to step up, and I think I bring a lot to the table,” he added. “I’m a fiscal hawk; I’ve had a strong hand in every budget since 2001, and I think it’s my time.”
Both Fraser and Boyce have already indicated they will be gunning for the mayor’s seat this fall, while Winchester firefighter Tim Wasylko, whose family owns and operates Winchelsea Events, will be vying for a councillor position.
The candidate period for this fall’s election officially opens Tues., May 1, before closing on Fri., July 27. Election day is set for Mon., Oct. 22.