Muskoka Votes 2018 - Gravenhurst

Posted: 2018-09-12 09:19:51 By: mattdriscoll

Muskoka Votes 2018 - Gravenhurst


As the Oct. 22 municipal elections approach, Hunters Bay Radio is taking a closer look at some of the key races shaping up in Muskoka. This week we take a look at the candidates running in the Gravenhurst election.


Mayor (Acclaimed)

Paul Kelly ran unopposed for the position of mayor and was acclaimed on July 30.

A former teacher, Kelly has roots in the Gravenhurst area dating back to 1957. Kelly is currently a District councillor and has stated his major priorities are development of the Muskoka Airport, improved communication between the public and elected officials and action on poverty issues.


District Council (Three to be elected):

John Gordon is a retired chartered accountant who has served as a volunteer with a number of community organizations including the Gravenhurst Curling Club and the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce.

Two of the key tenets of the Morrison Lake resident’s campaign are financial responsibility and environmental sustainability.


Randy Jorgensen has served the past two terms as councillor representing Ward 4, but has decided to throw his hat in the ring for District council this time around.  Before joining council, Jorgensen was president of the Ryde Community Co-op, a leader in Scouts Canada and a member of the Gravenhurst Public Library board.

A Ben Lake resident for the past 30 years, Jorgensen says his focus at District would be on the official plan review, council composition and airport development.


Sandy Cairns is an incumbent Gravenhurst District councillor and one of the most experienced councillors in Muskoka, having served for nearly two decades. In the past, her primary focus has been on beautification of the community, heritage preservation and environmental action.


Heidi Lorenz is also hopign to make the jump from ward councillor to District.

Lorenz has served two terms representing Ward 1 and helped spearhead a sign bylaw during her last term. Her goals are to pushing to keep the budget increase to a minimum of two per cent and to promote sensible development that protects the local environment.


Ward 1 (One to be elected):


Gordie Merton will be running for elected office for a second time after an unsuccessful campaign for the mayor’s seat in 2014.

Merton is focused on increased affordable housing and paying down the municipal debt.


Penny Varney is a well known artist in Gravenhurst and the founder of the Arts at the Albion, as well as the Gravenhurst Women’s Centre. She would like to increase transparency with elected officials and improve communication.

Murray McKeown is a long time veteran of the banking industry who currently runs two businesses in Gravenhurst. He sits on the board of directors with the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce and the Gravenhurst Curling Club.

His primary interest is drawing new economic opportunities to the area and waterfront development.


Ward 2 (One to be elected):


Erin Eiter is running for her second term of council and is a lifelong Gravenhurst resident.

If elected to another term, Eiter says she plans to focus on the future of both the Muskoka Regional Centre and Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s plans for the Muskoka’s two acute care facilities.


Jo Morphy is a Parker’s Point Road resident seeking a first term as an elected official in Gravenhurst. Morphy says she’s a “lake friendly” candidate who opposes large scale development on the waterfront and seeks to curb property taxes.


Ward 3 (Acclaimed):

Steven Klinck ran unopposed and was acclaimed as councillor. He is the son of District Chair and former Gravenhurst Mayor John Klinck.

Steven Klinck says he's focus will be on paying down the Town’s debt, building up reserve funds and drawing young people and families to the area through economic invigoration.


Ward 4 (One to be elected):

Marc Mantha is a Gravenhurst business owner and resident of Ryde, where he volunteers with the Ryde Community Co-op.

Mantha says he has a great deal of experience with financial matters and plans to keep his focus on matters of ecology and the environment.


Terry Pilger has represented Ward 4 in the past and spent the last four years as a District councillor. He has now moved back to run is his former ward and says he will try to facilitate greater engagement and empowerment of the citizens of Gravenhurst.


Ward 5 (One to be elected):

Graeme Murray is a former Paralympic gold medalist with the Canadian sledge hockey team, and has the local arena named after him. He says he has a number of pressing concerns, including education, employment, housing, health and transportation.


Audrey Van Petegem is the owner of the Muskoka Foundry and a member of the Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

She would like to see the environment used in a sustainable way to help power the area’s economy.