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Greenlaw defeats four-term mayor in Oro-Medonte

Former councillor Randy Greenlaw is only one from past term voted in; 'The community has spoken,' he says

Voters have wiped the council slate clean in Oro-Medonte.

Unofficial results from the municipal election came in just before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, and the only returning council member will be Randy Greenlaw — a one-term councillor who defeated four-term mayor Harry Hughes in a landslide.

Greenlaw collected 4,793 votes to Hughes’s 2,380.

Other incumbents defeated were councillors Tammy DeSousa, Cathy Keane and Shawn Scott.

“The community has spoken,” Greenlaw told OrilliaMatters. “They’ve raised the bar and they’ve set expectations for council to lead the community with sound judgment and … most of all, with integrity.”

He said he was not surprised he won, but he was “pleasantly surprised by the margin, because the margin is substantial.

“The people aren’t necessarily happy. This council has done a lot of great things, but we’ve made some decisions that have maybe not been so great. Like everywhere, people want accountability and responsibility.”

Greenlaw believes the values he espoused on the campaign trail helped him win.

“I’m transparent,” he said. “I welcome engagement by the public to get feedback. I work with the people, for the people.”

His top priority once he’s sworn in, he said, will be to “gain back respect” for council.

“The public has lost faith in council, to some degree, and we have to prove ourselves,” he said. “We have to practise what we preach. We have to be more transparent. We need to justify and minimize, when possible, the number of closed-session meetings we have.”

Hughes — who, prior to his four terms as mayor, also served as councillor and deputy mayor — said he was not shocked by the outcome.

“Not in my case, quite frankly. I’ve been around for a while,” he said. “It was more of an American-style election that was going on. It was a slate of candidates that were elected, and they had a lot of resources behind them.”

The only reason he ran for re-election, he said, was his concern about “succession and experience.”

If Scott Jermey hadn’t died while in office as deputy mayor, Hughes said he would have “gladly” supported him in a run for mayor.

“A person who is now the mayor is a first-term councillor,” Hughes said of Greenlaw. “When I saw he was the only one to put his name forward, I felt the need (to run) was there.”

Greenlaw found Hughes’s comments “ironic.”

“I ran a clean campaign and I talked about what I would do moving forward. If anything, he ran a campaign making up statements of what would happen if he didn’t get elected,” he said.

“If anyone was implementing American-style politics, I would have to say it was him. It was not me.”

Hughes said he had “no regrets in running a campaign whatsoever.

“Another positive thing is I’ve never been in greater shape,” he added, noting he lost 10 pounds on the campaign trail.

His hope for the new council term: “that we continue to be a progressive township and well-run township the way we have.”

A progressive council is what Greenlaw hopes to see, too.

“I’m very humbled and honoured (by) the amount of support I did get, that the community does trust me, and I will do my best to fulfil my mayoral duties as best as possible,” he said.

Ward councillor results

Ward 1

Lori Hutcheson (elected): 875

Zoe Rowe-Watson: 367

Ward 2

John Bard (elected): 801

Tammy DeSousa (incumbent): 447

Eric Pattenden: 30

Ward 3

David Clark (elected): 743

Cathy Keane (incumbent): 456

Sean Power: 17

Ward 4

Peter Lavoie (elected): 743

Shawn Scott (incumbent): 697

Ward 5

Richard Schell (elected): 553

Gene Stein: 509

Ryan McKnight: 106

Ward 6

Robert Young (elected): 282

Mikhaela Beerman: 278

Ryan Robert Cardwell: 234

School board trustee results

English public school board trustee

Liz Grummet (elected): 4,202

Leann Pendleton: 2,794

Christina Meredith: 2,234

French public school board trustee

Eric Lapointe: partial 24

Saveria Caluso: partial 11


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Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the desk editor for Village Media's central Ontario news desk in Simcoe County and Newmarket.
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