Orillia’s mayor and six of the eight current city councillors have decided to seek a second term in the upcoming municipal election.
One of the remaining two councillors, Sarah Valiquette-Thompson, has opted to run in Severn Township, where she now lives, while Jeff Clark has not yet decided on his political future.
Today, veteran city councillor Ralph Cipolla ended speculation about his plans when he announced he will seek re-election to a “final” term in municipal government.
“It was a tough decision,” said the 72-year-old first elected in 1978. “My wife and I sat down and talked about it with our family. They know my passions and in talking about the recreation centre and the waterfront, said ‘why don’t you finish it?’”
With that in mind, Cipolla filed his papers for re-election in Ward 2 and said he expects it to be his "final" election campaign.
“I’ve been waiting 40 years for this,” Cipolla said of the recreation centre being built at 255 West St. “I want to be there when it opens and I want to make sure the waterfront is built not just for rich people and includes employment opportunities.”
He said he is glad Mayor Steve Clarke and most of the current councillors are running for re-election.
“This council has been one of the best councils I’ve served on,” he said. “It’s a good group to work with. We work well together.”
Rob Kloostra is also seeking re-election in Ward 2. Two others have also filed papers to represent the ward: Harold Dougall and Tshweu Moleme.
In Ward 1, Ted Emond is seeking re-election, while David Campbell has also filed his papers.
In Ward 3, Mason Ainsworth is running for a second term while Betsy Gross will also try to become elected for the first time.
In Ward 4, both Pat Hehn and Tim Lauer are trying to win re-election while newcomer Ed Novosky has thrown his hat into the ring as well.
So far, Clarke is the only mayoral candidate.
The deadline to file nomination papers to run in the Oct. 22 municipal election is next Friday (July 27) at 2 p.m.
Following the July 27 deadline, OrilliaMatters will profile each candidate in Orillia’s municipal election.