At least three people are considering a run for the top job in Lambton County.
And the current warden isn’t ruling out another two year term.
Traditionally, at the warden’s picnic, municipal politicians start telling people about their desire to seek the top spot in December.
The two-year term of Warden Bev MacDougall of Sarnia will expire in December and so far, The Independent has learned Oil Springs Mayor Ian Veen and Lambton Shores Mayor Bill Weber are working toward the top job.
St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold says he’s been approached by several people to consider another term in the top job, but hasn’t decided yet if he will.
Veen, who is the current deputy warden, believes he would represent “the people of Lambton County well.”
Often, those running for warden talk about changing the way the county does business or economic development, but when asked what his priority would be, Veen told The Independent he wants to stress social housing.
“I think we’re lacking social housing. It’s going to be a big thing happening in the next 10 years. We have to start planning for that now,” he says.
“There is actually a backlog for housing. It’s something that if it isn’t corrected soon it’s going to be a real problem.”
Veen believes with the federal government looking to encourage growth through infrastructure funding this may be the time to press for some help for social housing.
Weber’s focus will be slightly different. “I see the warden’s job as being an ambassador for the county and promoting the county,” he says. “We have to promote the county as a destination… the whole area has so much to offer.”
And Weber would like to encourage the agriculture sector, including the creation of greenhouses in Lambton County, a sector which has been growing in his municipality.
Arnold has yet to make a decision adding Veen and Weber are “both good people” who would make a good warden.
Current Warden Bev MacDougall says while she hasn’t ruled out another run at the county’s top job, she is still busy finishing the work she set out to do.
“I have five months left and I’m into some pretty big project which I’ve been working pretty hard at… No warden has ever fully finished the work they set out to complete… but it is way too soon for me to commit.”
But it has clearly been a good experience for MacDougall. “It has been highest, best experience of my working life in politics. It is an absolutely wonderful job on a million different fronts… it has certainly been all I hoped it would be and more.”
like to think after so many years
given it my all…but I’ve got five months of hard work left