Dysart’s race for mayor gets underway
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | May 24, 2018
Dysart’s deputy mayor believes she’s ready to take the top seat at the council table this fall.
Andrea Roberts filed her nomination papers on May 17, but she made her decision earlier in the month. It’s a position she thought of throwing her hat in the ring for during the last municipal election in 2014.
“I felt I wasn’t 100 per cent ready,” recalled Roberts in an interview. “I wanted to know my way around the county issues. I ran for [deputy mayor] with anticipation that I’d probably run for mayor in this election.”
She was first elected Ward 1 councillor in 2006, a seat she held for two, four-year terms. At the end of her second term, Roberts and her husband, Steve, sold their fuels business. That freed up some of her time, leading her to become Dysart’s deputy mayor in the last election after defeating fellow councillor Dennis Casey. The win also earned her a seat at county council. The 55-year-old, who hails from Toronto but has lived in Haliburton for more than 30 years, realizes the job requires a major time commitment and isn’t a regular 9-5.
“It’s a big commitment,” she said, adding many of her friends are retiring. “I had to decide if I wanted to crank it up a notch—and work for four more years.”
Roberts said she respects current Mayor Murray Fearrey but is confident she can do the job.
“He’s been the head of council for a long time,” she said. “But when I decided to run, it wasn’t to run against him. I’m running because I want the job. I see myself in that leadership role. I see myself as a fresh face.”
Fearrey filed his papers on May 3. The incumbent said he chose to run because he needed to ensure some of the municipality’s projects are successfully completed.
“I feel equally capable of seeing those projects through,” added Roberts. She hasn’t put her platform together yet, but some important items she identified include waste management, housing, youth retention and economic development. Roberts is looking forward to attending events, like cottage association meetings, in the coming months and meeting with constituents. She isn’t second-guessing her decision at all.
“It felt great,” she said, referring to filing her papers. “It felt absolutely the right thing to do. Whatever the results are, I’m OK.” Election day is Oct. 22. For an unofficial list of candidates, visit dysartetal.ca.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.