Tom Van Dusen
RUSSELL – After a brief, unsuccessful fling with provincial politics, Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux has been challenged by two other candidates in trying to reclaim his current job in the Oct. 22 municipal elections. Nominations closed last Friday.
After dallying with the Progressive Conservatives leading up to the recent provincial election, Leroux tossed his fedora in the ring as a Liberal. He was soundly defeated by another Russell council member, Amanda Simard, the PC candidate.
When the provincial results were known, Leroux reassured Russell ratepayers that he intended to return as mayor. Charles Armstrong and Shawn McNally have other ideas. Armstrong is a township gadfly who attends almost all council meetings and is generally critical of its activities; McNally is a Russell Village resident who has experienced many municipal flooding issues at the Concession Street home he shares with wife Dr. Wendy McNally, a chiropractor acclaimed once again as a village trustee.
Also acclaimed to the police village board are Greg Rokosh and Mike Miller. A form of municipal government in Ontario dating back to 1850, the option of creating a new police village was abolished in 1965. The main duty of Russell trustees these days is administering the Russell hydro fund.
Nine candidates are vying for one of four seats on township council, including incumbents Andre Brisson, Jamie Laurin, and Cindy Saucier; the other incumbent, Simard, has already moved on. Newcomers are Nicolas Daoust, Marc-Antoine Gagnier, Richard Kargus, Rick Renaud, Isabelle St. Amour, and Mike Tarnowski.
There’s only one race for a local seat among school boards serving the area and that’s in the public board where John Keough and Pierre Tessier are squaring off. Meanwhile, Francois Bazinet, Sue Wilson, and Corina Parisien have been acclaimed respectively to the French and English Catholic boards and the Upper Canada district board.