Get To Know The Candidates For This Year’s Municipal Election: Part Two
October 18 is less than a week away, and this is the second part of introducing the 13 candidates running for the Town Council in Vermilion. These five entrants were asked the same questions as the first eight nominees.
What do you want voters to know about you when they go to vote on October 18?
Why did you choose to run for Town Council?
If elected, what is something you would like to see accomplished in your four-year term?
Retiring paramedic of 22 years, Robert Snow wants to continue serving the community and he feels town council is a way to do that while helping to address concerns he has heard over the years.
“I have had lots of interactions over the years with citizens, and I believe I can be a good voice of reason on council,” commented Snow.
He feels his background in health care supervision, and sitting on both the disaster planning and public safety committees will further enhance his contribution to council. Snow was part of an initiative that spoke to seniors in town every three months to hear and help address their concerns, and if elected he would like to support programs like that to continue.
“We need to build on health and wellness support for our seniors,” states Snow, “I would like to see more support for the services and programs that are already in place supporting our citizens.”
Raised in Vermilion, Josh Rayment wants voters to know he is going to be focused on the needs and attention the community requires. Vice-President of the slow-pitch league in town, Rayment is an employee of Lakeland College and an active member of the community. He is running for town council as he feels there needs to be more honest and open transparency where the town’s financials and future planning are concerned. Rayment believes Vermilion needs more growth and can become a stronger economic town.
“If elected, I would like to create a more flexible and manageable five-year plan for the community,” states Rayment.
He also wants to focus on a stronger residential development plan, as well as more internal promotion of the community, encouraging people in Vermilion and the surrounding area to stay in town to shop and do business.
A resident of Vermilion since 1983, incumbent Richard Yaceyko is looking to represent the citizens of Vermilion for another four years. He states that he feels he has a good understanding of the community, and that sitting on the various committees and projects over the years has provided him with lots of experience to pass on to new council members.
“I am here to represent the community,” says Yaceyko, “ I want to create a place where my children will want to raise their children.”
Yaceyko was asked by community members to run again, and it is a commitment he is more than willing to make again. He would like to share his experience and be a mentor to new councillors, he had that opportunity when he started, and found it very beneficial.
If re-elected, Yaceyko will continue his work on bringing the Senior Level Four (SL4) supports to Vermilion, so that people can stay in the community as their long-term care needs change. He would also like to see the Broadband Initiative to its completion. Finally, the residential lot expansion in North Brennan is a focus of Yaceyko’s, as he believes there is a good plan in place for future development there.
“I love this community, I grew up here and want to give back to it,” declares candidate Paul Conlon, “I have chosen to live and work in Vermilion, and am raising my family here.”
As an almost four year member fire department member and a partner in a local business, Conlon is an active community member.
Conlon states that “the best way to get a job done right is to do it yourself,” and this is his motivation to join the council. He is planning on staying in the community, and wants to become fully involved in Vermilion’s growth. He enjoys talking to community members and hearing people’s varying perspectives on Vermilion.
If elected, Conlon is planning on focusing on several things, including advocating for an assessment of the town’s taxes, and how those dollars are spent. He would also like to be part of some long-term planning for the town, one that takes future expansion into play as well as road repairs and improvements, and enhancement of places for youth activities (for example, lights at the skatepark and a possible new outdoor pool to name a few). Safer pedestrian access to the businesses on the east side of Highway 41 on the south side of town is something Conlon would like to address while on council.
Tourism is also something Paul is interested in promoting, with the town looking at innovative ways to attract people to visit, like e-scooters or e-bikes.
Former Councilor Richard Lavoie is running again in this year’s election. He wants voters to know that he feels he is very successful at dealing with solving problems, and coming up with tangible solutions.
“When it comes to decision making, I like to gather as many puzzle pieces as possible before deciding on any matter,” states Lavoie, “if I lack the expertise or am missing information, I will seek it out before I vote on any resolution.”
Lavoie declares he is a realist and visionary, and gets the job done. Lavoie feels that 30 years of banking experience lends to his understanding of budgets and financial statements, and he plans to address concerns with the town's budget if elected on October 18.
He chose to run again after being asked by some community members, and he and his family decided that yes this was a good time to give back to the community.
“I am disappointed with the current financial statement for the Town of Vermilion,” states Lavoie, “it appears that we have taken on too much debt and our operating expenses continue to escalate year over year. If elected I feel as councillors we need to get our financial affairs back in order.”
He is also concerned about the senior population in Vermilion, especially those who live in their own homes and the cost of living increases they continually face.