Essex Residents Will Be Voting For Change

Residents in Essex are calling for change.

With the municipal election just a round the corner, the community got a chance to mix it up with those putting their names on the ballot.

The Essex Centre BIA hosted an all candidates night Thursday and the issue top of the list for many was the friction on the current council.

Resident Janet Wilbee says Essex Council has become an embarrassment.

"It's been quite a circus at our town council meetings and we definitely need change here. It's a great place to live and raise a family and I hope we can have a town council in place, going forward, to represent us as a community. I'm not afraid of change and I think we'll see that come election day."

Tony Vendrasco lives in Essex as well and says change is needed from the top down.

"I like the fact that we're getting a big change in council. I think the personality conflicts that were going on before can't work. We're never going to go anywhere with what we had. Everybody has got their own prejudice one way or another and they're fighting amongst themselves."

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Candidates answer questions at an all candidates event in Essex on October 11, 2018 (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)

With mayor Ron McDermott calling it quits, current councillors Larry Snively and Ron Rogers are running against Rob Shepley and Katie McGuire-Blais for the mayor's seat.

Resident Susan Robson says it's time to clean things up.

"The mayor has already decided he's not going to run and that was a big issue. Leadership is 100% on our radar. We need excellent leadership in Essex and I really would prefer to see a change at this point in almost all of council."

Brenda Dunn attended the meeting as well and says she's confident a new council will bring a new attitude to the table.

"A new council will make a big difference. I attended council meetings for a long time and it's just been a clown show. We need to have calmer people in those seats. People that can work together."

Candidates addressed a number of other issues at the event including flooding, tourism and how to best spark residential and commercial development.

Just two candidates are running for deputy mayor — incumbent Richard Meloche and Phil Pocock.

A total of 13 candidates are running for the town's four wards.

For the full list head to www.essex.ca.

The municipal election goes October 22.