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It's official, Newmarket! Meet your new town council, trustees

When Newmarket’s new town council takes the reins in December, there will be some fresh faces among those well-versed in local politics — and a few familiar representatives who bid for and won two of the Town’s top political jobs

The voters have spoken and the official results are in. Meet your new town council, who will start their first day on the job Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. with an inaugural meeting to kick off the 2018 to 2022 term.

Voter turnout in the 2018 municipal election was 34.7 per cent, with a total of 19,662 ballots cast electronically for the first time, without a glitch.

Based on responses from NewmarketToday's pre-election day questionnaires, their priorities are outlined below within a 200-word limit.  


Meet John Taylor, who garnered 14,351 votes to win a resounding 74 per cent of the popular vote.

Here are Taylor’s top two priorities for the Town, in his own words:

  • Quality of Life: Residents in the Town of Newmarket want and expect an exceptional quality of life. They want beautiful parks, trails, and facilities such as the Magna Centre.  We must continue to expand our trail network, build out the Mulock Farm Park and build a skate park and outdoor arena for our youth. The residents of Newmarket want a world class hospital, an award winning Main Street and a world class Mall. As Mayor I have to work with all stakeholders to ensure we continue to provide the best possible quality of life achievable.
  • Strong local Economy: A strong local economy provides local businesses and entrepreneurs with the basis for success. A strong local economy means residential property value will remain strong protecting the largest asset of many of our residents. A strong local economy supports social agencies and charities with the dollars they need to thrive. We must continue to attract world class companies like Celestica, we must build out our new broadband company to provide a competitive advantage and we must support our local small business base. Residents want a prosperous Town and Region and we must strategically deliver on this goal.

Regional Councillor and Deputy Mayor

Meet Tom Vegh, who took the seat by a slim margin of 3.2 per cent in a hard-fought battle.

Here are Vegh’s top two priorities for the town, in his own words:

  • Newmarket’s senior population has grown by 30% in the last decade, but housing options for our seniors have not kept pace. To address this, I will double the number of housing subsidies available for seniors. Provide incentives to build apartments and condominiums in Newmarket.Triple the number of spaces available for affordable supportive seniors housing.
  • Speeding on residential streets is the most frequent complaint received by York Regional Police and the Town.  Enforcement and education efforts have not had any lasting impact on this problem. I am in favour of installing speed humps, where necessary and when a significant number of community members request it. They are effective in Aurora and Markham and they will be effective in Newmarket, too.

Ward 1 Councillor

Meet Grace Simon, elected with 61 per cent of the popular vote.

Here are Simon’s top two priorities for the ward, in her own words:

  • Speed is a major concern for constituents in our ward. Every door that I knock on it’s the same issue being raised. We need to provide a solution for our neighbourhoods to slow people down keeping our families safe.
  • School crowding and a new school for Copper Hills that was promised to the residents when they purchased their homes. There is a growth of young families again in Ward 1 which is wonderful but causing Stonehaven to become crowed which brings all sorts of issues for teacher, students and concerned parents. Also Copper Hills is a large community and a property is designated for a school to be developed which was promised to the residents there. I will help fight for that development.

Ward 2 Councillor

Meet Victor Woodhouse, elected with 62 per cent of the popular vote. Woodhouse did not submit answers to NewmarketToday’s all-candidates questionnaire. Learn more about him, visit here

Ward 3 Councillor

Meet Jane Twinney, re-elected by a whopping 73 per cent of the popular vote.

Here are Twinney's top two priorities for the ward, in her own words:

  • Ensure to work with the residents regarding any redevelopment of the Hollingsworth Arena and engage them in a public format. Ensure that the Hollingsworth Arena will be a benefit to the whole community.
  • Work with the new York Distrist School Board trustee to turn the park that's on the Glen Cedar Public School grounds into a community park for all to enjoy. This has got to get done and I'm going to really push for that to happen this term.

Ward 4 Councillor

Meet Trevor Morrison, elected with 43 per cent of the popular vote.

Here are Morrison’s top two priorities for the ward, in his own words:

  • After speaking with the residents of my ward I believe the various issues that have been brought forth to me cannot be prioritized. Instead, I have discovered that each area, street, and section have their own concerns that need to be listened to and investigated. I truly think that every question, concern or comment is important and I would love to have the opportunity to exemplify this as your neighbour and councillor.

Ward 5 Councillor

Meet Bob Kwapis, re-elected with a resounding 73 per cent of the popular vote. Kwapis did not submit answers to NewmarketToday’s all-candidates’ questionnaire. To learn more about him, visit here

Ward 6 Councillor

Meet Kelly Broome, Newmarket’s acclaimed Ward 6 councillor.

Here are Broome’s top two priorities for the ward, in her own words:

  • Building Strong Safe Communities: Changing our driving habits by changing our environment has been a theme I heard around our Ward 6 neighbourhoods. Residents have concerns about both speeding and traffic volumes in all Ward 6 Neighbourhoods. Armitage Village, Summerhill South and now Summerhill North are entering our third year of traffic calming in order to encourage residents on our local streets to slow down. A significant increase in solar mounted speed boards has been an asset, and earlier this year a speed reduction was approved by the region for Mulock Drive and a traffic light for Clearmeadow and Bathurst.  
  • Parks, Recreation, and Trails has seen great success over the past four years which has created an interest from residents looking to be more involved in the process. More community Open Houses looking for public input are needed to ensure we are making the right choices for enhancements to our local parks, recreation and trails. Our age demographic within our neighbourhoods are changing and parks and parkettes notably within the Armitage Village and William Dunn Community area need further consideration in planning and participation from staff, members of council and from our community.

Ward 7 Councillor

Meet Christina Bisanz, Newmarket’s acclaimed Ward 7 councillor.

Here are Bisanz’s top two priorities for the ward, in her own words:

  • Coping with the considerable disruption due to an inordinate amount of construction taking place in the Ward.
  • Concerns with increasing traffic volume, speeding and distracted driving on neighbourhood streets.

Trustee - York Region District School Board

Meet Linda Gilbert, who unseated the longtime incumbent in a tight race. Gilbert netted 5,705 votes, 40 per cent of the popular vote.

Here are Gilbert’s top two priorities for her district, in her own words:

  • Quality of Education-Student Success-Preparing our children for their futures: We need to improve student performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and prepare students with transferable life skills.  We need to ensure that the content students are learning is up-to-date with the modern day realities that young people are facing. We need to ensure technology is leveraged in the classroom for 21st century learning, so that all students have the information they need to be productive and responsible citizens in our society.
  • Equity & Well-Being: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Social: We need to continue to improve our school’s positive climate – to provide a learning environment that is safe, inclusive and accepting to all students.  This has a powerful influence on students’ motivation to learn, acts as a protective factor for learning and positive life development; and contributes to improved academic outcomes, personal development and well-being.  

Trustee - York Catholic District School Board

Meet Theresa McNicol, re-elected with 68 per cent of the popular vote.

Here are McNicol’’s top two priorities for her district, in her own words:

  • The most important issue for the area in which I represent has been and always will be the concerns for equity. Here is an example that people in this area need to know, that my opponent lives in Richmond Hill.  Where is the representation for East Gwillimbury, Georgina and Newmarket? We will not have a voice at the Board table. This is not equity for our Northern schools.
  • The second issue in my area/and the Board at large would have be to revisions made to our math curriculum in order to support improve numeracy while looking for financial support to continue our work in literacy.  And, I will push for more funds to be specifically designated to upgrade and maintain our high schools. As your Catholic Trustee I know that we need to have programs in our high schools that will attract more students to our Board.  For example: Sacred Heart being a Regional Arts School and Our Lady of the Lake as an Advance Placement and a French Immersion Program. These programs will attract more students for our schools and will stop the declining enrolment in our high schools.

The full responses to the questionnaires are available here

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Kim Champion

About the Author: Kim Champion

Kim Champion is a veteran journalist and editor who covers Newmarket and issues that impact York Region.
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