Twelve of the candidates vying for a seat on Lincoln council all care a great deal about their town.
They are also all committed to doing their best to serve the needs of the residents of Lincoln. So how to decide?
Candidate Nicholas Kuhl, running in Ward 3, may have summed it up best at the end of the evening when he said the municipal level of government has the most direct impact on residents’ day-to-day lives – ask the tough questions, elect the person who you believe will best represent you.
Twelve of the 13 candidates seeking a seat around the council table answered questions posed to them by members of the audience when the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce hosted an all-candidates debate Tuesday night at the Lincoln Centre. Only Andrew Furry, a candidate in Ward 3 where there is a six-way race for two seats, did not attend.
Ward 2 candidates JD Pachereva and Tony Brunet were acclaimed.
Candidates were given three minutes to introduce themselves to the room filled with about 100 people. They had time to answer only two questions although random questions were addressed to some candidates.
The issue of a new escarpment crossing for the west end was addressed. The candidates were asked if they supported the choice of Tufford Road for the future crossing.
Ward 1 candidate and incumbent Rob Foster noted that Niagara region is now the largest employer in Niagara region. He said the Tufford Road area is a ridiculous choice. “That is sad that that is the best they can do.”
Ward 1 candidate and incumbent Dianne Rintjema said she attended one of two information centres presented by the region. She noted that short- and long-term solutions are also planned by the region.
Ward 1 candidate David Good said the issue dates back to the early 1970s. He said he was disappointed so few people came out to the information centres. “for such an important issue.”
Ward 3 candidate and incumbent Dave Thompson said “No one wants another truck crossing in their backyard. I don’t believe Tufford Road is the best choice.”
Ward 3 candidate Paul MacPherson said Bartlett Road in Grimsby is the best solution for carrying trucks up and down the escarpment. “I don’t see Tufford as the answer.”
Ward 3 candidate Kevin Strooband said we have to bring the trucks down safely. “We have to talk to the people affected and look at best practices in other communities to see how it was resolved.
Ward 3 candidate Dan Warren said it was ridiculous to have the new road go through Beamsville.
Ward 3 candidate Nicholas Kuhl said “Grimsby has more political clout in the region” and a new crossing going through Beamsville shouldn’t be “our cross to bear.”
Ward 4 candidate and incumbent Wayne MacMillan said Bartlett Road in Grimsby made more sense as QEW access was already there.
Ward 4 candidate Geoffrey Barlow said that as a firefighter he had been to some very bad accidents so this was an issue close to his heart.
Ward 4 candidate David Furry Bartlett Road in Grimsby is where the crossing should go.
Ward 4 candidate Lynn Timmers said the crossing should be at Bartlett Road. “I have been downtown many times when no one could move because a truck was stuck.”