Back to meat and potatoes council: Southwest Middlesex mayor

Recently re-elected Southwest Middlesex Mayor Allan Mayhew is hoping for a dollop of harmony with his meat and potatoes.

“I’ve spoken with all the candidates and I come away — and I say this with respect, I don’t want to be demeaning — but it’s a meat and potatoes council I think we’re going to have,” said Mayhew.

By that he said he meant a focus on basic infrastructure.

“We’ll get back to some of the basics but at the same time I hope there’s vision… and I think it will be a council that’s respectful of each other. I think in addition to that they may even have more tolerance for everyone’s human flaws that we all have.

“And I’m hoping for more harmony around the horseshoe I’ll control the chair in such a manner to ensure it,” said Mayhew.

He said proper treatment must be directed to councillors and staff.

“This is not a negotiable item, this will be demanded. Questioning is going to be polite; respect and control of emotions must be always present.

“That being said, I have to say the political and decision-making arena of municipal government is not for the faint of heart. It’s not without tension,” said Mayhew, who foresees a learning curve at first.

The mayor believes he can help after experiencing his own learning curve during his first term.

“I stepped in a bit of quicksand during the early months… on a couple of occasions,” he said.

“I know how to avoid it this time, and I think any of us can benefit from examining our past and improving our skill level. Not only our councillors, but this mayor as well,” said Mayhew.

After his first priority of decorum is made clear, Mayhew knows there is a lot of projects to look forward to or continue in the upcoming budget. Number one to take care of is always citizen safety, said the mayor. He pointed to the partial closure at the end of August of River Road, which has not reopened, and an eastern portion of Olde Drive.

“It is not a result of our staff’s performance. Our road crews and our supervisors have given us the best roads that I’ve ever seen. The concerns that we have are related to some of the people who have been awarded tenders and engineering concerns,” said Mayhew, adding climate change and the resulting major weather events occurring more often need to be considered by engineers when building.

Mayhew was elected with 1,434 votes ahead of outgoing deputy mayor Marigay Wilkins, who had the support of 795 people.

Southwest Middlesex was again ahead of many other regions in the province with a voter turnout that was down but still near 50 percent. Voting was done online and by phone.

Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner