Ear Falls mayor to be joined by three new council members

EAR FALLS — Kevin Kahoot says he’s excited to help guide the newly elected council, which will feature mostly new members.

The returning mayor will be joined by councillor Dan Sutton along with three new ones — Brad Mountain, Kim Thain, and Doug Woolsey — who were elected on Monday. Kahoot was acclaimed in August when no one else put their name forward for the position.

Kahoot said he’s looking forward to “helping [the new councillors] understand how municipal politics works. A lot of them come in with different ideas, of changing the world real quick and it doesn’t usually happen that way.”

Getting them up to speed will be a priority going forward, Kahoot said.

“I think the learning curve will be a little steep with three new members of council so that will be the tough one, but letting them get their feet under them [is important],” he said.

Kahoot said housing is another big priority for Ear Falls, as it is for most communities in the Northwest.

“We’ve got a couple of different projects on the go. We’ve got a big waterfront development project, a cottage lot project we’re working on with the Ministry of Natural Resources and [Ministry of Northern Development and Mines].

Kahoot said the township is also into the fourth year of a parks program in the community.

“Doing a lot things with our waterfront, our community parks, arena, dog park, So it’ll be kind of a full plate for a lot of the new councillors that were just elected,” he said.

Kahoot said COVID-19 really hit hard during the last term and “really impacted a lot of things that you could or couldn’t do within the community, so a lot of things got put on hold while you got to put the COVID fires out, so to speak.”

“So, there’s going to be a lot of pressure. [To] put in a four-year period really from the last term into this one.”

According to Kahoot, burnout during the last term contributed to a lot of mayors and councillors in the Northwest deciding not to seek re-election. However, he said he still had unfinished business.

“There were a lot of things that didn’t get accomplished in the last term that I just want to see. I just wanted to follow through on some of these projects,” he said. “That’s mainly the biggest influence on why I wanted to kind of stick around and continue being the mayor.”

“It’s an exciting time in Ear Falls right now, there’s lots of mining development, the forest sector is going well, our saw mill is really doing well, they just signed a new contract with the union, so things are looking well there,” Kahoot said. “So it’s a time of growth in Ear Falls, so I just want to be a part of it.”

Eric Shih, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source