THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Oliver Paipoonge Mayor Lucy Kloosterhuis is gearing up for another run.
Kloosterhuis, who has been the mayor of the municipality since 2003, said Friday she’ll once again be entering the mayoral race.
“I picked up my (nomination) package and I’m presently getting my 25 signatures (of eligible voters to support the nomination),” said the Stanley resident. “It isn’t official yet because I haven’t brought in my $200 (nomination fee) and my 25 signatures, but I’m working on it. I’m going to give it one more shot.”
The veteran politician has been on council for 31 years, starting as a councillor in 1991, seeing the amalgamation of Oliver and Paipoonge in 1998 and grabbing the mayor’s mantle in 2003.
Should she win this time around, Kloosterhuis would like to see the municipality continue to move forward.
“My thought would be that the present council and the councils of the past have done a good job and just continue moving forward slowly by increasing our residents and making sure the roads are paved and maintained,” Kloosterhuis said.
“The water system, we’re hoping to expand that a little bit. Just keep moving along slowly, but moving forward, not backward.
“It takes five people. One person doesn’t do anything by themselves. It’s something that five people work on and we don’t always agree on everything. That’s why you have majority rules on certain topics. . . . We may not always agree, but we do walk out of the meeting friends and we go onto the next topic.”
Two of those five people will be opposing her for the mayor’s chair. Current councillors Brandon Postuma and Rick Potter have their sights set on taking over the Oliver Paipoonge top job, filing their nomination papers in May and June respectively.
Postuma is just finishing up his first term, while Potter, who has been an outspoken critic on proposed subdivisions and the prospective amalgamation of Oliver Paipoonge with Conmee Township, took over from former councillor Alana Bishop in March when she moved to Thunder Bay.
And while the current three-way race will split the vote, Kloosterhuis welcomes the competition.
“I wish them the best,” said Kloosterhuis, who ran unopposed for mayor in 2014 and 2018. "(Postuma) I’ve had the honour to work with the last four years. (Working with Potter) only the last few months, so I don’t know (Potter) as well as I know (Postuma).
“I wish them all well. That’s the way the country works with democracy.
“There will be people that won’t vote for me and there will be people that won’t vote for the other two gentlemen. It’ll be a three-way vote and it’ll be interesting.”
Aspiring candidates have until Aug. 19 to get their nominations filed for either the Oliver Paipoonge mayor or four councillor positions with the municipal election set for Oct. 24.
John Nagy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal