As a newcomer to politics, Lakefield’s Jodie Mulder is aiming to bring a fresh, community-focused approach to Selwyn Township council.
Mulder hopes to represent Smith Ward (Ward 20). She’s currently running unopposed. The position is held by Gerry Herron, who is not seeking re-election after serving two terms. So far, no challengers have filed nomination papers.
“I’m interested in making a difference,” Mulder said.
Mulder, who’s lived in Lakefield for 15 years, is a self-employed training instructor who teaches yoga and leads a boot camp. She also works for Community Care Peterborough — teaching fitness classes to seniors — after serving the Buckhorn branch for two years.
She was a longtime volunteer at the Lakefield Animal Welfare Society and founded the Peterborough Zoo Run 20 years ago.
“Helping out is what I like to do. It’s time to see whether I can make a difference in the community in this way,” Mulder said.
Mulder says her personal and professional background will allow her to bring a unique perspective to council. As a mother of three, she says she’ll be able to see issues through a parental lens.
Plus, her history working with senior community members as part of a non-profit organization gives her the tools to tackle important issues including long-term care, she said.
“We need to listen and work for seniors because they are prevalent in our community and sometimes forgotten,” Mulder said.
“I listen to people. I hear them and I take their concerns seriously. I do really hear and understand from a different perspective.”
Of the five current Selwyn Township council members, only two are running in the upcoming election. Deputy Mayor Sherry Senis is looking to replace retiring Mayor Andy Mitchell and Anita Locke is seeking re-election as Lakefield Ward councillor.
Mulder sees council’s impending structural change as both a challenge and an opportunity.
“We have to work together with people who are seasoned and have been around, but we also have to work together with the newer guard. I think change is good,” she said.
Where others may see a lack of political experience, the Smith Ward hopeful sees a fresh outlook and room for growth.
“I’m always open to learning new things. As a newcomer, I’m going to be able to really see things from a different perspective. I’m going to spend more time learning the ropes so I can be the best I can be for the community.”
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner