Terry Holmes is vying for a spot on Otonabee-South Monaghan Township council as South Monaghan Ward councillor.
“I have the energy, interest and time to put more hours into outreach — getting to know constituents and getting to know what their concerns are in an actual person-to-person way,” he said.
It’s Holmes’ second bid to represent the ward. The Bailieboro resident, who has called Otonabee-South Monaghan Township home for two decades, campaigned for the position in 2018. He lost to incumbent Ken Howie.
It’s unclear whether Howie will seek re-election. He hasn’t yet filed nomination papers. The deadline to file is Aug. 19. The Examiner could not reach Howie for comment.
Holmes, who works in sales — he launched a second venture during the pandemic selling his own brand of affordable hand sanitizer amid price gouging — sits on the Otonabee-South Monaghan parks and arena committee.
“This would be my first time in municipal politics, but I have a lot of experience with volunteer work, sales and dealing with people in general, both in managerial positions and social positions,” Holmes said.
If elected, Holmes said he would bring a novel and “proactive” approach to the position — one that focuses on building relationships with residents to make sure their voices are heard.
As councillor, that would mean being extra attentive to phone calls and emails, while hosting regular in-person meetups with community members, he said.
“I put myself out there, showing constituents I see them as human beings, not just a number. If I’m going to be voting on policy when making decisions, I should always keep in mind that those policies and decisions affect living and breathing human beings,” Holmes said.
Holmes says he will also focus on unifying residents. Some constituents in his ward may feel alienated from more populous areas of the township — an “afterthought.” He said he would change that by bringing community members together to hash out differences in person.
While Holmes says he’ll pay close attention to important issues surrounding the local economy, health care and the environment, he plans on keeping his priorities “flexible” in order to “be ready for whatever comes.”
“I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep. I really want to show, not tell,” he said.
Otonabee-South Monaghan Township Mayor Joe Taylor officially launched a re-election bid by filing nomination papers Monday. Taylor currently does not face any challengers.
Councillor-at-large Mark Allen and Otonabee Ward Coun. Nick Powers are both seeking re-election.
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 email@example.com.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner