John Wells making last run for Norfolk Council

balcomb1By David Judd
John Wells is making his last run for county council.
The veteran politician hopes to serve four more years as Port Dover’s representative.
At age 71, he’s healthy, enjoys the job and wants to see some things done.
But Oct. 27 will be the last time local voters will see John Wells’ name on the ballot.
If re-elected this year, Coun. Wells says he won’t run again four years from now.
“Definitely, it will be my last ride,” he said last Thursday after filing his nomination papers.
“No matter what happens, I will be finished and it will be somebody’s else’s turn.”
Elections are like report cards for politicians, Coun. Wells, a retired teacher, said.
“People will tell you if you have passed or failed,” he said.
“Truthfully, it will be interesting to see another report card and see what happens.”
Coun. Wells has represented Port Dover in local government for 23 years.
He started at the City of Nanticoke in the 1980s, stepped up to Haldimand-Norfolk Region in the 1990s, and then moved to Norfolk County council at its creation in 2001.
Over the years, Coun. Wells’ theme has been — and continues to be —keeping an eye on property taxes and seeking to give residents good value for their money.
This year’s most pressing issues are getting a new medical centre for Port Dover and repairing Misner Dam.
The imminent retirement of Dr. Peter Wong puts the community in greater need of a new medical centre to attract doctors, Coun. Wells said.
County council has committed $50,000 a year for five years to support a proposal led by Les Anderson of Simcoe to build a facility on county land near the arena.
“We will do anything in our power to bring it about,” Coun. Wells said.
The county hopes the Ministry of Natural Resources will permit $1 million in repairs for Misner Dam as a short-term answer to the historic structure’s safety concerns.
Main Street needs to be dug up for water and sewer work.
Although no date has been set, the work must be done in summer, which will create hardship for the downtown.
“I’d like to see it done,” Coun. Wells said.
“Maybe it would be unfair for a new person (as councillor) to take the flak for something that needs to be done.”
Coun. Wells said his biggest role as councillor has been to listen to people.
“It’s wonderful,” he said. “You get immediate feedback.”
Coun. Wells is pleased to see candidates challenging him for Port Dover’s seat on county council.
“It gives people a choice,” he said.
“It’s a pretty important job.”

Posted: February 12, 2014

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