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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Bondy elected Mayor of Essex - Council will have four new faces for the 2022-2026 term

by Sylene Argent

After several months of campaigning, knocking on hundreds or even thousands of doors, and walking many endless miles to connect with residents, the 2022 Essex Municipal Election wrapped up after a busy Election Day on Monday.

  Despite a strong will and desire to serve at the municipal decision-making table, only one candidate of the two hopefuls running for the mayoral position could win.

  Unofficial results showed that Sherry Bondy, who has served as the Harrow rep on Essex Council since first being elected in 2010, won the mayoral role. She will be joined by four new Council reps, and three others returning, for the 2022-2026 term.

  Bondy won the mayoral seat with 3794 votes. This was over 580 votes ahead of incumbent Richard Meloche with voter turn-out slightly higher than in the 2018 election.  

  “I’m excited. My team has run hard,” Bondy said. “Tonight symbolizes a culture change in the Town of Essex. We are going to put residents first, and we are going to put customer service and public consultation first,” she said, adding the public and Councillors will be listened to.

  Bondy said she and her campaign support team worked until the very last minute in an effort to secure the win. After all that hard work, she is ready to lead the municipality.

  “I didn’t do it to really be the Mayor. I did it to serve people. And, I knew that in order to serve people better, I needed to take a run for the Mayor [position],” she said. “I think the community has spoken loud and clear, and they want a person who is going to listen to them and consult them, and I am that choice.”

  While speaking with supporters at his election gathering on Monday evening, Meloche said he could not think of a better group of people to be with him that night.

  He congratulated Bondy. “And though I am disappointed with the results, the people of Essex have made the decision to go in this direction.”

  He said he could not say enough to make people understand what his group of supporters has meant to him and how much they have helped through the campaign, including his wife, Cathy, his children, and grandchildren.

“I will keep all of you in my heart forever for all that you have done in this campaign. The friendships and comradery that has developed between us has itself made the campaign worthwhile for me. Although I will not be involved with Council over the next four-years, I can certainly say that this is still our Essex, and I will continue to love, respect, and help the community to be a better place,” Meloche said.

  Local business owner Rob Shepley will join Bondy on the next Term of Council as the Deputy Mayor. The unofficial results showed he earned 3581 votes, defeating Ron Rogers, a former Ward 3 rep on Essex Council, with over 380 votes.

  “There are several individuals that have been elected this evening that I do have faith in to guide the Town in the right direction, and please, let’s give them what they need to make this happen,” Meloche said, noting Rob Shepley is one of those individuals. “He will be a fantastic Deputy Mayor, helping make good things happen for Essex.”

  Shepley thanked his supporters for their help on his campaign, including former Mayor Larry Snively, and his wife and kids.

  Joe Garon will return for a second term as he earned the most votes in the race for the two Ward 1 seats, earning 1282 votes. Katie McGuire-Blais will join him, having earned 1186 votes.

  Garon said he did not get enough accomplished in his first-term, with COVID and other things working against Council. To the Council members who did not get re-elected, Garon said it was a pleasure to serve with them. He also congratulated those who were newly elected.

  Brad Allard earned the most votes in the Ward 3 race, with 1063, earning one of the two positions. Incumbent Jason Matyi was elected to represent Ward 3 with 1038. He was appointed to Council when the position came available over half-a-year ago. Incumbent Chris Vander Doelen will not return to the position.

  Ward 2 candidate, Kim Verbeek was unopposed in this election. She first earned the position in the 2018 municipal election.

   Rounding out the 2022-2026 Term of Council is Rodney Hammond, who will represent Ward 4, Harrow. He earned 626 votes over Shawn Mulder who earned 475.

  The current Term-of-Council will host its last official meeting on November 7. The inaugural Council meeting for the 2022-2026 term will take place on November 21. 

According to Robert W. Auger, Municipal Clerk and Returning Officer for the Town of Essex, the overall voter turnout was 40.95%.


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