top of page
  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Candidate corner - Kingsville

The Essex Free Press asked each of the 2018 Kingsville Municipal election candidates, vying for one of the five available Councillor positions, to submit a 250-word summary and/or to outline their background and platform. Mayor Nelson Santos and Deputy Mayor Gord Queen were acclaimed. 

The summaries received were arranged in alphabetical order and have been printed unedited. 

It is hoped these summaries will help introduce the candidates to Essex voters heading towards the Monday, October 22 election date.

Kevin Black

You may already know me and don’t even realize it. For over a decade I was the voice of morning news for Blackburn Radio in Essex County. My job was to dig deep on municipal issues facing Kingsville and holding leaders accountable. Now I want to put my 15 years of experience to work for you. 

  Aside from my municipal experience, my wife Kathy and I are also co-owners of the on-farm market and delivery service Lee & Maria’s. I don’t just talk about small business, I live the issues facing owners and the people working for them. The town pays thousands of dollars on promotion every year, and you need someone ensuring it’s being spent with the right focus in mind, helping as many people who live off small businesses as possible.

  Development in Kingsville is inevitable. More people from outside the region are learning the secret we’ve known for years, that the town is among the best places to live in the province. More people looking to move here means more pressure to expand. The key is doing it as part of a coordinated plan, so growth happens the right way, in the right place, and at the right time. I have two children, five and three, and when they’re older, I want them to enjoy the same small town I do. I hope you will vote for me so we can help a growing town maintain that small town feel.

Kim DeYong

Kimberly DeYong is a native of Kingsville now living just outside Cottam with her husband and two daughters. Her work history, as a Commercial Insurance Underwriter, gave her the experience of dealing with liability and risk management.

  Presently she is a Legal Researcher for a busy law firm. Research is a skill Kimberly will bring to Kingsville council. Her comprehensive reports have helped inform councils on important issues. Recently, Kimberly provided facts pertaining to water quality and fluoridation chemicals, as the Director of Fluoride Free Windsor-Essex. She also presented Kingsville Council with the up-to-date position of the Special Electoral Reform Committee’s findings on the risks of electronic voting and convinced council to return to the secure and auditable method of voting with paper ballots.

  Kimberly has a deep COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY as evidenced by her record of service. She is the media and government liaison for the Save Leamington OB group that was able to stop the closing of this vital service for women and children in our rural community. She is the Chair of the Windsor-Essex Health Coalition, the Parent Involvement Committee rep for her children’s school, Stage Manager for a local non-profit children’s theatre group, a member of the Heritage Advisory Committee and much more. Politics has always been a topic around Kimberly’s dinner table with her father-in-law, Henry DeYong, former Reeve of Gosfield South and mother-in-law, Sandy McIntyre, former Kingsville Councillor. Learn more about Kimberly DeYong on Facebook at Kim4Kingsville.

Tony Gaffan

I am Tony Gaffan, husband to Laura of 29 years, father of four grown children and proud grandfather of one granddaughter. I have served as Councillor for the past 4 years and am seeking re-election. I have loved working on behalf of the constituents of the town of Kingsville and hopefully, look forward to continuing to serve in this capacity.

  Word has spread that Kingsville is a fantastic town to live, work and play in! As a business owner in the downtown, I have watched this growth and am keenly aware of the need to keep the small town feel, but actively seek ways of encouraging smart progress. Traffic and infrastructure will continue to be a priority to me, yet always, in a fiscally responsible way.

  This thriving community boasts some of the most beautiful green spaces and park areas anywhere. I will continue to fight for these areas to be maintained and upgraded so our families can enjoy them, and they can continue to host the amazing events that draw our community together.

  I am proud of the town I was born, raised in, and have been able to work and support my own family in. I humbly ask for your vote on Monday, October 22, so I can continue to help Kingsville and its constituents grow and thrive.

Kim Gilliland

The key issue in every election is always leadership. Leadership involves two things. It is about managing existing services through maintenance, monitoring and improvement.

  Second, leadership involves looking into the future to see where we need to go and developing strategies to get us there. These are skills that I learned in almost three decades of service to Canada in the Army Reserve where I was involved in policy development and strategic planning.  I also have been able to apply these skills in the churches that I have pastored to positive effect and look forward to using them in service to my community.

  One specific issue is affordable housing especially for lower income families. As housing prices rise, some people are being pushed out of the market. Our children should be able to live here and thrive.

  Kingsville and area need to remain accessible to all members of the community. We need to ensure that the environment is protected as new development takes place. As a fitness enthusiast, I also would work to ensure that fitness opportunities be created through such things as walking and cycling trails.

  Finally, it is important to have a strong voice from the smaller Kingsville villages of Cottam and Ruthven where the issues are quite different. Kingsville is facing an aging population while Cottam is getting younger due to the number of families moving in. As the chair of the Cottam Revitalization Committee, I have been actively involved in advocating for smaller communities.

Corey Gosselin

My name is Corey Gosselin and I’m running for Kingsville council. I am 28 years old and I have a degree in Political Science from the University of Guelph which helped foster my lifelong interest in politics. I ran for Kingsville council in the previous election and received over 1,000 votes. Since then my dedication to the community has grown as I now sit on various boards and committees. I am the Chairman of the Kingsville Community Policing Committee and I sit on two advisory committees for the town of Kingsville. I am also a member of the board of directors of Migration Hall.

  Having engaged with and listened to many residents, my top priorities are infrastructure, affordable housing and fostering appropriate growth while attracting new business opportunities.

  I represent the politics of the future with new ideas and fresh perspectives. I believe in accountability and integrity. As a younger candidate I believe in being pragmatic and having a vision for the future. As a resident of this community I believe that every resident, including those in Cottam and Ruthven, should have their issues heard and addressed.

  I hope to earn your trust and if you put your trust in me, together, we can create the foundation for the future.

Jackie Kerr

Growing up in Colchester North, attending Colchester North Public School and Essex High School has left me with a true sense of admiration for this area; also I have been a resident of Kingsville for over 40 years and love our beautiful town. My family & I have all worked locally and I’ve noticed a number businesses come and go and this concerns me tremendously, we need more jobs for students, help with the agricultural area and being a senior myself I feel the need for more senior input.

  I volunteered for many years on our figure skating board. My family grew up in this town. I have 2 girls and 3 grandchildren. My husband passed away 11 years ago and being widowed & myself being semi-retired have time to spend and devote myself to our beautiful municipality. This confirmed my decision to run for council and I feel was a definite good choice.

I pride myself with the ability to work with others and would love the challenge of working with our Mayor and Councillors. I am concerned because we all want to keep taxes and spending at a minimum.

I’m definitely anxious & willing to meet and talk to our citizens about their concerns and I am looking forward to the election October 22 and hoping I can help in any way possible to continue to keep our municipality as beautiful as it is now or growth with improvements not reflected at a personal cost to taxpayers.

Michael Laba

With the elimination of the Ontario Municipal Board and the passage of the Building Better Communities Act in 2018, municipalities now have a greater say in how their communities develop. Accordingly, the roll of municipal Council has become even more critical. Elected Council members must be ready to meet that challenge.

  In my 35 years practicing law in Kingsville, I have represented many clients before municipal councils throughout Essex county on planning, development, business and other matters. I understand that, in addition to following provincial policies and municipal bylaws, council must also apply real world practical approaches to matters which come before it. The focus must always be the interest of the municipality as a whole. I believe that, whenever possible, Council’s roll should be to facilitate not simply regulate.

  Further, in the interest of municipal rate payors, council needs to get a much better handle on curbing unnecessary spending in order to keep property tax increases in check.

  Over the past 5 years, the local portion of the property tax rates in Kingsville has increased almost 13% while over the same period, the consumer price index has increased only 6.6%. These property tax increases must not be allowed to continue.

  To assist in holding the line on property tax increases, council needs to direct its focus more on commercial and industrial development throughout the municipality in particular in the Cottam and Gosfield North areas. But the pursuit of economic development must not ignore detriments to the existing tax base.

Paul Lariviere

My name is Paul Lariviere and I am excited to be running for Kingsville Council. I have been a resident of Cottam for 14 years, and a stone throw from highway 3. I mention this because I have heard and witnessed several collisions on this dangerous roadway, especially the ones that happen between County Rd 27 & 29. It is vital that we do everything we can to push the province hard into taking the necessary steps to widen our highway and keep everyone safe.

  On a happier note Kingsville continues to be a popular destination for people to call home, which means strategic development and knowledge of our infrastructure, which I will bring to the table. I will be focusing on more opportunities and incentives for small business owners who want to expand and bring something new and fresh to our growing economy.

  I will be addressing the ongoing drainage problems throughout the county. With the determination of myself and other residents, we were able to have the town respond to flooding issues in our neighbourhood, but there is much more to be done. I will also be making it a point (at the request of many homeowners) to look into the odour problem which is coming from the Cannabis growing greenhouses in our area. Most importantly, I will make every effort to listen to the public on their most intricate issues and bring forth solutions that will lead us in the direction to keep Kingsville moving forward.

John Lein 

Thank you for considering me as your candidate for Kingsville Town Council!

  I am married with grown children and grandchildren. My wife Kim and I will be “empty nesters” this September.

  By education I am a graduate from Ryerson University (formally Ryerson Polytechnical Institute; Toronto1985), from the Landscape Architecture Program.

  By career I have had the pleasure to work at St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology starting back in 1993. Currently, I am the Coordinator and a Professor of the Landscape Horticulture Program.

  By design I have always been able to showcase my creative side through my small business designing residential and commercial landscape projects.

  I would like to think the past 25 years that I have been working at the college with students, colleagues and administrators, have helped to teach me many valuable life and political lessons. Creating policy, listening and reacting to students, parents, staff, preparing for class, changes to curriculum, have helped to shape my commitment for excellence and politics.

  I would appreciate your support and a vote for me as one of your council members.

  The timing is right for me to serve you on council for the next 4 years. I want to help you, to make our Kingsville even better, more beautiful, and more exciting than it even is now! I’d like to keep my campaign, vision and issues grass roots. I don’t want to be a one issue candidate. Your issue, is my issue.

 You can learn more at

Laura Lucier

My name is Laura Lucier and I want to represent you on Kingsville Town Council. I’ve always been community-minded with a strong desire to help people.

  Having worked in management for many years, I have the skills and experience to communicate clearly, make constructive policy and budgetary decisions, build collaborative relationships, and solve complex problems. Having spent most of my career in community services, healthcare, and education, I am able to understand the needs of diverse groups, advocate for change, and resolve conflicts in a constructive and professional manner.

  I have always been an active volunteer, from school and church activities to service clubs and community events, giving my time and energy to make our community better. Now that my children are grown I have even more time to devote to the role of Councilor.

  Kingsville has been a great place to live, work, and raise a family and together we can aim even higher. I will help us positively manage change to achieve our goals. I will focus on helping our businesses and farms to prosper, our waterfront to be more accessible, our arts and culture to flourish, and our communities to retain their safe, friendly, home-town appeal. I will safeguard that our infrastructure is sound, and our books are balanced.

 My vote will ensure all residents have access to the services they need and the amenities they want, and that Kingsville will be an even better place for future generations.

Ted Mastronardi

The platform: I continue to firmly believe that we need to concentrate on the future generation, which I believe is the key to continued community development and success.  “We need to give our educated youth the support and opportunity to find employment, to carry on the family business or pursue entrepreneurial ventures all within our community.” 

  The person: I was the past president of Leamington Produce LTD, a family owned and operated greenhouse operation that had been in business for over 48 years. I held the position of president of the corporation for  8 years (2005-2013) and am currently retired from it. I also held an executive position for an additional eight years as director on the Ontario Greenhouse Growers Marketing Board. 

  Did you know: For the past four years, I have been an active member of the Kingsville’s Planning Advisory Committee, which takes into consideration current and future developments. This experience has afforded me the opportunity to, under the direction of Council, review, advise and give input on proposed development for the communities of Kingsville’s residential, business and industries.

  The aim is to accomplish this within an environment that benefits our community as whole. As well, I have been present at the majority of Kingsville’s Council meetings. These meetings have not only given me an insight on attendance and participation of councillors, but also on decisions that are made and how they set the direction of our community.

Thomas Neufeld

My name is Thomas Neufeld and I am running for re-election for the position of Councillor in the Town of Kingsville. My priorities over this next term will focus on roads, senior and youth programming, economic development and land use planning that makes sense.

  I have children who are growing up here and parents who are enjoying their retirement here. As such, I am committed to making Kingsville the best place to live, work and play. I remain committed to reducing our accessibility barriers, promoting our arts and culture scene and will work tirelessly to ensure that your voice is heard. Your concerns are my concerns. 

  I am very proud and honoured to have served with this Council over the past four years and will remain focused on maintaining the quality of our services while keeping our taxes low. 

Larry Patterson

While looking for your support in the upcoming election, I want to thank our residents for allowing me the opportunity to represent you as Kingsville councillor for the past 4 years. The knowledge, trust and understanding that I have gained has made me very confident and comfortable in answering questions or directing our residents to the proper department for assistance in their concerns.

As a retiree I have the time and energy to serve on committees regardless of the time of the scheduled meeting. And what matters most, is that I enjoy serving on theses committees for our community.

While seeking your support for re-election to Kingsville Council:

• I am someone who listens before speaking

• A candidate with Common Sense, Dedication, Honesty, and Strength

• I have the time and commitment it takes to fully recognize and represent the needs of all residents, including the farming community, businesses and industry

• I will provide leadership that works for all of Kingsville’s future

• I have a positive attitude that will make a difference.

Looking ahead - it’s very important to have the foresight through proper planning and direction to be able to control our future growth...such as: new school, business, housing, recreation, controlled intersections and our agricultural areas.

Our infrastructure of water, roads, bridges, drains and sewer will all need improvements while working within our yearly budget.

Together we will continue to make a difference.

Re-Elect-- Larry Patterson-October 22, 2018

Barry Wilson

Kingsville is an exceptional community with several great locales like Arner, Cottam, Linden Beach, Union, North Ridge, Olinda, Ruthven, Kingsville and everywhere in between. Mere geography is not what makes us a community. It’s the people who call Kingsville home that makes us a community and gives us civic pride.

Kingsville is where my wife, Beth and I chose to make our home and raise our family. It is where I work as an accountant, our son studies school, we play/coach sports, help our neighbours and care about each other. Caring about one another is the core of what makes us a community. It is the key reason why I ask for your support to represent you the citizens of Kingsville, with a voice at council. I am trusted, knowledgeable, dependable and most importantly, I care about our community!

My focus is to listen to our citizens, so their views and opinions can be heard and respectfully addressed. A major challenge facing our leaders today is to balance the growth of our region without sacrificing our sense of community. Key issues I’ve heard to date are keeping our beaches and greenspaces clean; supporting small business; affordable housing options; pedestrian safety; protecting watersheds; air quality around cannabis greenhouses; and flood protection.

I am very excited for the opportunity to represent the people of Kingsville and ask for your vote on October 22 nd. Together we can grow and continue to be proud of our community.

Truly, Barry Wilson •


bottom of page