Veteran Champlain Township councillor Gerry Miner will be seeking re-election as a municipal councillor, wanting to continue to represent citizens living in the ward of West Hawkesbury.

Still curious and wanting to know what is going on, Miner says that the satisfaction of decisions made the way they should be is what keeps his interest in municipal politics alive.

“I like to participate and study the dossiers and I do like to think that sometimes I get people to look at something from another side. It isn’t that people will vote against their principles. As a councillor, not every decision goes the way I want it, but that’s politics. I participated,” says Miner.

Miner points to the township’s recent budget meetings, where at one point he said he would not vote in favour of a budget that borrowed money to do road work.

“In that case, when I raised that point, people were convinced. I have to say that in general, it is always pleasurable to be at a meeting. I never leave mad because we always accomplish something. There are always people who like to criticize, and I always invite them to join us,” Miner continued.

Another reason that Miner says he continues to enjoy municipal politics is that he has always had his community at heart, even from his early days of serving as a volunteer on the West Hawkesbury recreation committee, when Neil Levac was serving as mayor of the Township of West Hawkesbury.

Miner cannot see himself stepping away from politics just yet, even though he knows that he will likely have competitors seeking the West Hawkesbury council positions, just as he did for the past two municipal elections.

What is the most difficult part of being a municipal councillor? For Miner, it is accepting the things you cannot change.

“There are some things that bother me, often related to developing the area. Sometimes, it is clear that there is something you just cannot change,” Miner related. He says that the Town of Hawkesbury’s reluctance to allow Champlain Township to access Hawkesbury’s municipal water system has been frustrating.

“We talked about putting in a pipeline from Highway 34 up along Highway 17 and that would likely have cost a million years ago and now, it’s probably at two million dollars. But for a few hundred thousand dollars, we could bring water to Champlain Township in a pipeline under Highway 17. That would make much more sense,” Miner says, but he points out that there has been no cooperation from Hawkesbury’s two most recent mayors.

“I feel sorry and sad that there is not more cooperation. We all cohabit alongside each other, but we don’t cooperate,” Miner said.

Miner has been an elected official for most of the past 35 years or so. He has been a municipal councillor at the Champlain Township council table since 2003.

He took a break from politics from 1994 to 2003. In 1994, Miner lost the West Hawkesbury mayoralty race to John Wilson (at that time, West Hawkesbury was a township prior to a municipal amalgamation of West Hawkesbury, Longueuil, Vankleek Hill and L’Orignal  which took place in 1998.) The mayoralty race was so close that even after a recount of the votes, a flip of a coin was used to determine the winner; Wilson won that flip of the coin.

Miner served two years as a West Hawkesbury councillor and prior to that, he was an elected trustee for eight years with the at-that-time conseil des ecoles catholiques de Prescott-Russell (CECPR). At the time, he recalled, the board managed 26 French elementary schools and one English school. There were no secondary schools at that time.

Miner says that he still carries a flame for politics and still likes it, so he hopes for voter support come election-time.

Although he says he is 99 per cent set on running for council, “There is nothing to say that I can’t withdraw and change the position I have registered for,” Miner said, when asked if he was considering seeking the mayor’s post.