deputy mayor

Rozankovic aiming to be the next deputy mayor

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Bob Rozankovic has his eyes on the deputy mayor’s position and believes the time is right to pursue it.

Rozankovic is running for that job in the Oct. 22 municipal election and has been accumulating a resume of municipal involvement over the last four years. He has been on the Amherstburg Police Services Board (APSB) and is the current chair. He has also chaired the former economic development committee.

Believing there is “going to be a lack of returning experience” on town council, Rozankovic cited that as a reason he is running for deputy mayor.

“I think the deputy mayor needs to be able to fill in for the mayor when the mayor is not available,” he said, “not just at council but at events around town as such.”

Rozankovic said he wants to see the growth of the town continue. He said a lot of open discussion and positive momentum came out of economic development committee’s “Mayor’s Breakfast” with local realtors three years ago.

“It goes to show how much can be achieved with honest and open discussion with as many stakeholders as possible,” he stated.

“There is so much work left to do and I feel that I have a lot to contribute to the process,” he stated. “I have a good working relationship with the current mayor and administration. Not always agreeing, but always having intelligent discourse.”

Rozankovic, a sales manager in the tool and die industry, believes finances have “turned around in the sense that we know exactly where we stand and we can plan ahead. We need to make decisions on solid business cases, always ensuring that residents get the maximum value for their tax dollars.”

Bob Rozaknovic is running for deputy mayor in the Oct. 22 municipal election

The next term of council will be critical, he said.

“I truly believe the next council is going to set the tone for the future of Amherstburg,” he said. “The last four years have been good but the next four years will be pivotal.”

Ensuring the town assists business startups, local organizations, and festivals is critical to developing a community that people want to live in and people want to move to, he added.

“We have to be branded as a community that is thriving, inviting, and progressive, while at the same time maintaining heritage that is at the core of who we are,” he said.

Rozankovic added: “We want to be the premier retirement community in Southwestern Ontario, and we can be just that. But we must commit to a strategic plan for this to be accomplished.”

Rozankovic would also sit on county council, if elected. He believes county council “does a fair job,” particularly with regards to infrastructure but also thinks the library strike “was mishandled badly.” His objectives would be to ensure Amherstburg’s concerns are lobbied for and also to help lobby the province for more infrastructure funding.

On the policing issue Rozankovic stated, “as a member of the APSB I am limited in what I can say at this time. Ultimately it is the decision of council as to the direction the town takes. Certainly there are both pros and cons and I have the ultimate respect for all councillors that voted on this difficult issue, no matter their individual preference.”

Rozankovic added “as a member of JPAC, I can say we attempted to address all concerns put forth by all stakeholders including residents, police officers, and administration. All facts were clearly presented without bias for council’s decision making process.”

There is a lot of “negative energy” around decision-making and Rozankovic said he will provide “leadership that addresses the root causes of voter dissatisfaction and redirect negative political energy into positive outcomes.”

DiPasquale announces he will not seek re-election

 

By Ron Giofu

The town will be electing a new deputy mayor Oct. 22, as the current deputy mayor has decided to step out of the political arena.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale made it official Monday night that he will not seek re-election. His political career lasted eight years, as he was elected as a councillor in 2010 and won the deputy mayor’s job in the 2014 municipal election.

In a statement read during the “new business” portion of Monday’s town council meeting, DiPasquale said that “after careful consideration and discussion with my loving wife and family, I would like to announce that I will not be seeking re-election this fall and (will) be spending more time with my friends and grandchildren. I will also be looking forward to casting my ballot in this year’s election.”

DiPasquale said he enjoyed serving the town as deputy mayor and as a member of Essex County council.

“I have also been truly blessed in serving this community as a municipal employee and also a police officer,” he said.

DiPasquale had a 35-year career with the Amherstburg Police Service, retiring as deputy chief in 2009. His community involvement has also seen him serve with local service clubs and non-profit organizations and has resulted in numerous awards and honours over the years. He recalled starting to work for the town at age 16, grooming baseball diamonds under the direction of former administrator Tom Kilgallin.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale announced May 14 that he will not seek re-election.

“During my years of employment with the Town of Amherstburg and as an elected official, I have learned that this community is truly special and resilient. We have persevered through much of our debt load adversity and began updating our aging infrastructure,” he said. “We also began rebuilding our management structure and I am grateful for being part of this and serving together with all the other council members.”

DiPasquale also thanked CAO John Miceli, the management team and employees “that kept this great municipality solvent, the neighbourhoods and roads safe, the water flowing and clean and our parks active. It has been a truly superb performance and thank you.”

Wishing the next deputy mayor and council members well, DiPasquale said he wishes they will have “the same wonderful experiences and lifetime of memories I have acquired” by serving the community.

Following his statement, DiPasquale was met with a standing ovation from all in attendance at Monday night’s meeting, including his fellow council members. Several members of DiPasquale’s family, including his wife Carmen, daughters Luisa and Sandra, their grandchildren as well as other loved ones were in attendance.

Meloche aiming to move into deputy mayor’s role

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

After four years as a councillor, Leo Meloche is seeking a higher office.

Meloche is running for deputy mayor in the Oct. 22 municipal election, believing he has helped the town make progress over the past four years.

“I worked hard over the last four years to improve the town’s situation and I think we made some good inroads compared to where we were four years ago,” said Meloche, noting his campaign slogan is “Keeping the Momentum.”

Meloche said he wants to take on the deputy mayor’s position as he would like to contribute further to Amherstburg’s future, one that will include a new public high school and possibly a hotel.

“There are so many positive things coming out,” said Meloche. “It’s an exciting time to run for council given the success we’ve had the last four years.”

Continuing the growth of Amherstburg is a goal for Meloche, with small businesses being a key to that growth. Small businesses help bring jobs but also expand the tax base and “creates a domino effect in enabling Amherstburg to reach its potential,” he said.

“It’s the old saying ‘success breeds success’ and we are heading in the right direction,” he said.

Other local issues include building a community that looks after its aging population and continuing to carefully watch the town’s finances. Regarding the latter, Meloche said although progress has been made, “you never overextend yourself.”

Leo Meloche, a current town councillor, is aiming to be Amherstburg’s next deputy mayor.

Meloche believes he has the leadership skills and decision-making ability to be deputy mayor and if the voters agree, he would also join Essex County council. Meloche believes the county is run “very well” and that money is regularly budgeted for new roads and the new mega-hospital. However, in his day job of owning his own accounting and consulting business, Meloche works with the affordable housing industry including as the executive administrator with Leamington Lodge. That is a segment of the population that needs to be looked after, he believes.

Being on town council the last four years gives Meloche the experience he believes will help going forward. His experience as a councillor is something he thinks lends him insight as to what the town needs going forward.

One of the more controversial issues of the past four years was the policing issue, with Meloche being one of the three votes that got the motion passed and the service switched to Windsor. Policing costs were one of the major issues that he heard four years ago and continued to hear at conferences.

Meloche said Essex had $3.9 million in policing costs in 2018 as compared to Amherstburg’s $5.8 million.

“Yes, we get a higher level of policing but what we need to look at is are we really getting value for the difference,” he said.

Regional policing was discussed as far back as amalgamation and the deal with Windsor allows for a “hybrid formula for policing all the while containing costs.” The wishes of the people were respected, Meloche believes, in that the same officers, cars and police station will still be used while officers will get additional advancement opportunities if they wish.

“Overall, we thought it’s a good deal for Amherstburg as a whole,” he said, noting there are $14 million in potential savings over the next 20 years.

Getting out on the campaign trail is something Meloche said he is eager to do.

“I’m looking forward to campaigning and I hope to get another four years of serving the community,” he said.

Former deputy mayor Robert Bailey dies at age 68

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Robert (Bob) Bailey, who served on councillor with both Anderdon Township and the town of Amherstburg, has died at the age of 68.

Bailey died Saturday, just days after his father-in-law with both passing away in Florida. Bob’s brother Dave said he was supposed to go down to Florida to visit with Bob and his wife Helga but that trip was postponed for a day due to inclement weather in the United States. Dave said his last phone call from Bob was a message to wait as Bob was concerned for his brother’s safety.

Dave said that in speaking with Helga, she said they had a “lovely Saturday” including going for lunch. She returned to her father’s trailer that they had been cleaning out and returned home to find Bob had died in his chair at their own trailer.

Former deputy mayor Robert (Bob) Bailey died Jan. 23 in Florida where he was spending time with his family. (Erie St. Clair LHIN photo)

Former deputy mayor Robert (Bob) Bailey died Jan. 23 in Florida where he was spending time with his family. (Erie St. Clair LHIN photo)

Bob’s political career followed that of Helga in Anderdon, where he served as a councillor and deputy mayor until the township was amalgamated with Amherstburg and Malden in 1997. He returned to municipal politics as a councillor in 2003 and was elected as deputy mayor in 2006, serving a four-year term in the latter position.

Bob was also a member of Essex County council, a county representative to the Kid’s Campaign for Children’s Mental Health Issues, the Essex County Library Board, and the Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) board of directors. His community service also included serving as a member of the Amherstburg Accessibility Advisory Committee for six years and spent over three years as a member of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council, a body which provides advice to the Minister of Community and Social Services on accessibility issues and standards development.

Dave said his brother was born with Spina Bifida and that led to kidney problems down the road with Bob having two kidney transplants. Bob served for seven years with the Kidney Foundation of Canada at the local, provincial and national levels and also served as district president, member and branch president of the Greater Ontario Branch, and branch representative to the national board of directors. He also served as a director with the Erie Shores Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) since 2011.

For 32 years, he was also involved with purchasing in the educational sector and was a senior buyer and manager of purchasing and supply for the Greater Essex County District School Board.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo highlighted the former deputy mayor’s career prior to the start of Monday night’s council meeting and asked that people kept Bob in their thoughts during the moment of reflection. Town flags were lowered to half-mast in memory of Bob Bailey.

Dave said Bob thought out his positions well when he was on council and recalled it being tough to change his brother’s mind when he arrived at an opinion.

“He was well thought out. He was always well prepared,” said Dave.

Wanting the public to remember his brother for his grit and determination, Dave said Bob had the attitude of going after the goals he set out for himself. Bob and Helga also had a love of travel, Dave said.

“He knew he was a very, very lucky man to have Helga,” said Dave. “She loved him to pieces and he returned it.”

The couple have two sons – Bryan and Adam – and Dave said Bob would “cut off his arms and his legs” for his family.

“He really, really cared for them,” said Dave.

As of press time, funeral arrangements were not finalized.