Tillsonburg will have three mayoral candidates when residents go to the polls for the Oct. 27 Ontario Municipal Elections.
Stephen Molnar, who most recently served as Mayor of Tillsonburg from 2003-2010 announced on Monday he will be seeking election for the position of mayor.
Molnar, 55, born and raised in Tillsonburg, has always been an active member of the community. And that commitment never wavered over the last four years.
"I have a strong belief in Tillsonburg and I want to reintroduce the leadership that will be required to lead a strong team forward to manage current issues, while addressing the many opportunities the town will realize in the future."
His decision to run for mayor was made long before Monday.
"It has always been my intention to introduce myself as a candidate," said Molnar, who added his name only a few days before the Friday, Sept. 12 deadline.
“My decision to seek election to the position of mayor is based on my personal commitment to every resident of Tillsonburg that I will once again accept the responsibility with all the time and energy that I had historically demonstrated.
"My passion for our community, a place where I was born and still reside, has never wavered. I have spent the past four years working with local organizations, listening to our citizens and supporting our local businesses. I believe it is now time to utilize my past experiences and the knowledge gained from being out in the community for the benefit of our entire municipality.
"I believe in what we've accomplished in the past, and what we can accomplish in the future. I am prepared to run for something, not against something, not against someone.
Molnar stressed the importance of continuing to emphasize a municipal government process that involves an open and accountable forum for the entire public.
"I believe I have effectively demonstrated that I am uniquely qualified to lead a team of elected officials, effectively trained municipal staff and passionate community volunteers towards the common direction of making Tillsonburg a quality environment to live, work, play and invest in.
“We require a regeneration of the spirit and functionality of our community. I am prepared to work together with all citizens and stakeholders with integrity, vision and an acute understanding of the current fiscal realities to get our community moving forward.”
Understanding the need to ensure fiscal responsibility, Molnar wants to be faithful to the realities of building a stronger and safer community.
"Prudent investment in our physical infrastructure should always be the backbone of any community. The positive relationships that I have maintained with representatives at all levels of senior government will strengthen the opportunity to gain equitable funding contributions.
“ Tillsonburg has always been a unique community, one with broad shoulders and great vision, a town that has historically worked together to turn issues into opportunities. We can do this again.”
Molnar said the continual loss of autonomy has impaired the municipality's ability to realize ‘Made in Tillsonburg’ solutions to the various challenges and pressures facing small urban municipalities in Ontario.
"We must continue to partner with Oxford County and ensure that a stronger Oxford translates to greater opportunity in Tillsonburg, all the while being conscious to protect and enhance the individual legacy of our Town.
“I have enjoyed the opportunity over the past four years to be more involved with community groups at the grass roots level," Molnar concluded. "This exposure has reinforced my efforts to once again find local solutions for key municipal initiatives such as, an efficient transportation program, enhancement of quality health care options, industrial and commercial growth and the expansion of opportunities for the youth of our community.”
Some of Molnar’s current and past affiliations are as follows: Mayor - Town of Tillsonburg (2003-2010); Councillor - County of Oxford (2003-2010); and Councillor – Town of Tillsonburg (1997-2003).
He was vice-president of the SCOR Economic Development Corporation, and member of the Land Division Committee (County of Oxford), Steering Committee on Solid Waste Management (County of Oxford), Thames Valley District Health Council, Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital, Master Fire Plan Committee, Police Services Board, Tillsonburg Hydro Incorporated and the Mayor's Roundtable on Youth.
Over the years he has been involved with the Parks and Recreation Commission, Tillsonburg Golf & Country Club, Heart & Stroke Foundation (Tillsonburg), Theatre Tillsonburg, St. John’s Anglican Church, Annandale School Community Council, Tillsonburg Kinsmen Club, Tillsonburg Scout Association and the Lake Lisgar Revitalization Project.