David Van Hamme has announced his candidacy for Norfolk County’s Ward 2 by-election in May.
“I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of this, and… they’re having a lot of problems,” said Van Hamme, who moved to the area when he was 17 and has been a resident of Ward 2 half his life. “There’s a great divide between east and west and if you listen to their meetings, there’s a divide in the council itself. I thought I could help try to straighten that out.”
Van Hamme said he has always been one to seek solutions in a rational, calm manner.
“I think that’s what they need right now.”
Van Hamme has three children, all still living in the area. They were the ones who first encouraged him to enter the Ward 2 by-election.
“My kids said you’re semi-retired, you’ve got the time, and you’ve always been involved in something – do it.”
A former tobacco farmer for 30-plus years, Van Hamme is still active in farm health and safety.
“I’ve always been involved in the community helping something,” said Van Hamme, a Lions Club member for 10 years and minor hockey treasurer for 15 years in Delhi.
“Right now I’m in with the Norfolk Farm Safety Association.
“The biggest thing is the split between east and west. They have to make the west feel part of the county, which they’re not doing right now.
“Everybody’s got to be able to talk back and forth without shouting and fighting. They need somebody to make them feel like someone is listening.”
It won’t happen instantly, he said, but it should be a priority for council.
“There’s a group in Langton that feels nobody loves them at all, and I don’t blame them because that’s the way it sounds.
“And they have to be able to do something to help the farmer,” he added.