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Foley, Cooper elected to local school board trustee positions

‘I want to thank everybody for voting for me, standing up and helping out,’ says newly elected Collingwood/Wasaga Beach public board trustee
On Oct. 24, Mike Foley (left) was elected SCDSB trustee representing Collingwood/Wasaga Beach, while Shawn Cooper (right) was elected SMCDSB trustee representing Collingwood/Wasaga Beach/Clearview/Springwater.

Both Simcoe County’s public and Catholic school boards will have a new trustee representing Collingwood this term.

There were five candidates running for the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) trustee position representing Area 6: Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.

Results from the Oct. 24 election decided Mike Foley as the winner with 7,774 votes from Collingwood and Wasaga Beach residents. Runners-up were Barbara-Anne Smith (3,789 votes), Audrey Stukas (1,427), Bob Lima (775) and Al Halimic (765).

“I’m feeling pretty darn good. I got about 54 per cent of the overall vote, so that’s pretty significant for what people want and what they expect,” said Foley. “They recognized that I had experience and I had done this before.”

Foley served as a school board trustee at the Upper Grand School Board starting in 2018.

“I met so many people knocking on doors. I want to thank everybody for voting for me, standing up and helping out. It was very wonderful,” he said.

On the campaign trail, Foley noted a difference in priorities between Collingwood and Wasaga Beach residents, and hopes to represent both municipality’s concerns at the SCDSB table.

“In Wasaga Beach, everybody’s interested in getting a high-quality high school. In Collingwood, people want to be connected. They want some transparency,” said Foley. “I want to be able to really represent them and work on their behalf.”

When he looks back on his time on the campaign trail, Foley said he would like to see any all-candidate meetings held in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach in the future to include school trustee candidates as well, as this time around they weren’t allowed to participate. While he acknowledges that all-candidates meetings haven’t typically included trustee candidates, that perhaps it’s time to make a change.

“It was kind of shocking. The budget we handle is almost three-quarters of a billion dollars,” he said. “There’s so much more oversight required for that kind of budget and our most valuable assets – our children; the leaders of tomorrow.”

There were five candidates running for the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDSB) trustee position representing Clearview, Collingwood, Springwater and Wasaga Beach.

Shawn Cooper won the most votes on Oct. 24 with 1,079 votes from residents. Runners-up were Diane Belvedere (556 votes), Kelly-Anne Kenny (394), Heather Eby (307) and Carol Fraser (307).

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen is an experienced journalist working for Village Media since 2018, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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