On May 2, Municipality of South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds announced that he will be retiring from politics at the end of this term of council. He is pictured at the Morrisburg Waterfront. Courtesy Photo
MORRISBURG – “There are six months left in my term as mayor,” Municipality of South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds said. “I will continue to do what I have done for the past 3.5 years: listen to your concerns and continue to lead South Dundas and your council and staff. We have done a lot of work early this year to catch up but there is still work to be done and I will work hard to get as much done as we practically can.”
The nomination period for the 2022 municipal election began May 2. That morning, Byvelds met with local media at the Morrisburg Waterfront to announce that he would not be running for mayor again, as he’s decided his time being actively involved in politics has come to an end. Byvelds has represented South Dundas as both a councillor and as mayor. He’s also represented the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry (SDG) as warden in 2011.
“Today is the first day people can put their name forward for the ninth council of South Dundas along with the two seats at counties’ council,” he said. “I encourage those who think they have something to give South Dundas-SDG to do so. The municipalities of SDG will be hosting a candidate information meeting on May 12 at 6 p.m. in Long Sault, which I encourage all those interested in running this fall to attend. I also encourage the residents of South Dundas to ask hard questions and vote for a council that will continue the hard work that has been done so far. I believe we have come a long way and I know, with the right council, we can continue to do so going into 2023.”
The mayor listed some of the things he, his council colleagues, and municipal staff were able to accomplish in the past 3.5 years. He also talked about the work that still needs to be done.
“We have an infrastructure and asset management plans to work with going forward,” he said. “Unfortunately, it has shown that South Dundas lags in many facets and we will need more money and have to work hard to get caught up. We have had more work with landfills, having to close one at a huge cost, do a small expansion at the other, and looking ahead to having a transfer station. We have worked hard on bringing more economic development along with expanding tourism opportunities to South Dundas, and we have continued to work on customer service and communication to ensure that the residents get and know the services available to them.”
He made a point of emphasizing the “we” in the list of municipal accomplishments since he took office for this term. Byvelds recognized the hard work of both his council colleagues and township staff.
“I need to thank others. First, all the councillors I worked with, especially the ones I am currently working with either here in South Dundas or SDG,” he said. “They have been a pleasure to work with and get to know. I would like to thank all the staff I worked with, and I want to thank Debbie for allowing me to give time to South Dundas-SDG along with my son, Andrew. It’s been a great ride.”
Byvelds began his political career in 2006 and, following the end of this term of council, that career will end just as 2022 comes to an end. In addition to thanking his wife, Debbie, his family, his council colleagues, and staff, Byvelds also expressed his gratitude for the many years of support he’s received from the residents of South Dundas.
“I have decided that my political career is over and it’s time to devote more time to family and other things. I would like to thank the residents of South Dundas for their support, starting in 2006 when I ran for council, to today as I finish this term as mayor,” he said. “It was certainly an interesting time of my life and through it I met many more people than I would have in any other way. I know more about how a municipality operates and all the politics that come with being on council. I will cherish being the mayor of South Dundas for eight years, along with being warden of SDG in 2011. It was a privilege having done so and I would like to thank the residents who supported me in all that time.”