MORRISBURG – “In the last four years, I have had tons of people ask me to run for the mayor position,” Municipality of South Dundas’ Deputy Mayor Kirsten Gardner said.

Gardner has submitted nomination papers for the upcoming Oct. 24 municipal election, where she’s hoping to become South Dundas’ next mayor. She is currently completing her first term on municipal council.

“The mayor position is vacant with the current mayor not running, and I felt that the progress I’ve made as deputy mayor, as well as my skill set from my career, lends that this would be the next step,” Gardner said. “And I still think there’s more work to do. I think this council has been successful in moving things forward, but I really want to continue to move South Dundas positively forward. I think it’s important around our discussions – whether it’s doctor recruitment, whether the schools will stay open, attracting employees for our businesses, attracting new residents – I want to lead in a positive proactive way and I think I have the skill set to do that.

“I jumped in as deputy mayor,” Gardner continued. “I believe that what I set out to do and how I said I was going to do it and represent the people of South Dundas is exactly what I did. Pandemic aside, we still had lots of successes. My goal was to bring the education conversation forward, which we did in a very big way. Whether we talked about doctor recruitment, whether we talked about refocusing on tourism, whether we talked about having more conversation around economic development, whether we talked about customer delivery, I took a role in a lot of those instances. I was very hands-on, and very receptive and quick to respond to residents.”

As deputy mayor, Gardner has also been a sitting member of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry (SDG) council. She has participated in several committees both within South Dundas and the upper-tier council.

“I did a lot. I made an impact, and I stood up for South Dundas, and I’d like to continue to do that,” Gardner said of her time on SDG council. “When I ran four years ago, I promised that I would work with people and I would work for the people of South Dundas, and I believe I did that. I gave it my all. What I said I was going to do and how I was going to do it, I did.”