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CANDIDATE FORUM: Sarnia city council candidates make their pitch (part 2)

The Journal asked the 28 men and women running for Sarnia council to tell us why they should be elected. Eight are to be elected: four in the city only and four to also serve on Lambton County council.
Sarnia Vote

The Journal asked the 28 men and women running for Sarnia council to tell us why they should be elected. Eight are to be elected: four in the city only and four to also serve on Lambton County council. This week, we present the (largely) unedited answers of the 11 remaining city-only candidates.

Bill Murphy

Murphy, BillVote for Bill Murphy for Sarnia City Council.

I will provide the leadership Sarnia needs to be prepared for the future. Growth in industry, commerce, transportation, and population is coming.

We have to be ready. We have to take advantage of all the opportunities that avail. We must ensure that we reap all the benefits change has to offer and minimize the costs.

Western oil will increase its flow through Sarnia.

Refining production will increase. Transportation will increase. Spin-off industry will increase. Sarnia will grow.

Are we ready? I am!

Thank you, Bill Murphy

Darren Nesbit

Darren Nesbit

I was born and raised in this great community; I obtained my college diploma for Lambton College in Business Administration: International Trade.

I intend on representing the people of Sarnia the way I did to secure funding for my Fabry`s Disease treatment. Relentlessly working for the people at City Hall; always keeping them in the back of my mind when making a decision.

This will be my third time trying for a council seat, I have spent the last 9 years in the council chamber learning the ins and outs of city politics; sat on many Boards/committees ( City planning, Transit, Hospital Quality)  and Non-Profit Organization (C.L.A.S Vice-president)  Be mindful of keeping taxes down and break the feeling of this stagnant city.

My demography isn`t represented at the Council table and I want to be their voices. We live in the best community in the Province; I plan on showing effective statesmanship to keep the ship on a new course.

Darren Nesbit

[email protected]

Denise Robertson

Denise Robertson

I feel that stimulating growth, in order to increase our tax base, rather than increasing taxes, is a main issue facing our city. Our population is declining, and job losses evident. We need to increase our visibility and image in order to attract new residents, international students, development, manufacturing and draw tourism.

Our corridor, from the bridge through downtown, is primarily indicative of "the prosperity that our city offers" to the outside world. This is an area we cannot afford to neglect in supporting rebranding to attract growth. Review our skyline limitations. Allow Sarnia to grow upwards. Encourage unique architecture. How we look to the world matters.

Assist our realtors in promoting Sarnia to retiring seniors, professionals and new families from larger cities, by not initiating new municipal land transfer taxes, which adds to their cost, thus becoming a detriment to relocating here.

Encouraging public/private partnerships for the delivery of services, providing clear cut information packages for developers, reducing costs in current services, then adjusting expenditures all aid in our debt reduction initiatives. It places our dollars where we need them on the growth and maintenance of our city. Help me help Sarnia grow.

Mark Russell

Mark Russell

Hello, I’m Mark Russell, and I am running for Sarnia City Council because I am passionate about the continued growth & success of this city. I have lived here for my entire life, and my wife Danielle, is also from Sarnia. Our families have given me motivation to improve our city, and make it a place for us all to be proud of.

As a council member, I will follow up and respond to all issues. I want to help improve Sarnia’s economic prosperity, property values and health. I want to bring a stronger identity and civic pride. Having spent a decade as a successful Business Analyst at a fortune 200 company, I know how to prevent inefficient spending, and keep people employed. I will be a true force in creating employment opportunities, and attracting business to the area. I believe every city can continue to improve. I want to show how this can be achieved in Sarnia.

I look forward to meeting hearing from you over the next few weeks to discuss how I can help support your voice and improve our city. Contact information can be found at

Cindy Scholten

Cindy Scholten

​As Councillor I would stand against the proposed land transfer tax. My goal is to maximise use of our existing infrastructure and help our local efforts, not hinder them. I support local businesses and residents. We cannot wait 2 years to pass zoning applications or building permits.

Having recruited the last 12 Family Physicians to Sarnia, I understand what it takes to attract newcomers and business. For Sarnia to grow in the next 5 to 10 years we need to take inventory of our assets and use them to our advantage. We must tear down Sarnia General Hospital, remediate and reopen Centennial Park, monitor Lake Chipican water levels and support projects like the upgrader refinery, all while staying within budget.

As councillors we need to evaluate potential flaws in the planning process and create strategies for growth and resident attraction. There is no ‘quick fix’ to economic development; it requires a range of community stakeholders. Successful communities consider everyone, including seniors, when building economic development plans.

Strengthening from within is key, I plan to utilize my skills to advance the public consultation process, cut the red tape and attract new business, youth and families to Sarnia.

Iqbal Siddiqui


Scott Spinks

Scott Spinks

Hi I'm Scott Spinks. I lived in sarnia for 42 years and went to St. Patrick's high school in sarnia and I'm married for 23 years with my wife Vicki. And I'm on odsp and I work at the composte site from 1999 till 2013 and I'm the man that start the joe the cat protest.

I'm running to fix sarnia. We all know sarnia need more for our kids youth and seniors like. A drop in center in our park. We need to get back our ice rink like we had back in the old day in our park.

And we need to take the dog and cat bylaws away for our pet's to be safe. A dog park in Avondale park on Davis st for our seniors.

For more info please call me at 519 402-9220 or email me at [email protected]

Marie Timperley

Marie Timperley

I expect to make Change! Out with the old and in with the New! I want to begin that change.

I am a I independent thinker who will not back down in the event of controversy, but at the same time will be fare and effective. I am not afraid to be vocal on issues in achieving a fare outcome.

In my years of experience of owning and operating my own restaurant and trailer park and small hair salon I know what it takes to work hard and achieve goals!

It's time for Sarnians to go forward with new ideas, new people and strong people who will work on your behalf.

We need Change at City Hall on city spending!

I feel this city needs a well thought out and researched plan before we revamp on our arenas and would like to see much more support given to businesses. Especially small businesses. I have experienced problems in this area and fought for my own interests so I am ready to stand up and fight for others who experience problems.

We need all businesses to survive and propose in this small city.

Bryan Trothen

Bryan Trothen

It is of the highest importance to me that the city should set budgets in such a way that basic services can be properly maintained, deficits avoided, and tax increases minimized. If we live within our means, we will be seen as a well-managed, solid, secure place to live and invest.

Beyond ensuring the efficient and economical provision of the city’s basic needs, council must encourage business investment as a means to grow the city. One of the best ways to do this is through the so-called soft services.

In recent years, businesses seeking places either for expansion or new growth have been increasingly interested in communities that show evidence of creative and cultural vibrancy. Such places have a rich quality of life – many recreational opportunities, athletic facilities, entertainment/performing arts venues, museums/galleries, special events/festivals, and so on.

This is an area where the city has taken little lead – relying on the county and on volunteer organizations to meet the cultural needs of the community. But the time has come for the city to develop its own unique policy.

The more attractive and the more dynamic the city becomes, the more it will grow and prosper.

John Vollmar

John Vollmar

A life-long Sarnia resident, I have been married to Susan for 33 years, having been blessed with three wonderful children. I have held several employment positions, including 25 years with a local branch of an International railroad.  My heart and soul are here in Sarnia.

Having sat on City Council for 9 years, I am well aware of the inner workings of our city.  I wish to introduce a new respect to our business partners in Sarnia, our employers who are the supporting network of Sarnia, sorely unrecognized, and couple this with a strong alliance with all of our city’s organizations to map out a new path to prosperity, so that our children and their children will stay here.

With the pending Sarnia General site sale, and the possible location of the Bitumen Upgrade facility, it is imperative that we work as a City to assist these and other economic drivers so that we can be a key destination for future ventures.

I know that I can bring a positive, experienced, realistic voice to the Council table.  Virtually retired, I can do the research and make the informed decisions necessary to benefit all of the people of Sarnia.

Brian White

Brian White 2014

I bring leadership experience; chairing boards, leading volunteer teams and running businesses. I'm a proven collaborator, such as when I was a member of the Save The Jail Committee. I bring experience and working relationships with those at Queen's Park and in Ottawa, which I will continue to use to advocate for our community.

I will bring ideas that reflect today's economic and social reality. Today's families often depend on the freelance and low-wage economy. This has to be a factor when making tough decisions. Bringing young people back with modern economic opportunities is a priority. We have to branch out to increase our tax base by seeking good paying jobs in new areas.

I will continue to advocate for mental health and addiction services. Following the traffic study, I will support ideas that ensure we have safe roads for our kids in school zones and neighbourhoods, as well as for cyclists.

My community is one that provides services for our seniors and ensures healthy activities are available for our young people.

In recent years, I've added to my education to include university courses in various modern economic, city design and social subject areas.

Visit for more.

NOTE: Next week The Journal will feature the City and County Councillors 

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