Todd McKenzie knew he had big shoes to fill in serving as the next Oyama ward representative on Lake Country council.
McKenzie joined Lake Country council replacing the late Owen Dickie as Oyama’s council rep in May.
“Owen obviously liked his community and was very available all the time for people to bend his ear, both good and bad. We were neighbours and lived on the same street so we used to walk our dogs together. He was always looking for ways to improve his community,” McKenzie said.
Dickie died in March after a battle with cancer, and the byelection nomination deadline to determine his replacement on council saw McKenzie as the lone nominee to step forward.
A similar byelection required for Carr’s Landing saw three people nominated to run for the ward seat vacated by Matt Vader, who stepped aside to take on an administrative position with the district.
McKenzie, 49, said he was prepared for an election campaign, “looking forward to the challenge,” only to have the elected post drop in his lap uncontested.
But he said his feelings about being handed the job have been placated by others on council and in the community reaching out to congratulate and welcome him to council.
One of those callers was Dickie’s wife, who offered her support to him, to do anything she could to help him with the transition into civic politics.
“I definitely feel welcomed by a lot of people that will help and support me and that’s been nice to hear,” McKenzie said.
Dickie was remembered as a tireless champion for Lake Country and the Oyama ward.
Jeannette Lambert won the other byelection in Lake Country and joined council, replacing Vader as the Carr’s Landing ward representative.
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