It seems a long time ago that Coun. Cam Guthrie emerged with badly reddened ears from an outdoor news conference on a bitterly cold day, where he announced in his west end ward that he’s running for mayor.
And indeed it was a long time ago – his announcement came on Jan. 2, the first day for nominations for the Oct. 27 civic election.
It was followed a few days later by Mayor Karen Farbridge’s announcement that she’ll seek a fourth term.
But time marches on.
Now only 22 days remain until the nomination deadline, and things are starting to heat up in preparation for the main campaigning.
At this point, it still remains to be seen how many of the city’s 12 councillors will step aside, leaving seats wide open for challengers.
For sure there will be two new councillors in Ward 4, and there could also be openings in Wards 1 and 2.
And if any incumbents are knocked off on election day, as usually does happen, there will be even more turnover on council.
In 2010, there were four new councillors, which was seen as a healthy amount of fresh blood.
With 26 candidates going after the 12 council seats so far and seven seeking the mayor’s job, voters will have choices.
Wards 1, 2 and 5 each have only three candidates so far, though, so there’s lots of room in those wards for more candidates.
Ward 5 is an unusual case, too, in that only strong supporters of Mayor Karen Farbridge are battling it out for that ward’s two seats at this point.
A wild card in this election is what the effect might be of council’s decision to allow Internet voting on advance voting days for the first time in Guelph.
This could also be the last election where residents vote for two councillors in each of six wards.
City hall has been looking at potentially changing the system for the 2018 civic election, perhaps adding at-large councillors to ward councillors.
Full-time status for councillors has also been under study.
But after Oct. 27, there will still be 13 people around the council horseshoe, 12 of them part-time.
Who will they be?