News

No intention to seek wardenship if re-elected as SWOX mayor, says Mayberry

By Chris Funston, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

David Mayberry is looking for a third term as South-West Oxford mayor but doesn’t want another four years as warden.

But he is keeping that door open, if needed.

“Who knows what life will bring. If the opportunity came along and I was asked, I would probably do it, but it wouldn't be my intention right now. There are other people perfectly capable of doing it,” said Mayberry.

Mayberry said addressing road infrastructure remains a priority, as nearly all of the township’s roads are restricted during the winter because they aren’t heavy enough for the spring breakup. Another ongoing problem he wants to solve is the scarcity of high-speed internet in South-West Oxford.

As more people work from home, Mayberry said the township needs excellent internet service – something many people in the area do not have. Mayberry currently sits on the South Western Integrated Fibre Technology board, which is working to bring ultra-high speed broadband to everyone in the region.

A large part of the discussion there is whether or not internet service should be treated as a utility that will be privately owned, such as a phone service, and be highly regulated, or be a public service provided to residents, similar to road maintenance or fire and police services.

“It's a difficult discussion,” said Mayberry. “The private sector wants to put in a system and potentially profit from it. On the other hand we have it as a basic need for people. No one would argue that a phone or cell phone is essential for communicating today and I think the same is true about high-speed Internet.”

From a county perspective, and with the recent change in provincial government, Mayberry said the issues the county wants to tackle will stay the same.

“It doesn't matter to me which party is in power. Our job as a county is to work with them and to advance the causes we think need to be advanced in a way we think is most appropriate for Oxford County,” he said. “I appreciate their overarching vision that they see. Whether I agree with it or not is doesn't really matter. It's how do we get to where we need to be at the end of the day.”

Mayor of South-West Oxford since 2010, Mayberry previously served the township as a councillor from 1994 to 1997, and again from 2000 to 2010. In addition to mayor, he was also elected as Oxford County warden in 2014, besting former warden Don McKay five votes to four.

Mayberry said there is still unfinished business on the table, including several projects he would like to see completed. While Mayberry said he very much enjoyed his experience as warden, he wants to finish what has been started in South-West Oxford.