Council is elected for a four-year term. The current term of Council began on November 14, 2022 and will end on November 14, 2026. All eligible voters in the Township elect the Mayor and Council at large.
Mayor Norm Hofstetter
Mayor Norm Hofstetter was elected as Mayor in 2014, and has been on Council since 2010. Norm has been a resident of the Township of Perry for over 18 years. Norm is very active in the community and wants to see improvements to the Township’s parks, municipal facilities and to the environment. As Mayor, Norm wants to move the Township forward with a strong community involvement.
Councillor Jim Cushman
Councillor Jim Cushman has lived in the Township of Perry for almost 50 years. Born and raised in the Niagara area, Jim was attracted to the area for its natural beauty, clear waters and fresh air. Jim and his wife Jennifer, have four children, two daughters and two sons. Jim relocated to Novar and carried on with the family business of Cushman Stone & Gravel. Jim’s sons will be taking over the business becoming the 5th generation in the gravel pit and quarry industry. This is Jim’s 4th consecutive term on council and he became involved in municipal government so that he can speak for the people. Councillor Cushman likes to keep costs under control while still maintaining infrastructure.
Councillor Joe Lumley
Councillor Joe Lumley was born and raised in Novar, Ontario. He feels deeply connected to the community and has a strong pride in Perry Township. He is a second-generation councilman, following in his father’s footsteps. After graduating from Almaguin Highlands Secondary School, Joe earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Nipissing University in North Bay. Joe is a first-time Councillor and his community interests include parks and recreation, economic development and social welfare. Joe is grateful to the people of Perry for entrusting him with the responsibility of Councillor and is looking forward to serving them over the next four years.
Councillor Margaret Ann MacPhail
Councillor Margaret Ann MacPhail was elected to Council in 2014. She has lived in the Township of Perry for ten years and ran for Council to get more involved and help further the interests of the Township for the ratepayers. Margaret Ann likes to be seen as a fair minded person with the best interests of the Township and ratepayers at heart. She has always had a big interest in volunteering her services. Margaret Ann is a health conscious person who loves to swim, especially in Clear Lake, as well as bike and run all over the Township. She loves to be around people and believes that she has much to learn from others and she would like to impart some of her knowledge where appropriate.
Councillor Paul Sowrey
Councillor Paul Sowrey was born in St. Catharines and moved to Perry Township in 1966, when his parents bought a camp on Deer Lake. Penbrook Resort was his home until he married his wife Elizabeth in 1977. Paul has 2 adult sons, a daughter-in-law and one adorable granddaughter. Paul feels blessed that they all reside in the Township of Perry. Paul has owned and operated a plumbing business in the area for over 30 years and is planning on turning it over to one of their sons in the near future.
Paul has been involved in a variety of activities within the Township over the years, but this is his first time on council. He is looking forward to being a part of the team and learning all the duties and responsibilities associated with being a Councillor in Perry Township.
Council of the Township of Perry for the 2022-2026 Term
Back Row: Councillor Paul Sowrey, Councillor Margaret Ann MacPhail
Front Row: Councillor Joe Lumley, Mayor Norm Hofstetter, Councillor Jim Cushman
Role of the Mayor
- To act as Chief Executive Officer of the Township and:
- Support the purposes of the Township
- Encourage public involvement in the Township’s activities
- Act as the representative of the Township both inside and outside the Township and promote the Township in this area, the country and the world
- Participate in and foster activities that enhance the well-being of the Township and its residents.
- To chair Council meetings so that business can be carried out efficiently and effectively
- To provide leadership to Council
- To represent the Township at official functions
- To carry out the duties of the Head of Council under the Municipal Act or any other Act
- To act as Council’s representative when working with other levels of government and business
- To serve as an ex officio member of all committees or other body established or appointed by Council (the Mayor may vote and otherwise participate, unless prohibited by law, in the business of the committee of other body on the same basis as any other Committee member)
Role of Council
- To take care of the interests of residents of the Township
- To create and assess policies and programs of the Township
- To decide which services the Township provides
- To make sure that policies and procedures are in place to follow Council’s instruction
- To make sure that all business done by senior staff is done fairly and responsibly
- To protect the finances of the Township
- To carry out the duties of Council under the Municipal Act or any other Act
Role of Council
Code of Conduct
Bill 68 introduced a number of amendments to the Municipal Act, Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, Municipal Elections Act and Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
The amendments to the Municipal Act, included changes to Codes of Conduct and the role of the Integrity Commissioner which came into effect on March 1, 2019.
Municipalities are now required to establish:
- Code of Conduct for Council and Local Boards and Committees
- Council / Staff Relation Policy
- Integrity Commissioner Protocol
The Code of Conduct for Members of Council and Committee outlines the principles and rules of good conduct and ethics that Council or Committee are expected to demonstrate in the performance of their duties.
Responsibilities of the Integrity Commissioner
In accordance with Section 223 of the Municipal Act, 2001, the Township of Perry has the authority to appoint an Integrity Commissioner. The Integrity Commissioner has the power to assess and investigate complaints respecting alleged contraventions of the Code of Conduct or any policy, procedure or by-law adopted by Council.
The Integrity Commissioner reports to Council and is responsible for performing in an independent manner, the following three duties:
- Complaint Investigation;
- Complaint Adjudication; and
- Preparing and Presenting Reports to Council.
Individuals who have identified or witnessed behaviour or an action by a member of Council or Committee, in their capacity as members of Council or Committee for the Township of Perry, that they believe is in contravention of the Code of Conduct, may address the matter through a complaint process outlined in the Code of Conduct.
Contact Information for the Integrity Commissioner: John Mascarin, Aird & Berlis LLP, Telephone: 416-863-1500, 181 Bay Street, Suite 1800, Brookfield Place, Toronto, ON M5J 2T9
Request for Inquiry– Fillable Form (to be used for Code of Conduct inquiry)
Application for Inquiry – Fillable Form (to be used for Municipal Conflict of Interest Act inquiry)
It is the responsibility of each Member of Council to identify and disclose any pecuniary interests as defined by the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, R.S.O. C.M 50 on any item or matter in question and to file a written statement of the interest and its general nature with the Clerk.
Below is the Registry of statements and declarations of interests of Members for the Township of Perry for 2023. Contact the Clerk-Administrator for the Registry of statements and declarations for 2019-2022.
Council Meeting Date/Council Member/Agenda Item/Declaration
September 6, 2023/Paul Sowrey/Item 7.5./Personal Connection to Applicant
May 3, 2023/Jim Cushman/Item 7.8./Business
March 1, 2023/Jim Cushman/Item 7.3./Business & Personal Connection
February 15, 2023/Jim Cushman/Item7.6./Business & Personal Connection
Regular meetings of the Township of Perry Council are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month, at 7 p.m., unless otherwise specified by resolution of Council.
Municipal Council is the level of government closet to the citizens and provides the most accessible forum for citizens to communicate with their elected officials. Council welcomes and encourages members of the public to comment on matters of interest to them.
Council Meetings are open to the public unless authorized to be closed under legislation and take place in the Council Chambers at the Township of Perry Municipal Office at 1695 Emsdale Road, Emsdale, ON.
As a result of the pandemic, Council Meetings are currently held electronically.
When can a meeting be closed to the public?
A meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to the public is the subject matter is:
- the security of the property of the municipality or local board;
- personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees;
- a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board;
- labour relations or employee negotiation;
- litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board;
- advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communication necessary for that purpose;
- a matter authorized by another provincial statute;
- information explicitly supplied in confidence to the municipality or local board by Canada, a province or territory or a Crown agency or any of them;
- a trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial, or labour relations information, supplied in confidence to the municipality or local board, which if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to prejudice significantly the competitive position or interfere significantly with the contractual or other negotiations of a person, group of persons, or organization;
- a trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, or financial information that belongs to the municipality or local board and has monetary value or potential for monetary value;
- a position, plan, procedure, criteria or instruction to be applied to any negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the municipality or local board;
- if the subject matter relates to a request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
- the meeting is held for educating and training and no member discusses or deals with a matter in a way that materially advances the businesses or decision making of the Council, local board or committee.
Steps to take if you have a concern related to a closed meeting
1. Contact the Clerk-Administrator to answer your question or concern.
2. The Ontario Ombudsman is the closed meeting investigator for the Township of Perry. Thier duties include:
- conducting an investigation when they receive a complaint about a meeting or part of a meeting that is closed to the public;
- determining whether the meeting complied with the Municipal Act/Municipal Procedure By-law;
- reporting the results of the investigation.
How to submit a complaint
Any corporation or member of the public can submit a complaint to the investigator about a meeting or part of a meeting that is closed to the public. Complaints are always confidential. Please visit the website of the Ontario Ombudsman for more information about how to submit a compliant.