MEET YOUR 2021-22 MUSKOKA RATEPAYERS DIRECTORS

 

SHARON AIKEN - Director

Sharon Aiken.jpgHow long have you been a Muskokan - I’ve been a full time resident in Muskoka for my entire life. 

When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers - I am the most recent director to join the board having done so this past spring 2015.

What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers Board - My motivation in serving on this board stems from my real estate background. I’ve seen so many changes in our landscape over the past three decades, changes that were sanctioned by council, brought about by the pressure of economics, changes that last, some good, some not so good. 

What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - I see a vital need for this “watch dog” board, with their careful reporting, Township of Muskoka Lakes property owners are being kept up to date with day to day issues that arise in our township. 

What is your background - My background is selling Muskoka Real Estate waterfront properties primarily on Lakes Muskoka, Rosseau, Joseph and smaller surrounding lakes since 1978.  I currently reside with my husband George Aiken in Beaumaris area of Lake Muskoka.

JIM BOYD - Director

Jim Boyd.jpgHow long have you been a Muskokan - I first came to Muskoka in 1955 to work as a young  pilot. My wife and I married  in Muskoka 1959 and  acquired her grandparents cottage property shortly after this as our summer residence which has been in the family since 1917 . We moved here as permanent residence   1987 .

What year did you join the Board of the Ratepayers – In 2012

What interested you in serving on the Board of the Ratepayers - Having spent the majority of my life in close touch with this massive and grand country of Canada  as an aviator , I am keenly  interested in seeing that the Forests  and Lakes of Muskoka are subject to proper and balanced  management .

What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - To educate Land and Cottage owners as to how very important it is for all of us to effectively interact with nature and pass on this responsibility for future generations.

What is your background - Extensive background in Helicopters and Fix wing Aircraft as a pilot , owner and President of my own Aviation Company.

 
DOUGLAS BRYDEN – Chair of Ethics Committee

Doug and Linda Bryden.jpgHow long have you been a Muskokan - The Bryden family started vacationing in Muskoka in 1949, renting the former staff quarters of the old Summit House at the very tip of Lake Joseph. In the early 50’s, we purchased a cottage immediately beside Aston Villa on Lake Muskoka. Eventually, I acquired the old Prowse family cottage on Tondern Island in 1996, now the cottage home for myself, my wife Lynda, our two daughters and our four grandchildren.

When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers - I joined the Board in 2000, as a Director, and became President for a two-year term three years later.

What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers Board - I have always felt a responsibility to become active in community affairs through the local ratepayer association. I became heavily involved in ensuring that the Touchstone redevelopment of Aston Villa would be a credit to Muskoka, sensitive to its environment, and provide new lifestyle accommodation for visitors and the traveling public.

What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - Muskoka faces many issues and challenges as more and more people enjoy our internationally acclaimed vacation benefits. Its popularity as a year round living destination is requiring access to new high-speed technologies and other urban necessities which often conflict with the remembrances of those who want to enjoy again family days past, less hurry, simple boating, and lazy, quiet family get-togethers. Finding the optimum balance between relaxed holiday pursuits and developing a sustainable economy is a constant challenge.

What is your background - Over the past 45 years, I have held a number of Executive positions in real estate development across Canada, the USA and the Caribbean, and am now retired from my own real estate consulting company, which was active in a variety of opportunities in land development, Assisted Housing and Church renovation.

 
LYNDA BRYDEN - Director

Doug and Linda Bryden.jpgHow long have you been a Muskokan - I have been an enthusiastic cottager in Muskoka for over 50 years! 

When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers - I joined the Muskoka Ratepayers Board in 2016, but have been to all of their annual meetings since my husband Douglas became active many years ago. 

What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers Board - I have always been interested in the Ratepayers and their endeavours, so I was delighted to join them to add my voice and my opinions! 

What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - Two big issues that Muskokans need to address , among many, are the environment and the economy.  Through our web pages and newsletters and at our annual meeting, we can keep our members informed about what is happening in Muskoka.

What is your background - I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Victoria College, and a Teaching Certificate from Toronto Teachers’ College.  I taught elementary school in Toronto, and was a Teaching Consultant for the Toronto Board of Education.  I am an artist and enjoy working in watercolours and acrylics and for over 25 years have taught hundreds of students , to enjoy this wonderful hobby.  I love to paint the beauty of Muskoka wildflowers , landscapes and waterscapes.  I am a Mother to two married daughters , and a Grandmother to their four children.

 
GORD CARLTON - Director

Gord Carlton.jpgHow long have you been a Muskokan - We bought our cottage on the Moon River in 1996 and have spent the best times of my family’s lives here. 

When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers -  I joined the Board of the Ratepayers in the summer of 2020 and look forward to continuing their good work. 

What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers Board - Government is by nature political and Ratepayers is an important element in holding council to account. A strong voice is also required to address many of the issues facing Muskoka. All residents of Muskoka (seasonal and full-time) must be aware of the issues we face so that they too can participate in Muskoka development.

What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - Maintaining, sustaining and enhancing our environment must be first and foremost. In conjunction, we need to make Muskoka viable on a year round basis with increased business and jobs, both seasonal and full time. We need to support this with more and better affordable housing in appropriate locations. 

What is your background - My career spanned more than 30 years as an Operations Consultant, working with clients, primarily in North America and Australia.  My client base was diverse, including large and medium sized businesses in Banking, Restaurants, Aerospace, Mining, Pulp and Paper, Manufacturing & Assembly and Healthcare.  As an Operations consultant, I optimized sections of clients  businesses in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.  I changed processes to improve the outcomes and optimize profitability. 

 
LIZ DENYAR - President

Liz Denyar-2.jpgHow long have you been a Muskokan - I am a fourth generation Muskokan who lives year round in Port Carling. My father was born in Bracebridge. Both my great-grandfather and my grandfather were Bracebridge politicians who also owned businesses there.

When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers - In 2011.

What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers Board - The Board is committed to monitoring and reporting important issues on behalf of all Muskoka property owners. Although I am just completing my first year, I am very proud to be a member of this board.

What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - Muskoka's greatest asset is its natural beauty. It is everyone's responsibility to preserve this for future generations. Commercial and residential development, including septic systems, tree removal and site alteration are some areas of concern.

What is your background - In another life I was a bilingual elementary teacher and also a pre-school teacher!!! Among my previous activities I served as a governor of the Oakville- Trafalgar Memorial Hospital for 10 years and as Muskoka Lakes Councillor for 4 years.

 
DON FURNISS - Director

Don Furniss.jpgHow long have you been a Muskokan - I first vacationed in Muskoka in the mid 50's, cottager since 1975 and permanent resident since 2004.

When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers - I joined the Board in 2020

What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers Board - I want to support the work the MRA does for all Muskoka Lakes Taxpayers, by ensuring the continuation of concise objective reporting on municipal activities in the township. I view this as especially  important with the decline in printed media coverage.

What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka -  Maintaining a sustainable and enjoyable sense of place for all residents and visitors

What is your background - A mechanical engineer by training, who worked over 30 years for a multi-national chemical company, including stints as CEO of Canadian and Korean business units. I also served on Township council for 8 years - 4 as mayor.

 
TOM GRAJNAR - Director

Tom Grajnar.jpgHow long have you been a Muskokan - to come

When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers - I started working for the MRA in June 2021

What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers board -

What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka -

 

What is your background -

 
 
PETER LONG – Past President

Peter Long.jpgHow long have you been a Muskokan - I have been vacationing in Muskoka since birth (over 60 years), and recently re-built our cottage on Bass Lake to accommodate a growing number of grandchildren, and to allow us to come year round. 

When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers  - I joined the board of the Ratepayers in 2006 at the urging of Doug Bryden,

What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers Board -  I felt it was important to work for good governance in the Township.

What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - The Township of Muskoka Lakes is a very unique place from many aspects. It is not Toronto, and we must always respect that difference. Environment is key, yet we must facilitate new development to increase our assessment base. It is too easy to forget about Muskoka when the majority of our ratepayers “go home” in the fall. Muskoka Lakes has real problems year round. Our township and district councils can make a difference, and blocking responsible development is not one of them.

What is your background - In my other life, I am a Professional Engineer, working most often with large-scale industrial automation. I chaired the board of Ewart Angus Homes Inc. – a non-profit organization that operates 2 homes for those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, and I am active in our local church.

 
JUDY O'MALLEY - Director

Judy O'Malley-2.jpgHow long have you been a Muskokan - As a child, my family would vacation on Skeleton Lake at my grandparent’s one room log cabin. They built it from the logs of an old barn. No running water or electricity. I can still taste the fresh blueberry pie my Mom would bake in the wood burning stove with the berries we picked that morning. “Magical”. My husband Kevin and I bought our cottage on the Joe River in the spring of 1988. For many years we were water access, which made for lots of fun with three small kids in tow. 

When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers  - I joined the board of the Ratepayers in 2020, and look forward to learning more about our beautiful Township. 

What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers Board - I’ve seen many changes since the late eighties. Some good, some not so good.  I feel the MRA is a very important “watchdog”, informing our members and protecting our precious Muskoka. Progress is inevitable, but good governance is essential. 

What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - Preserving the natural elements that are unique to Muskoka. 

What is your background - I grew up in Etobicoke in a family of five kids. I’m a part-time resident of Muskoka (summers).  The rest of my family have been permanent residents of Muskoka for many years. Out of school I worked in a law firm in Toronto until my first child was born. I made the decision to stay home with my kids, working part-time in my husbands dental office I was very involved with the PTA at my kids school.  Through my 40s and early 50s, I competed in 9 Ironman Triathlon races with my two best friends. I now have three beautiful grandchildren who keep me busy. Our cottage is a our family meeting place. 

 
DEE DENYAR - Executive Assistant

Dee Denyar.jpgHow long have you been a Muskokan - I am fifth generation Muskokan.  I was not one month old the first time I came to Muskoka as a seasonal resident and moved here full time in November 2011.

When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers - I started working for the MRA in June 2012

What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers board - I am the executive assistant.

What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - I feel that preserving our lakes, waters and the environment is paramount as it it what brings people to Muskoka.

What is your background - I have four year degree in sociology with a legal studies option from the University of Waterloo.  A diploma in Regulatory Law Administration from Seneca College.  Also, I own my own antique business, called Olde Stuff Antiques.

 

Upcoming Events - Monthly Calendar

TML - Committee of Adjustment
Oct 12, 2021 9:00am to 12:00pm
TML - General / Finance Committee
Oct 13, 2021 9:00am to 12:00pm
TML - Council
Oct 13, 2021 1:00pm to 5:00pm
TML - Planning Committee
Oct 14, 2021 9:00am to 12:00pm
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