SHARON AIKEN - Director
How 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
How 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 Present of my own Aviation Company.
How 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 currently operate my own real estate consulting company, active in a variety of opportunities in land development, Assisted Housing and Church renovation.
How 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 just this last July 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.
How long have you been a Muskokan - I have been a Muskokan all my life. Born in July 1957, my parents brought me to the cottage on Acton Island, built by my grandfather in the early 1930’s. I spent every summer at the cottage and held various summer jobs in Bala, mostly teaching swimming at Jaspen Park.
When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers - In July 2011 I was invited to join the Board of the Muskoka Ratepayers Association. I like to stay informed about issues and the business of running our Township and felt that this would be a great way for me to continue to stay current in this regard. While I was on Council, I was impressed with how the MRA monitored all Council and committee meetings, so given the opportunity to be part of this organization appealed to me.
What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers Board - During the past 30+ years as a permanent resident of Bala I have belonged to many different organizations throughout the community, serving on the Board of Directors of most of them. I’ve always had a keen interest in the political scene in our Township and had the opportunity to represent Ward A on Council from 2006 – 2010.
What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - Today, there are many important issues facing our Township and I look forward to staying closely informed and also being part of an organization that communicates progress, or not, to other members of our Association and Township.
What is your background - I met Steve, a Bala native, in 1974. He and his brother bought Don’s Bakery in 1979. Steve and I were married the following spring and moved to Bala permanently at that time. Together we operated the Bakery until 2001. To date, I work part time for the new owners of the Bakery.
How 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.
How 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 chair 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.
How long have you been a Muskokan - I have been coming to Muskoka since 1982 when I met my wife-to-be Marlene who has been an avid Muskoka cottager all of her life. We now spend about 50% of our time at our cottage on the Moon River.
When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers - I agreed to join the Board at the beginning of the summer of 2016. I have always been impressed with the work being done by the Ratepayers, particularly with regard to the government of the Township of Muskoka Lakes.
What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers Board - I hope that my past experience and interest in being active locally will help the Board meet its objectives.
What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - First, we need to be sure that we have a council that can work together to create an attractive community in which to live. I think that the need to concentrate on economic development is very important. We all seem to agree that the Township of Muskoka Lakes is a beautiful place to live or to cottage but we need to work to be sure that there is affordable housing and good paying jobs if we are to sustain and enhance what we like so much here.
What is your background - My wife and I owned and operated a medical device manufacturing business for 20 years. I am a past president of the Moon River Property Owners Association and I chaired the Stewardship plan committee. I have also served on Boards for the CNIB, the Medical Device Manufacturer’s Association and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer’s Association. I currently serve on the Grant’s Committee for the Township of Muskoka Lakes and sit on the Mayor's economic round table.
How long have you been a Muskokan - I have been coming to Muskoka since 1944. My grandmother, Grace Knott, had a guesthouse/lodge on the Moon River at Bala where I summered. In 1978, my wife and I bought our own cottage, also on the Moon, which become our year round home in 1999.
When did you join the Board of the Ratepayers - I joined the Muskoka Ratepayers Association and its board in the summer of 2011.
What interested you in serving on the Ratepayers Board - I joined the Ratepayers as a result of attending the “All Candidates Meetings” hosted in 2010 and in two previous municipal elections. I appreciated their unbiased approach to providing a venue to candidates to express their platforms. Further to this, I discovered the quiet ongoing representation and observations the MRA provides by attending and reporting on proceedings at both levels of our local government.
What do you believe is the most important issue we face here in Muskoka - Preserving features of Muskoka that brought us here in the first place yet providing opportunities for a growing economy I feel is very important. Just because we have the ability to blow apart a landscape to fit in a commercial business does not mean that we should.
What is your background - My background was in the manufacturing and sales of electrical equipment, specifically transformers.
DEE DENYAR - Executive Assistant
How 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.