The candidates tell us their plans and ambitions – well some of them anyway!


Why I want to be on Council 

My idea

Suzanne Seguin:
Deputy Mayor

I’ve always been committed to making a difference in my community. My municipal council experience of almost nine years has taught me to listen to ideas and concerns, to work towards meaningful and financially-sound solutions and most of all to do the hard work that needs to be done to deliver on the needs of Cobourg residents, business owners, seniors and youth.


Municipal government is extremely important for all of us. At this local level we can build a team of council members who can respectfully debate issues such as fiscally-responsible budgets, infrastructure, transportation, protection of our citizens, and arts and culture.


I love municipal government because each member of Council is there to represent the people of Cobourg. We each have a voice to bring issues to the table that residents and business owners care deeply about and we each have one vote to make a difference. That is why communication and public engagement is so very important in the democratic process. We need to do a much better job listening to what the people of Cobourg have to say, (the ‘status quo’ is not working) and then also do a better job conveying the information we have back to them. For example, if elected I will be putting forward a Notice of Motion early in the term to prevent any expansion of boat slips in the Western Harbour during our term of Council. We can’t speak for future Councils, but we can speak for this upcoming term of Council.


Working full time as your Deputy Mayor, I will lead a team on Council that will be trusted with the hard-earned resources of the rate payers of this community and make evidence-based decisions for the upcoming budgets during the next four years. We will go back to the basics of municipal budgets to keep taxes low.


Being a member of Cobourg Council is about making the right decisions about growth and sustainability. We need to keep all the positive things we have in Cobourg and work together to create a vision for the future of our beautiful town.

Cobourg needs to attract new families and businesses to sustain itself in the years to come. Many initiatives have been tried over the years, but we need a fresh start. This incoming Council will be a gender-balanced group that can work together to create a:




With the loss of manufacturing jobs over the years, it is vital that we re-think the purpose of the economic development department. We need to be smarter about how much we grow in Cobourg and attract people who create businesses with innovative ideas that use less resources and create a sustainable town.


By cultivating a competitive advantage for Cobourg and by using our unique assets, we can attract new investment and support existing businesses. Three core components of Cobourg’s Smart Growth Strategy are: Support our businesses, Support our workers and Support our quality of life.


Cobourg needs to focus on what it is already good at and build on what it already has, while making effective use of our investments of time, money and community resources.

Randy Curtis: Deputy Mayor




Adam Bureau: Councillor

I am running for council as I see this role as a natural progression to my past volunteer and professional work. Community involvement is something I value deeply, and it is important to me that I continue to play a positive role in strengthening our town and neighbourhoods.
As an active member in a variety of volunteer and professional advocacy positions, I would like to take the next step in community building by offering a new perspective to Council. I promote an open-door policy both in my home and in my business and would transfer this working style in my role as Councillor. I will offer the residents of the Town of Cobourg accessibility, transparency and accountability.  

We need to respond to homelessness in our town by creating affordable, sustainable and mixed housing. The vacancy rate in the Town of Cobourg is currently at 0.3 % creating a lack of affordable housing.
To address the lack of housing I suggest emulating the housing program that rewards residents interested in turning their homes into affordable housing. By enlisting homeowners to create more housing it allows the residents to be a part of the solution. This would benefit both those needing housing and the homeowner by providing more apartments and making their current living arrangements more affordable.
The program has proven successful in other municipalities and I believe could benefit all Cobourg residents. Housing is a necessity for everyone and those who would like to provide it should be rewarded. As a part of the program application, we would need a projected timeline and the ability to monitor the construction progress. The homeowners must of course have a property that is zoned to allow secondary suites in order to apply for the program.  

Aaron Burchat: Councillor

I am running for council because I take great pride in calling Cobourg my home. I want to continue to build upon the successes of the town and learn from the mistakes, and find ways to improve upon them. The town has a lot of assets that can help build the community for today and the future. My original aim when running for council last election was to give the younger generation of Cobourg, the ones who were raised here, a voice amid a council that was at the time, was typically retirees. I feel that I have represented that demographic very well with my time on council, and I plan to continue to vote in a way that will benefit the members of this community, long term.

I would say it is a little difficult to have a completely original idea that has never been done somewhere else or promised before. I don’t believe that it’s a negative thing to be able to take an idea that has been done successfully elsewhere in the world, and implement it here, in a way that can make it uniquely Cobourg. One such idea that I have personally experienced and would love to implement in Cobourg, to add to our already diverse arts and culture, would be doing a public art contest similar to the “ArtPrize” in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It would function in connection with the current Art Walk that has seen two years in Downtown Cobourg, but expand into the rest of town. People from all over can submit art pieces (not necessarily paintings, but structural art, or digital art as well), which will be featured in many locations all over town, such as hotel lobbies, the mall, town hall lobby etc. These art installations would remain up for one week, with people visiting all the locations and voting for their favourite, with a cash prize for the winner.

Nicole Beattie: Councillor



Emily Chorley: Councillor



Brian Darling: Councillor



Karl Vom Dorff: Councillor

With the recent retirement of Mr. Rowden & Mr. Brocanier (thank you for your service!), the collective municipal political knowledge that accumulated over several decades between the two has left a void. I believe that most individuals step into politics from all walks of life and must be flexible enough to apply themselves in several fields (for example, accounting, law, planning, development, etc.). They must be knowledgeable, patient, creative, and persistent. All of this takes time – thankfully I’m relatively “young”

Next to a traumatic brain injury, quadriplegia is classified as the most catastrophic injury a human can endure and live with. After living twenty plus years independently and confined to a wheelchair, one doesn’t have a choice to be anything other than patient, creative and persistent! You have to think outside the box; attributes councillors must surely possess. Throughout all of these struggles I was forced to learn valuable intellectual and practical life lessons from a young age. I’ve overcome these obstacles and flourished.

I believe I have a lot to offer Cobourg’s Council through my struggles, academic achievements, business occupation, and non-profit volunteering. My physical limitations have taught me creativity, patience and persistence. My undergraduate degree in science led me to be analytical and a critical thinker. My non-profit volunteering taught me corporate governance.

Immersing yourself in another country and culture opens your eyes and broadens experiences that are invaluable.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” -Agustine of Hippo

After living abroad in Europe for several years though, I grew very homesick, and realized how beautiful Cobourg really is and what I was missing. The place where I was born, grew up, own property, and went to school is picturesque, friendly, peaceful, accessible, and the envy to other towns the world over.

Personally, through the type of work I do, I am stuck at home a lot and miss the human interaction and engagement. Regrettably, I also find my work unsatisfying and perhaps selfish. I need a change, and believe representing Cobourg’s electorate as a councillor may be my calling.

I would be honoured to fight for Cobourg and be a steward for our great town; upholding and expanding on the legacy and visions previous councils had – that’s why Cobourg should vote Karl!

I have a lot of original ideas I’d be interested in suggesting to council. They can be found on my website at However, as an example, I would like to talk about funding and/or grants.

Cobourg has some very expensive projects on the horizon, including the $1 million/year (avg.) cost to implement the Waterfront District Plan over the next two decades, and the replacement of Monk’s Cove retaining wall to name a few.

To fund these projects, the easy route would be for Council to adopt them at the municipal tax payer’s expense. More difficult however, is going after Federal and Provincial tax dollars that are readily available; they “just” need to be applied for. Doing so could partially offset the burden on Cobourg’s Taxpayers.

According to my research, and in my humble opinion, the “Small Community Infrastructure Fund” (Cobourg received grants for 11 projects in the last 16 years), “Ontario Trillium Foundation” (Cobourg received grants for one project in the last 7 years) and “Farm Credit Canada Fund” (Cobourg received 0 grants in the last 3 years) are amongst several sources that could possibly be made better use of by the Town of Cobourg.

With these applications comes a lot of bureaucracy and paperwork. Councillors and staff shouldn’t be overburdened with their already extensive workload, and could perhaps use a dedicated ‘Grant Steering Committee’ for assistance. Its sole dedicated mandate would be to put all of Cobourg’s capital expenditure projects under the microscope, figure out which projects would potentially qualify for grants, and to assist in writing applications for the grants.

It would be my wish to present the idea of such a committee to council.

Travis Hoover: Councillor

I believe Cobourg to be a vibrant, growing community with opportunities for young people and families to grow and prosper, for retired folks to kick back and relax, for tourists to come and enjoy the regular events and attractions and the incredible beauty and historical charm of the area and for businesses and industry to set up and thrive.

I want to bring the skills I have learned in my professional life to the role of Cobourg Councillor. I think the Council needs some new voices and new perspectives to the issues we face as a community and I want to be a part of that critical process as we move forward.

Many people believe their vote and opinions are not important. I’s important to regularly engage and listen to the ideas and concerns of the people and what matters to them and bring them forward to ensure all points of view are represented. It is also important to be present in the community.
To increase openness and accountability, I would like to see public “town hall” style meet and greets being established throughout the community on a regular basis throughout the year to engage residents on issues important to them. (Northumberland mall, CCC, Library etc. )

Miriam Mutton: Councillor

I want to be on Cobourg Council because I care about our community and our quality of life. I believe that being a member of Cobourg Council in 2018 and beyond is much more than giving back. It is also about being a contributing member and working with integrity on behalf of all citizens in order to respond to issues, to find solutions to problems, to ensure policies are fair and to recognize the achievements and unique stories of our community.

In addition to my past experience as a member of Cobourg Town Council (2006-2014) I have been an active volunteer in my community since my youth. I have learned that local government in tune with the community it serves can have a significant and positive influence on matters important to citizens every day. For example, streets and other essential services in top condition; dependable access to important services like a public library; and, stewardship of Cobourg’s valuable assets including the waterfront and our cultural and built heritage. And, getting the basics right provides a solid foundation for addressing other matters unique to Cobourg.

As a systems thinker in my approach to problem solving and understanding issues, I welcome dialogue with different points of view. It is in dialogue where new ideas and better solutions can be born and can make a difference especially on issues important to the community or to a neighbourhood. I listen, ask questions and investigate important details. To find better solutions, I will challenge status quo.

As Councillor on Cobourg’s new Council I will work on behalf of the people of Cobourg to facilitate good governance, to foster open communication and to initiate action in support of a healthy and vibrant community. Together, we will build upon what we do well and we will work towards an even better quality of life in Cobourg.

Citizens of Cobourg have been asking for years for a public question and answer period at Council meetings. It is my original idea to find ways to engage this idea, which has been fenced in to date with nowhere to go, and open the gate for a way forward. Progress in Council & Citizen communication means Council must regularly assess its communication tool kit in response to public feedback. As a new Cobourg Councillor, and with the consideration and support of Council colleagues, I will offer to lead a pilot project for a Q&A at Council meetings (for example, using my coordinator portfolio of responsibility if this system still exists) as the test forum over a set period, likely several months, and report back to Council on successes and challenges. The goal would be to identify a ‘Made in Cobourg’ solution to address the needs of the people and their role in local government.

Johnny Percolides: Councillor