Steve Medd announces candidacy for Greater Napanee Council

August 21 | Posted by Jeff | News, The Leaky Land Blog

Steve MeddJim Barber, Greater Napanee News

With a passion for his town, its culture and natural environment, Stephen Medd has decided his unique experiences and areas of expertise could be put to good around the council table. Which is why the long-time community organizer and activist has decided to put his name forward as a candidate for the Oct. 27 municipal election in Greater Napanee.

Medd filed his nomination papers last week for Ward 3 in downtown Napanee, a seat that is currently occupied by Marg Isbester who has thrown her hat into the ring for the position of Deputy Mayor in the upcoming vote.

His decision to file now came as much from his personal circumstances as much as a driving desire to make a demonstrable difference as an elected municipal official. He and his wife Kathy’s two daughters are now grown and have moved out of the house, allowing the devoted family man more time to focus on community causes – including running for council.

“Probably the biggest reason I am running is that I have been actively involved in the dump fight for a long time, 15 or 16 years now. And that is one of the motivating factors. It’s because in my mind there is very little discussion over what may be one of Napanee’s biggest environmental issues in its history. So I am hoping to bring a voice, if I am elected, to the new council that would actually discuss this issue,” Medd told the Greater Napanee News at his home late last week.

“When we won the battle [against the planned expansion of the Richmond Landfill] back in 2006, council at that time was quite vocal and motions were actually passed to be an unwilling host to any landfill expansion or any new landfill out at that site. This is an important issue and it needs to be discussed publically and I hope to bring it up and I hope to have the new council reaffirm the previous non-willing host motion that they had done before.”

Medd said he wants the new council to ensure that Waste Management and the provincial government knows that the proposed Beechwood Road Environmental Centre, which is still going through the approval process, is not wanted.

“Outside the fact that the current landfill site is leaking – we know that all landfills leak – with the BREC, even though it will have a modern liner, that liner has never been tested to be sure it will last for more than 25 years. It will only defer the problems for future generations. And basically if it goes ahead, it will be a ticking environmental time bomb.”

And Medd knows of what he speaks, earlier in his working life he was a geologist and then became an environmental researcher.

“I worked for many years as geologist both in mining exploration and environmental work for more than 18 years. And I have personally managed the drilling of tens of thousands of feet of fractured bedrock,” he said, noting that is the material on which much of the land around here is resting upon.

But he was quick to point out that he is not running as a one-issue candidate. He also wants to help Greater Napanee leverage its arts, culture and heritage assets for both community and economic development purposes.

He played a role in helping develop the Town’s new Cultural Plan and in the past was the co-founder of Music by the River, a music series that used to take place down along the shore of the Napanee River Sunday afternoons in Conservation Park. He was also the co-founder of the Quinte Spirit Festival, a music and arts series that promoted not only the local creative community, but also promoted awareness and appreciation for local heritage and environmental issues.

At the time, the group put out CDs featuring budding area musicians – one of whom was a very young Avril Lavigne. The recording she made at that time helped launch her career.

“I have been involved in the arts and heritage and culture, with an emphasis on the youth of this town, for quite a while. Opportunities for youth are important. It’s something I am passionate about. And I understand the significance of arts, culture and heritage to community development. One of the other reasons I am running is the cultural plan that came out recently. I was ecstatic about that, and I really want to jump on board and be a part of that if I am elected.

“There are many good things the current council has done, but I believe they need my expertise on certain issues, perhaps to confidently speak against big, potentially polluting projects.”

One of those areas of expertise is Medd’s latest career endeavour – information technology. Since 2005 he has been a database administrator at Loyalist College in Belleville.

“I would like to try and leverage that in attracting people involved with IT or high-tech businesses like software development. Small operations look at beautiful areas like this which they see as playgrounds and great areas to locate because they have the best of both worlds. And with IT and all those sorts of things you can do it from any corner of the country. Napanee is really suited for that sort of thing,” he said.

“We already have a pretty vibrant small and medium-sized manufacturing centre here and I am aware of some of the great things they are doing. And in this day and age, high-tech goes hand in hand with manufacturing, so that is certainly one sector of our local economy that does have some vitality in this town and I would work to promote and bring in complimentary businesses.

“Also it’s important in the whole area of small business development to bring our youth back here. Attracting youth back town after they go away to get their education and training is really important. We need that energy and creativity here. Momentum and success has a way of creating more momentum and success. And there is momentum here now; I feel it, in all aspects.”

Medd said he would make a good town councillor because of his ability to listen, to be a conciliator and someone who like to work collectively to come up with solutions to problems. Besides the volunteer work already mentioned, he has also been a member of the Optimist Club and Kinsmen Club, a member of the Friends of the Salmon River, and had a position on the Greater Napanee Solid Waste Advisory Committee. He has also volunteered with the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario helping find affordable housing for people living with mental illness. Currently, he is a member of the Concerned Citizens Committee of Tyendinaga and Environs and the Loyalist College Sustainability Initiative Steering Committee.

“I think I am a fair person. I believe in listening to people and brainstorming and trying to come up with solutions to problems. I want to seek out the concerns of the people of Ward 3 and Napanee at large. It’s important to understand the needs and concerns of local people and local businesses and I hope to work towards that over the next few months leading up to the election and better understand the issues,” he said.

“I have had three main careers, so I have had to learn and adapt fast to many different things. And I know council wrestles with a huge number of difficult topics. I respect the challenges they have and I also recognize that you can’t know everything. So it’s important that we seek out advice and consultation from people on council who have different areas of expertise.

“If an agricultural issue comes up, I would go to the person on council who is a farmer. If there is something specific to running a business, I am going to go to the councillor who has first-hand experience with that. I recognize the need for co-operation and tapping in to each other’s knowledge and experience is important.”

For more information, or to contact Medd, visit, email or call 613-354-6171.

- Jim Barber is the editor of the Greater Napanee News and a veteran community news journalist. Contact him at

Tags: , , , , , ,

Tell us what YOU think ...