COMBERMERE – As part of our commitment to providing the region’s best coverage of local politics, The Valley Gazette is launching a series of articles about local elected officials. The series will help citizens get to know mayors and council members from the various townships whose council meetings are covered regularly in this paper. To kick off the series, The Valley Gazette spoke to Madawaska Valley Township councillor Ernie Peplinski.
When asked what inspired him to go into politics, Peplinski explained that he had multiple family members who had served in municipal politics. His own father was Reeve of Radcliffe and his example was one of the leading forces that inspired Ernie initially to throw his hat in the ring back in the mid-1970s.
At that time, he served two terms in office for the township of Radcliffe. He then took several years off from politics, as he successfully battled cancer. In the lead up to the election before last, Peplinski was convinced by supporters to run again, this time for Madawaska Valley Township council. Peplinski won a seat in that election and was re-elected for a four-year term in 2018.
His re-entry into politics was motivated by a desire to help bring greater financial accountability to the township. Before entering into politics Peplinski studied social sciences at Seneca College and had years of experience in business and law enforcement. He and his supporters felt that the combination of skills he had acquired from this background would make him well-suited to address the challenges facing the township at the time of his re-election.
During a phone interview with The Valley Gazette, Peplinski joked about his willingness to ask tough questions. While sometimes these questions can make certain people uncomfortable, Peplinski is adamant that asking a lot of questions is an important part of his job and why people have put their trust in him as an elected official.
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