Former sports and recreation director throws hat into Kirkland contest

Newly retired Neil Semenchuk seeks Timberlea council seat

By Kevin Woodhouse

Neil Semenchuk has lived in Timberlea in Kirkland for the last 29 years and last July, retired as director of sports and recreation—a post that he held for the last 25 years of his 37-year career with the city . Now that he is retired, Semenchuk wants to give back some of his team as he seeks the position of councillor for District 1, his home base.

“I think the city is very well run and I feel that I have a contribution I can make to the town which I love, worked and still live,” Semenchuk told The Suburban.

“I would like to give back to the town in another capacity and having had a chance to work for the city, I know how council operates and how the town is run,” the former sports and recreation director said.

One of Semenchuk’s goals as a councilor is to improve Kirkland’s bike path with an eventual connection between the northern and southern portion of the city. Another initiative Semenchuk would like to implement would be to get a grant from the province or the city of Montreal in order to “plant more trees to make a tree canopy for our industrial and commercial sectors.”

Semenchuk also knows the value of volunteers and hopes to attract more to get involved as “associations and volunteers are the backbone of our city as they can contribute to things that the city cannot due to manpower issues.”

After retiring last July, Semenchuk would see neighbours and friends who suggested he run for public office, something he could never do as an employee. “Serving on council has always been in the back of my mind and people would let me know at the rinks and ballparks that I should run,” Semenchuk said.

As of Sept. 20 when candidates must officially declare their intentions to run, Semenchuk plans to start his campaign in earnest and hopes to visit all 859 doors in his district.

“I am well known to certain people but not to everyone and I look forward to doing door to door visits as I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life,” said Semenchuk.

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