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Friday, September 30, 2022
Retired businessman Vaughn Goettler jumps into mayoral race
Vaughn Goettler signs mayoral candidacy papers at the Office of the Municipal Clerk.
Vaughn Goettler signs mayoral candidacy papers at the Office of the Municipal Clerk. Supplied

A third candidate has joined the race for lord mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Retired businessman Vaughn Goettler signed his nomination papers Wednesday afternoon at town hall, accompanied by his wife Lauren.

Goettler said it was a last-minute decision to run, but in 24 hours garnered more than 60 signatures supporting his cause. Candidates need 25 signatures to qualify for the nomination.

Incumbent Lord Mayor Betty Disero is also facing a challenge from regional Coun. Gary Zalepa.

Goettler was all smiles as he signed his forms — it was also the couple’s anniversary.

An entrepeneur, he has decades of business experience and from 1997 to 2003 was president and CEO of Union Energy (today called Reliance Home Comfort).

In 2003, he acquired four of Union Energy’s HVAC residential contractors in a buyout and sold them in 2007.

He reacquired those same businesses in 2014 and grew the company into the largest privately held HVAC residential contractor in Canada, with over 1,000 employees in five provinces.

Goettler said one issue close to him is how much NOTL contributes to the region’s budget, particularly for policing.

He said he’s happy with police enforcement in NOTL and feels it’s a safe town, but isn’t happy with how much the municipality pays in comparison to others.

Goettler now lives in a home on the Niagara River and together with his wife started the Goettler Family Foundation a year ago. 

The foundation has made donations to several NOTL organizations including the NOTL Museum, Music Niagara, Niagara College, Niagara Symphony Orchestra, Shaw Festival and Yellow Door Theatre Project.

Their philanthropy also includes several donations to global organizations to support conservation of the planet and Ukraine relief efforts.