There are 14 Pictou County residents running for mayor in the 2016 municipal election: three new faces each in Pictou and Trenton, four new people are offering in New Glasgow, Stellarton’s incumbent mayor is facing off against one newcomer and in Westville, the incumbent mayor has two challengers.
In the lead up to the election, The Advocate has reached out to the mayoral candidates in each town asking several questions that have been on the minds of voters.
Here are their responses…
FRANCIS MACMILLAN, Trenton
What compelled you to run as mayor of your community?
First I will say compelled is much too strong a word to describe my decision to run for mayor. With a number of inquires such as: are you, why are you not, you should think about it, it was then that I decided to give it some serious consideration.
Of the confirmed and rumoured candidates at that time I did not see that there was a front runner, so I just decided to go for it.
What do you feel are the three main priorities your town is facing?
As I see it the main priorities/issues facing Trenton at this time are to stay on track and complete the remaining phases of the storm sewer separation project as well as replace the large culvert which carries Smelt Brook under our main street. Replacing and repairing of streets and sidewalks is much needed as many are in bad shape. Based on what I have been told while campaigning door to door, I would have to say that having the park open for camping would need to be on the list.
What are the future prospects of your town?
If the town had control over the former DSTN/Trenton Works plant I would have listed it as our number one priority, but as it is in the hands of a receiver, so therefore we can only wait and see where it goes. But based on what we hear I would rate the opening of a new business at that location as the top prospect for our town. If that happens, it may spur other businesses to set up shop here.
What do you feel the future of “amalgamation/shared services” is for the community?
I believe amalgamation will not happen for quite a number of years after the recently failed attempt. However, I see no reason why the municipalities of Pictou County cannot get together and gradually combine or share more services. Maybe some things will work for all six municipalities and some may work for a lesser number such as the four towns that are connected to each other. By doing this, it may make amalgamation easier in the future.
How do you think you can better/improve the town?
By working together with the other members elected to council, hopefully we, as a group, can better/improve the town. It’s not about what I or any other individual member of council can do. It will be the consensus of the five-member council that will decide what we do or don’t do hopefully acting in the best interest of the town. This was clearly evident during the MOU process when Stellarton mayor felt it was not in their best interest and wanted no part of joining that process but their three councillors decided otherwise and put them in that failed process.
What would you do differently?
To begin with, there is very little I will do differently. As stated in answer five above, it’s not about me doing things differently but the council as a whole making decisions and changes on behalf of the citizens of Trenton.