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…
JOE GENNOE, Stellarton
What compelled you to run as mayor of your community?
I stood up against amalgamation. On May 28 the results of the plebiscite were clear. The residents of Stellarton agreed that amalgamation was a bad deal. Since that time, I received overwhelming support and encouragement to reoffer. And, after careful consultation with my wife Phyllis and family, I decided to reoffer.
What do you feel are the three main priorities/issues your town is facing?
The town always has the mandate to provide the best municipal government possible. The mandate consists of providing protective services (police protection and fire protection); streets, sidewalks, sewer and water all while maintaining good financial status. Beyond that, I will work hard to maintain our quality of life in Stellarton by continuing to support our many assets such as the Stellarton Memorial Rink, the Allan Park, our multiple ball parks and our library to name a few.
What are the future prospects of your town?
Stellarton has a wonderful asset in our Albion Business Park. It is in an ideal location. There are multiple fully serviced lots for sale in addition to the ones that have already been sold and developed. Many acres of additional land will revert to the town for future development when the mine’s operation winds down.
What do you feel the future of “amalgamation/shared services” is for the community?
Amalgamation is dead. Currently the Town of Stellarton is in partnership with its neighbours in two very important shared services. They are the East River Sewage Abatement operation and Solid Waste Management. As well, we in Stellarton can be very proud of being part of the Mutual Aid agreement for policing and fire protection. I believe that shared services are the way to go but only when they make good economic sense.
How do you think you can better/improve the town?
We can continue to improve the town by continuing to have citizens serve on our various committees. Voluntary service is alive and well in Stellarton. As always, I encourage the residents to be involved in the town.
What would you do differently?
According to the Atlantic Institute, we were recently ranked highly as a desirable place to live in Nova Scotia. I am very proud of my record, the Town of Stellarton and its people.