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…
NANCY DICKS, New Glasgow
What compelled you to run as mayor of your community?
As a longtime resident of New Glasgow, mother of 3, retired educator, community volunteer and a municipal councillor for the past 4 years I believe I would bring a passion, strong set of skills and experiences to the office of Mayor. I love our town and will work to make New Glasgow stronger for all residents.
What do you feel are the three main priorities/issues your town is facing?
Over this campaign I have announced detailed policy proposals to ensure the residents of New Glasgow know exactly what I will do as mayor. Residents want assurances that their voices will be heard, their taxes will be stable and economic growth will be fostered and encouraged by town hall.
My three key priorities are:
►1. Stronger citizen engagement, an open and transparent town tall.
►2. Spending money wisely, finding efficiencies and ensuring a competitive and stable tax rate.
►3. Fostering positive economic growth, supporting our downtown.
To see specific solutions to my three key priorities please visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/votenancydicks.
What are the future prospects of your town?
New Glasgow has much to celebrate but the next council must be focused on keeping expenses in line, taxes stable and aggressively creating the economic environment where businesses will succeed and grow. This task will not be easy but New Glasgow is strong and I will work to make it even stronger.
What do you feel the future of “amalgamation/shared services” is for the community?
A vote on amalgamation was held, the public spoke and we must respect the will of the people. Saying that, it is important that as neighbours, the six municipal units work together for the betterment of all citizens. I believe by working together we can save taxpayer dollars, create a stronger economic corridor and ensure the region is strong. It is important to note a job created anywhere in Pictou County is good news for everyone.
How do you think you can better/improve the town?
To make New Glasgow Town Hall more efficient I will be proposing Mayor and Council take a 10 per cent cut in both salary and expenses. As elected officials I believe we should lead by example. In addition I will ask for a cost efficiency review in all town departments to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent responsibly.
As part of my commitment for stronger citizen engagement, I will host quarterly community meetings, giving residents the opportunity to provide feedback and ideas to make our town stronger.
What would you do differently?
If successful on October 15 I will look forward to hitting the ground running with the priorities I have set out. Residents can trust I will ensure we have stronger citizen engagement with an open and transparent town hall, tax dollars will be spent wisely and we will find efficiencies to ensure our tax rate is competitive and stable. I will ensure council will be focused squarely on ensuring we have positive economic growth with a strong and vibrant downtown.