Hopes for the future


County leaders work toward good things to come in new decade

The dawn of a new decade has local political leaders looking forward to a bright future.

The past year was filled with opportunities all across Pictou County, according to the area’s municipal leaders. It was highlighted by the development of the Pictou County Regional Enterprise Network and infrastructure upgrades in some areas. Improvements to health care have been on the minds of Pictou County residents and the agendas of those we elected to serve our interests.

There are plenty of positives looking ahead: a fixed loop transit system is being tested in a couple of communities, there will be an increased focus on the climate and a renewed desire to continue to work together.

As has been the tradition over the last few years, Advocate staff invited our municipal leaders to share their highlights of the last year and outline their goals for the coming year. Here are their responses

Town of Stellarton

Mayor Danny MacGillivray

The Town of Stellarton closes out 2019 with a sense of accomplishment, as well as a large dose of optimism, for what 2020 holds in store.

A major new employer is in Stellarton, with operations underway. Zenabis, the cannabis facility located at 114 Acadia Avenue, is in full growth mode. They have been a part of numerous job fairs in 2019. If you or a loved one is seeking employment, Zenabis is an option, especially if staying in Pictou County is a priority.

The Albion Business Park, located directly off the TransCanada Highway, is poised for expansion in 2020. Council’s decision to drop the price of the land, and offer tax incentives, has resulted in significant interest from developers. There are building plans in the pipeline. We expect to see construction of new buildings, and thus new business in the park, in 2020.

Stellarton has a new chief of police, Mark Hobeck. He comes with over 30 years of experience in the policing world. He started on the front lines with Halifax Regional Police, advanced through the ranks to staff sergeant, and for the past few years has been with the Department of Justice performing audits on Police Services across Nova Scotia.

The current council has recruited new individuals for the top three senior management positions within the Town’s staff team: Susan Higdon, town clerk, hired in February 2018, Blaine Murray, town engineer, hired July 2017, and now, Mark Hobeck, as chief of police. The Town of Stellarton will see the positive impact of these leaders for many years to come.

There is a sense in the wider community that Stellarton is a happening place. Happening in terms of economic development, happening with a strong staff team, and just plain happening overall. The perception is correct. A strong Stellarton is critical to a strong region. We look forward to doing our part in 2020 to ensure the growth and sustainability of Pictou County.

I encourage you to check out our council meetings, live streamed on YouTube, the second and fourth Monday of each month with a 5:30 p.m. start time. They are catalogued on YouTube as well, so you can watch them at a time more convenient to you.

Town of Westville

Mayor Lennie White

2019 has been a big year for the Town of Westville.

After much discussion and public input, council made some difficult decisions and have laid to rest issues that have been a cause for concern for the public, held a bi-election to elect a new councillor and hired some new staff members, including a new CAO and police chief and a new recreation and culture position. All the position’s goals involve creating a positive, engaging environment for the public and staff.

We as council are proud of the work of our staff and want to thank and recognize them for their dedication and countless hours of hard work. We also thank our volunteer groups, fire department, social committee, garden club and Heritage Group, to name a few, without them, we wouldn’t be a growing community.

The larger projects this year that deserve acknowledgement would be the paving and replacement of sidewalks on Main Street, the beautiful upgrading work at Victoria Park, Canada Day, Music Night’s in Acadia Park, several community concerts and continued growth in the chair fitness classes and creation of the Recreation, Culture and Leisure Services position, which will support council’s goal of keeping people healthy and engaged in the community.

As we look forward to 2020, the town is launching a series of community engagement sessions. Starting in January, these sessions will be covering many topics, all with the goal of positive movement forward and setting attainable goals for the town.

It is also my intention to hold regular open door sessions at town hall.

On behalf of my colleagues on town council I wish our citizens all the best in the new year.

Please join us in 2020 in moving Westville forward!

Town of Trenton

Mayor Shannon MacInnis

There were several positive initiatives that were highlights of 2019 for the Town of Trenton. These included:

— Hemlock Project funding announcement of $ 3.8 million

— Unveiling of new plaque commemorating the first pouring of steel

— An exciting Chase the Ace fundraiser for the Legion and Fire Department

— Successful Funfest and fireworks show

— Largest Christmas tree lighting ceremony with the largest attendance in the town’s recent history

The town is looking forward with optimism to a new decade and chief on the list of positive beginnings is the work to be undertaken by the Hemlock revitalization project including a new splash pad, playground equipment, dog park, trails upgrade, etc. for Trenton Park.

We will also continue to work with all levels of government to help revitalize the former Trenton Works site.

As always, we strive to provide outstanding service to the citizens of Trenton.