Aim­ing for the mayor’s seat

Two can­di­dates in Bishop’s Falls vy­ing for top po­si­tion

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - News -

BISHOP’S FALLS, NL – Mark

Brace, 24, is run­ning for mayor of Bishop’s Falls.

While that may seem young to many, Brace comes with an ex­ten­sive re­sume and work back­ground. He founded his own busi­ness at just 19, and now owns and op­er­ates four dif­fer­ent busi­nesses within the town.

When asked what in­ter­ested him in run­ning for mayor, Brace told the Ad­ver­tiser he be­lieves the town has been ne­glected in many ar­eas.

“It’s been ne­glected for years now and I’ve got a busi­ness mind – I’ve been into busi­ness now for five years and I know what the town needs to take it from where it is to­day and put it where it needs to be go­ing.”

In his opin­ion, one of the big­gest is­sues fac­ing the town of Bishop’s Falls to­day is the econ­omy.

“The econ­omy is on a down­ward spi­ral,” said Brace. “It re­ally needs to come back up. With­out the econ­omy com­ing back up the town can’t grow, which means it can’t re­ally do things like keep up with the roads or in­tro­duce a youth cen­ter for the young peo­ple.”

Brace said he wants to change that.

“With just one of my busi­nesses alone, we’re go­ing to be em­ploy­ing up to 50 peo­ple now in five years. That cre­ates an eco­nomic growth there with that one busi­ness.”

Brace also wants to cre­ate in­cen­tives for new busi­nesses.

“I’m go­ing to look at in­tro­duc­ing new busi­nesses be­ing able to come to town [and] get set up, get what kind of tax break they would need in their first few years, which would cre­ate more em­ploy­ment.

“Once we start cre­at­ing a new em­ploy­ment and bring­ing the econ­omy back up, then there’s go­ing to be new prop­er­ties be­ing de­vel­oped.”

Brace said this will cre­ate work for carpenters, elec­tri­cians, plumbers, and heavy equip­ment op­er­a­tors.

“At the end of the day it’s a new tax rev­enue for the town,” he said. “That means the town can grow their fi­nances a bit larger, be able to come in with new roads, come in with a youth cen­ter for the young peo­ple.”

An­other is­sue Brace plans to tackle if elected is help­ing the youth of the com­mu­nity deal with men­tal health is­sues.

“If we don’t in­vest in our young then we’re not re­ally in­vest­ing into our fu­ture ei­ther – they need a place where they can go and meet with a coun­sel­lor if they got to.

“What it re­ally comes down to, when a young per­son is hav­ing thoughts of sui­cide, they’re not go­ing to come all the way to Grand Falls to meet with some­body.”

The tourism industry and

in­fra­struc­ture are two other ar­eas of in­ter­est for Brace.

“We’ve got a huge amount of ac­cess to the Ex­ploits River,” he said. “Tourism is a big thing, I know that they’re work­ing on a few things … but I think more …could come out of it just from brin­ing in new busi­nesses. An­other area is our in­fra­struc­ture – it’s all ag­ing. It all needs to be brought up to date, and it needs some­body there that re­ally got the vi­sion to put in place.”

Bryan King is run­ning for mayor of Bishop’s Falls. King was born and raised in Bish­ops Falls and has served on coun­cil for the past eight years.

Now, he’s tak­ing a shot at the mayor’s seat.

“I’ve got an in­vested in­ter­est, es­pe­cially with two kids. I want to make sure that Bishop’s Falls con­tin­ues to be – and hope­fully I can make it a lit­tle bit bet­ter – a place to raise a fam­ily and for kids to grow up.”

King said he wants to see the Town of Bishop’s Falls move for­ward.

“It’s a place I’ve al­ways been proud to call home,” he told the Ad­ver­tiser. “It’s a place I want to con­tinue to be proud to call home.”

King doesn’t be­lieve one par­tic­u­lar is­sue is plagu­ing Bishop’s Falls; rather, like most com­mu­ni­ties, many small is­sues need to be ad­dressed.

“I think over­all Bishop’s is in a re­ally good sit­u­a­tion. Fi­nan­cially, we’re stronger than we’ve ever been in our towns his­tory, so we are do­ing re­ally good fi­nan­cially,” King said.

King does see some so­cial dis­con­nects he would like to close, par­tic­u­larly with the youth of Bishop’s Falls.

“I plan on cre­at­ing an ac­tual youth coun­cil, work­ing with the youth from cer­tain age groups and have a youth coun­cil that’s set up,” he said. “This par­tic­u­lar coun­cil will be set to meet with a com­mit­tee within coun­cil. That way if there’s any is­sue the youth have, they ac­tu­ally have a di­rect voice to coun­cil.”

One prob­lem is that there’s never enough pro­gram­ing for youth, he said.

“By clos­ing that gap, let’s get them on board with us and work­ing with us di­rectly … so we ac­tu­ally hear what they’re look­ing for, things that we can do to make it bet­ter for them,” King said.

The look of the town is an­other con­cern of great in­ter­est to King, and one he plans to tackle if elected as mayor.

“It’s a big thing for me,” said King. “There are reg­u­la­tions in place right now for … prop­er­ties and how they’re sup­posed to be set when it comes to garbage and scrap cars and things like that.

“Com­mer­cially too there’s rules and reg­u­la­tions in place; un­for­tu­nately, they’re not nec­es­sar­ily be­ing en­forced right now like I think they should be.”

King’s plan is to clean up the mess.

“Let’s get the pri­vate and com­mer­cial prop­er­ties cleaned up,” he said. “I want to clean up (town) prop­er­ties we own as well, start­ing on Main Street. That Main Street stretch, our town cen­ter – right now there’s a lot of ditches and tall grass; es­thet­i­cally its very un­ap­peal­ing.”

King wants to back­fill the ditches, re­move the track bed on Main Street and have it grassed over, and in­stall park benches and lamp posts so that “at town cen­ter …when you pull in it’s very nice and clean and neat and ac­tu­ally looks ap­peal­ing.

“We need to make our­selves look good if we’re go­ing to go out and start en­forc­ing anti-lit­ter reg­u­la­tions against busi­ness and pri­vate res­i­dences.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Bryan King

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Mark Brace

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