Back in the mayor’s chair
Barry Manuel serving another term as Mayor of Grand Falls-Windsor
GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – Barry Manuel is taking his place back in the mayor’s chair after being sworn in Oct. 3.
Although this is Manuel’s return to the mayor’s chair, it’s his first time being elected to the position. During his first term on council, Manuel was deputy mayor and took over the top position when Al Hawkins left in 2015 to pursue provincial politics.
“I fell into the job, it wasn’t planned that way…but I enjoy it very much,” said Manuel.
He was overwhelmed by the positive support he received from the community, which showed in the election results where Manuel received 4,358 out of 5,675 votes.
“I feel like people approve of the way I’ve been doing things and that’s the way I will continue to go into the next four years,” Manuel said.
After six weeks of campaigning, Manuel is more than happy to put the election behind him and move onward with the new council.
“We’ve got three new councillors and three returning councillors – I think that’s a good mix of new ideas and experience.”
Transparency of the council was talked about a lot during the campaign. Manuel welcomes anybody with questions to give him a call – and he will give them the answer.
“I said during the campaign and I’ll say it again, if anybody needs information or they have questions or they have heard something they’re not sure about, come down and see or pick or pick up the phone and call – we will have the information for you no problem,” said Manuel. It was suggested during the campaign that council meetings should all be transcribed; however, Manuel explained that is not something that is easy to do considering the council meetings can run for five or six hours.
Manuel discussed an emphasis on working with business partners in the community, as well as tourism and updating the mill property once it is turned over to the town’s control.
“Just because we have seven people on council that doesn’t mean people in the community can’t have their voice heard or make suggestion of things that we need to do,” said Manuel, suggesting people call and talk to council members or write to them.
Sometime in the next 12 months Manuel has plans to start a youth advisory committee, “something that would engage our youth in the whole municipal process,” Manuel said. “A lot of times we don’t give our youth enough credit for being in tune with the world…we’ve got some bright young people who I think could be a big benefit, bringing their ideas and their perspective to council.”
On Oct. 3 the new Town Council was sworn in at the Grand Falls-Windsor Town Hall. Pictured is Mayor Barry Manuel being sworn in. Also sworn in as members of the Grand Falls-Windsor Town Council were Deputy Mayor Mike Brown and Councillors Rod Bennett, Mark Whiffen, Darren Finn, Amy Coady-Davis and Shawn Feener.