Back in the mayor’s chair

Barry Manuel serv­ing another term as Mayor of Grand Falls-Wind­sor

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - News - BY SAMAN­THA GAR­DINER saman­tha.gar­diner@ad­ver­tis­ernl.ca

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.”

SAMAN­THA GAR­DINER/THE AD­VER­TISER

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.

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