Sheila Fitzgerald ‘relieved’ by result
Fitzgerald to take second term as mayor of Roddickton-Bide Arm
Sheila Fitzgerald says she was relieved, honoured and humbled to be re-elected as mayor of Roddickton-Bide Arm for a second term.
Fitzgerald held her seat Tuesday night against opponent Kenneth Reid, by 312 votes to 129.
She was first elected as mayor in 2013.
“It speaks volumes in terms of their support,” she said.
Fitzgerald saw the result as recognition of her leadership and the work she’s put in over the past four years to continue moving the town forward.
And it hasn’t necessarily been an easy four years.
In fact, Fitzgerald believes the last term was probably one of the hardest for the council of Roddickton-Bide Arm after the closure of the pellet plant and sawmill in 2012.
“The last council got in in 2013, so we operated a full term with no corporate industry in our town, but we sustained ourselves,” she said.
She notes the town has “only” seen a population decline of 58 people – 5.5 per cent – from 2011 to 2016.
“They put their faith in the council that we’re going to work hard and that we’re going to find a future,” said Fitzgerald.
Five people, Fitzgerald included, were re-elected from the previous council. There will be two new councillors as well.
Initially, Fitzgerald was nervous about having to campaign again. But, with hindsight, she believes it was a great opportunity to meet with the public to gather feedback.
She added it was a very clean mayoral race and she has nothing but the utmost respect for her opponent, Kenneth Reid.
“He was an excellent council member,” she said. “I took the competition very seriously. He’s from here, he lives here, he works, he has family here, he has a vested interest here.
“He’s a smart man, he knows what’s on the go and I know, at some point, undoubtedly he will make a good mayor.”
Fitzgerald wished to thank the town for its support.
“I’m not a one-person show and I could never ever keep pushing and pulling if I didn’t have a great council behind me and a great town behind me,” she said. “At the end of the day, we’re still a small town and nobody goes without, and everybody is there to do their part. And last night’s vote was reflective of that.”
The Northern Pen was unable to reach Kenneth Reid for comment.