Gander mayor Percy Farwell outlines some challenges in new role
GANDER, NL – From the stages of Avion Players’ productions to the mayor’s chair, a very different spotlight is cast upon Percy Farwell.
Farwell, well- known for his involvement in community theatre, has now turned his attention to running the Town of Gander. Farwell stepped aside from municipal politics 12 years ago due to the challenges of balancing family commitments and a full time- job with council responsibilities.
This is a more conducive time to return, Farwell says, “now there is no full- time work, the children have all grown up, and I have the full support of my wife to get out of the house.”
As Gander’s new mayor, Farwell aims to improve communication with residents.
“I am a huge fan of informed decision makers leading the community, and the only way the council can be informed is to have strong communication both ways.”
Farwell says communication often occurs in an adhoc manner when there is a “hot issue,” but he would like to engage more voices in the community on a regular basis.
“We need a more formalized communication strategy to ensure we are doing the best possible job to get the information out and get input back in,” he told the Beacon.
“We need greater lines of communication – a free flow of information, and not just from the loudest voice.”
Farwell also said the town has to be careful with its fiscal obligations.
“We do not generate enough tax revenue from our community – we can’t outpace ourselves in our commitments,” he said. “It is finding that balance to get what we want or what we need.”
Farwell urges residents to be more engaged with council and to provide feedback, and to collaborate on matters to move the town forward.
“There are a lot of challen- ges within the fiscal framework,” he said. “We don’t have all the answers, but there are a lot of people in the community who have great ideas and a lot to offer.”
Gander mayor Percy Farwell hopes to open channels of communication with residents. He wants them to know the town is interested in their input.