Smith calling it a ca­reer

Nine­teen years enough for long­time Parrs­boro mayor, coun­cil­lor

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW WAGSTAFF awagstaff@tc.tc Twit­ter: @ADNan­drew

She banged her gavel for the last time on Oct. 25.

As of Nov. 1, Lois Smith will have fin­ished her term as the last mayor of Parrs­boro, and the only fe­male to ever hold that post.

Parrs­boro will dis­solve as a town and be­come a part of the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Cum­ber­land County on Tues­day, af­ter a process that got its of­fi­cial start when the town ap­plied to the Nova Sco­tia Util­ity and Re­view Board for dis­so­lu­tion on Oct. 6, 2015.

Smith said she has no re­grets about the de­ci­sion.

“Let’s face it, all small com­mu­ni­ties need each other,” she said.

“We’ve al­ways worked to­gether any­way, and I don’t see any real dif­fer­ence. We’re keep­ing a ser­vice cen­tre here, and ac­tiv­i­ties will still carry on.”

She was first elected to Parrs­boro town coun­cil in Oc­to­ber of 1997, hav­ing re­tired af­ter a 30-year teach­ing ca­reer ear­lier that year.

She was elected three more times as a coun­cil­lor be­fore long­time mayor Doug Robin­son passed away in 2009. Smith gave up her seat on coun­cil and was elected mayor in a spe­cial by­elec­tion, and was re-elected four years later.

Smith said she can­not be­lieve it’s been 19 years since she first sat around the coun­cil ta­ble, and that time has gone by very fast for her.

“I have to say it’s been re­ally en­joy­able,” she said.

“There are times in ev­ery­one’s ca­reer that are not good times – you’re up­set about some­thing, or not ev­ery­one agrees with you – but we have great peo­ple here in Parrs­boro. The coun­cil­lors have all been great, and all dif­fer­ent, which made us unique. I’ve en­joyed it, no ques­tion.”

Whether it was labour­ing over bud­gets or work­ing on the nu­mer­ous com­mit­tees of coun­cil, Smith said she loved it all. She even en­joyed the elec­tion cam­paigns, with the an­tic­i­pa­tion of who would get in and who would not.

She ad­mit­ted she con­sid­ered run­ning for the Parrs­boro seat on county coun­cil two weeks ago, a seat won by for­mer town coun­cil­lor Nor­man Ra­fuse, but de­cided that 19 years was enough.

“I think peo­ple have seen my name enough over the years, and now it’s time for some­body else to come for­ward,” she said.

“It is a job, and with one coun­cil­lor rep­re­sent­ing the town, that per­son is go­ing to be busy.”

As for her fu­ture plans, Smith said she would like to con­tinue be­ing in­volved with the Cum­ber­land En­ergy Au­thor­ity, as well as Parrs­boro’s youth town coun­cil, an or­ga­ni­za­tion she helped es­tab­lish dur­ing her first term as a coun­cil­lor.

She said she would miss mostly the town staff, most of whom had been her stu­dents at Parrs­boro Re­gional High School, and con­tin­ued to treat her like “Mrs. Smith” dur­ing her time as mayor.

The mayor does not have the power to solve ev­ery­one’s prob­lems, and be­ing re­minded of that is some­thing the out­go­ing mayor said she would not miss about the job.

“Ev­ery­one has good days and bad, but what frus­trated me the most was not be­ing able to do ev­ery­thing that in­di­vid­ual cit­i­zens wanted,” she said.

“We could only do what we fi­nan­cially could do. For ev­ery­thing from street­lights to pave­ment, work­ing as a group within our bud­get we did what we could.”

“Ev­ery­one has good days and bad, but what frus­trated me the most was not be­ing able to do ev­ery­thing that in­di­vid­ual cit­i­zens wanted. We could only do what we fi­nan­cially could do. For ev­ery­thing from street­lights to pave­ment, work­ing as a group within our bud­get we did what we could.” Lois Smith

AN­DREW WAGSTAFF/TC ME­DIA

With the dis­so­lu­tion of Parrs­boro on Nov. 1 also comes to an end the long po­lit­i­cal ca­reer of Mayor Lois Smith, who was first elected to town coun­cil in 1997. She was re-elected coun­cil­lor in 2000, 2004 and 2008, then be­came mayor in 2009 and was re-elected to that post in 2012.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.