Slade pulls trigger on re-election bid
Carbonear’s high profile deputy mayor biding his time
The mayor of Carbonear, Sam Slade, sat in his leather chair behind the desk in his office at the Conception Bay Regional Community Centre July 3, gazing out the window.
He had just officially announced his intention to run again in the upcoming election this September, and was pondering the many things he has experienced during his 20 years on council.
“I’m pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished and what my councils have accomplished,” he said.
Slade’s announcement came at a time when rumours were spreading throughout the town that he will be challenged by the deputy mayor, Ches Ash, for the mayor’s seat.
Even though Ash has not publically announced if he has decided to
Carbonear’s deputy mayor, Ches Ash, is considering a run at the mayor post.
run, he appeared ready if he decides to place his name on the ballot.
“I just need to give some further
thought to it,” Ash explained in a sit- down interview with The Compass last week. Careful consideration For weeks, Ash has said his finger has been on the trigger, but there have been several things holding him back from taking the shot.
“I’m kind of evaluating things informally through friends and acquaintances and my own connections,” he said.
Slade, on the other hand, was not so hesitant, and proudly stated his intention to run for his third mayoral race.
“I’m getting a lot of phone calls from past supporters and people who didn’t previously support me,” he said. “They see the town is going in a good direction and have seen a lot of growth over the past few years, so I feel pretty good about (running).”
“I’m getting a lot of phone calls from past supporters and people who didn’t previously support me. They see the town is going in a good direction and have seen a lot of growth over the past few years, so I feel pretty good about (running).” — Sam Slade, mayor, Town of Carbonear “I’m relatively well-known in the community, and there will be a good number who know me as a school administrator, as a teacher and as an individual, so I’ll put my strengths forward, that will be a key thing if I decide to run.” — Ches Ash, deputy mayor, Town of Carbonear
Ash is completing his first term on council, while Slade has five terms under his belt.
Both men will be taking a chance that they will be off council if they run against each other, but they are both very positive, and wished the other well in their campaigns.
Ash did confirm he will definitely be on a ballot, whether it is the mayor’s ballot or as a councillor.
Both men have very diverse resumes that include volunteer work for various community organizations, but the support of the people will be the test.
Slade has decided to run his campaign the same way he has since 1993, by “tapping on doors.”
“Anyone that I miss, there will be a doorknocker on their door so they can contact me,” Slade explained.
It has worked for him so far, and he hopes his personal interaction will let the residents of Carbonear see who he is and what he can do for them.
Ash, on the other hand, has not released a platform, but did suggest being accessible, moving the town forward and being able to try new things are qualities that would make a good mayor or councillor.
This past term has been a busy one for council, with new equipment, infrastructure upgrades and a recent effort to beautify the town. It also has a new brand to entice visitors and newcomers to the area.
Slade said he has been informed by some of his constituents that they are happy with what he has done, and how far the town has come since he started with the council, including opening town hall doors Wednesdays in the winter to meet with him, no appointment needed.
Ash has also been acknowledged for the town’s progression.
He was interviewed by several media outlets in the province on different topics, including his insistence to commence a water treatment plant for the town, which is currently underway.
“I think the entire council has managed to continue the momentum that was there in terms of growth and development. And we’ve even, I think, improved on that by being somewhat more focused in our efforts to promote and develop the town,” Ash stated.
Being challenged for the mayor’s chair doesn’t faze Slade.
“I’m quite used to competition,” Slade admitted. “First time I ran for mayor I ran up against George Butt, who was acting mayor at the time, and Frank O’Keefe. Last time I ran against Fred Earle.”
Butt, O’Keefe and Earle are all very well known residents of the town and were very capable candidates during the previous elections, but Slade pulled through in each case.
Ash is also a very well known and respected local.
“I’m relatively well-known in the community, and there will be a good number who know me as a school administrator, as a teacher and as an individual, so I’ll put my strengths forward, that will be a key thing if I decide to run,” Ash said.
He also believes Slade would be tough competition since he has a “substantial following.”
Slade believes there is more to running for a position such as mayor than just being able to do the job when you’re in the office, including family support.
“If you haven’t got family support, this isn’t the job for you,” Slade explained.
Ash knows the stresses and dedication that are necessary if he chooses to run against Slade, but said he would be ready for the challenge.
“I certainly have no reservations being out in the forefront,” he said. “I also think it’s fair game for leadership to be placed under the microscope.”
Two different men, two different backgrounds, but potentially one position on council.
It will be up to the residents of Carbonear to decide which one will take the town into the next stage of development, but it looks like it is shaping up to be an interesting race.
Mayor Sam Slade officially announced last week his intent to seek re-election in September.