Bay Roberts mayor to face challenge
Political upstart Geoff Seymour seeking to oust Philip Wood from top post
For the first time in a dozen years, voters in Bay Roberts will have a choice in who occupies the town’s top elected post.
Incumbent Mayor Philip Wood i s being challenged by newcomer Geoff Seymour, with voters going to the polls on Sept. 24.
Like many larger towns, Bay Roberts has a separate ballot for mayor, while the six other atlarge seats are also up for grabs, with nine candidates, including three incumbents, in the hunt.
But this election will feature some added f lair, since it will mark the first time since 2001 that more than one candidate will vie for the mayor’s chair.
In that election, then mayor Wilbur Sparkes defeated challenger George Seymour. In the elections that followed, former mayor Glenn Littlejohn was uncontested. Littlejohn left office in 2011, and is now the MHA for Port de Grave.
Wood, who was deputy mayor at the time, was selected mayor by his council colleagues.
Geoff Seymour, a teacher at Carbonear Collegiate and active volunteer in the town’s recreation community, f eels that he has something to offer Bay Roberts.
“I’ve got my own ideas of where the town should be heading, and I ’d like the opportunity to put those ideas into effect,” he said.
This is Seymour’s first foray into elected politics, and some may question his route, going directly for the top post. But Seymour feels it’s an advantage.
“I’m looking at this as I’m com- ing in fresh, no ties to anyone,” he said.
Seymour has been an outspoken critic of the current council, and has written several letters to the editor. He has actively been campaigning, and believes he can garner enough support to upend Wood, who is a retired teacher and school administrator.
“I’ve gotten a positive response wherever I’ve mentioned it,” Seymour said.
In another unique twist, Sey- mour is the son of current deputy mayor and longtime council member Bill Seymour, who is also seeking re-election.
Wood is welcoming the challenge.
“I ’m looking forward to the upcoming campaign,” he said. “It gives you the perfect opportunity to get out and speak to residents.”
Wood said he has enjoyed his two years as mayor in Bay Roberts.
“I’d certainly like to finish off some of the projects that we’ve started,” he said.
Wood said he has received “lots of encouragement” throughout the community.
“It’s an exciting time and I’m up for the challenge,” he said.
Meanwhile, with three current members — Clarence Mercer, Melvin Walsh and Gerald Greenland — retiring, there’s sure to be a significant shake-up around the council table.
Also seeking re- election are councillors Walter Yetman and Wade Oates, while the following is a list of challengers: Hayward Butler, Charlene Dawe-Roach, Gerald Fennemore, Dean Franey, George Simmons and George Warford.
Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood will have a fight on his hands to retain the mayoral position.
For the fist time in more than a decade there will be a race for mayor in the Town of Bay Roberts. Geoff Seymour is challenging current Mayor Philip Wood for the chain of office. Geoff Seymour is shown here submitting his nomination papers last week. In the background is Geoff’s father, Deputy Mayor Bill Seymour.