Mix­ing love and pol­i­tics in Heart’s De­sire

Cou­ples out­num­ber in­di­vid­ual can­di­dates for coun­cil

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYMELISSA JENK­INS melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

When the elec­tions are over on Sept. 24 at least one mar­ried cou­ple will sit on the Heart’s De­sire town coun­cil , but three have signed up for the chal­lenge.

In­cum­bent Coun. Colleen Mur­phy and new­comer Pa­trick Mur­phy — Colleen’s hus­band — are hop­ing to sit on coun­cil to­gether this term.

Two other cou­ples, new­com­ers Mary ( Jackie) Lahey and Shawn Lahey, as well as James Jack­son and Sonya Lee are also hop­ing to get that chance.

It is pos­si­ble all six will make it to the coun­cil cham­ber, which might be a first for New­found­land and Labrador, but with only nine on the bal­lot and seven seats avail­able, the ques­tion isn’t if, but which and how many cou­ples will be suc­cess­ful in their bid.

This is not the first time a cou­ple has sat on coun­cil to­gether in the town. In fact, two out­go­ing coun­cil­lors — Con­nie and Alphon­sus St. Ge­orge — are mar­ried. The two are not seek­ing re-elec­tion.

Also not re­turn­ing to the bal­lot are Deputy Mayor Faye St. Ge­orge and Jude St. Ge­orge.

For­mer mayor Pa­trick Coombs will be seek­ing re-elec­tion as well. He has not de­cided if he would take the mayor’s po­si­tion again if he were of­fered it.

Coombs, who is the old­est mem­ber of coun­cil at 66, stepped away from the po­si­tion in 2010 due to health con­cerns af­ter eight years as mayor. He re­mained on coun­cil.

Fran­cis St. Ge­orge re­placed Coombs for the last three years. He is also seek­ing re-elec­tion.

Coombs told The Com­pass that there have not been many elec­tions in the town since it was in­cor­po­rated in the 1960s, in­clud­ing last year when the seven in­cum­bents were ac­claimed.

“I’m tick­led to death,” Coombs said of the num­ber of can­di­dates. “Most of the other (can­di­dates) are younger and that is what we were look­ing for.”

An­other new­comer, El­iz­a­beth (Diane) Langer has also thrown her hat in the ring for a po­si­tion on coun­cil, which Coombs is ex­cited about.

“Peo­ple say ev­ery­one should ex­pe­ri­ence be­ing on a town coun­cil for at least a year to fully un­der­stand what it is the town does,” Coombs con­cluded, not­ing Heart’s De­sire is def­i­nitely see­ing an in­flux in in­ter­est.

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