Record num­bers on Har­bour Grace bal­lot

Seventeen names, stiff com­pe­ti­tion for coun­cil

The Compass - - NEWS - BY MELISSA JENK­INS melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

With 17 names on the bal­lot in Har­bour Grace — 15 for coun­cil­lor and two for mayor — the town’s res­i­dents will have the op­por­tu­nity to make some sig­nif­i­cant changes in the coun­cil cham­ber on Sept. 24.

Re­turn­ing of­fi­cer Lester For­ward said he’s quite happy to see such a large se­lec­tion of can­di­dates, not­ing that hav­ing s ix fe­males on the bal­lot is a first for the town. He also can­not re­call hav­ing so many names for vot­ers to choose from.

“In my 30 years here I do not re­mem­ber a time when there were that many peo­ple nom­i­nated,” For­ward told The Com­pass, adding it might be the largest bal­lot the town has ever seen.

He a lso noted there is one change he would have pre­ferred.

“I would have liked to see a woman’s name (on the mayor’s bal- lot),” For­ward ad­mit­ted. “But we do have a good se­lec­tion of can­di­dates to choose from.”

Vot­ers will have to make their choice be­tween six in­cum­bents, eight new­com­ers and two for­mer coun­cil­lors, which could see an en­tirely new coun­cil. Wal­ter Walsh an­nounced he would not be seek­ing re-elec­tion last month.

The only po­si­tion guar­an­teed to go to a for­mer mem­ber of coun­cil is the mayor. In­cum­bent Mayor Don Coombs is fac­ing cur­rent Deputy Mayor Terry Barnes for the chair.

Coombs has been mayor for five terms while Barnes has one term as deputy mayor un­der his belt.

Barnes has pre­vi­ously stated he de­cided to run af­ter some con- stituents told him they wanted to see change and hoped he would be the one to bring it about.

Con­trary to that, Coombs has heard oth­ers in the town tell him they are sat­is­fied with what he has done thus far.

A few sur­prises were re­vealed when the hope­fuls, in­clud­ing a pre­vi­ous deputy mayor, school teach­ers and a for­mer fire chief, among oth­ers, threw their hats in the ring.

The town has been all-abuzz for more than a week about who would take the plunge af­ter signs were erected over the town with many well-known res­i­dents faces on them.

Those on the bal­lot are: Hay­ward Blake; Al­bert ( Bud) Chafe (in­cum­bent); Ann Coombs; Mary Cor­nish-Hav­mand; Pa­trick Haire; Wen­dell Hunt Sr. (in­cum­bent); Paul Kennedy; Tony McCarthy; David Mur­phy (in­cum­bent); Joan Short (in­cum­bent); Mary Shute; Gor­don Stone; Kathy Tet­ford; Shawn Vaters and So­nia Wil­liams.

“This is what democ­racy is all about,” For­ward said. “When more peo­ple put their names on the bal­lot, more peo­ple turn out to vote. And that is how it should be.”

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/spe­cial to The Com­pass

The in­cum­bent mayor of Har­bour Grace, Don Coombs (right), chats with Town Man­ager and Re­turn­ing Of­fi­cer Lester For­ward (left) about the nom­i­na­tion pack­age for can­di­dates. Thomas Short (cen­tre) and Paul Ash (not pic­tured) stand by af­ter sign­ing nom­i­na­tion forms to of­fi­cially put Coombs back on the bal­lot.

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