Race for mayor’s chair in Whit­bourne

Seven run­ning for coun­cil

The Compass - - CLASSIFIED - BY NICHOLAS MERCER The ad­vanced poll is set for Sept. 14. nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Res­i­dents of Whit­bourne are in for two ex­cit­ing races in the up­com­ing mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions on Sept. 24.

First, the com­mu­nity will see a fight for the mayor’s chair be­tween in­cum­bent Hilda Whe­lan and chal­lenger Wil­liam Bar­ron Sr.

Bar­ron, 70, has pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence run­ning for mayor, hav­ing done so in 2009. Prior to that, the re­tired wildlife of­fi­cer spent 12 years on coun­cil as both coun­cil­lor and deputy mayor.

In that elec­tion, Bar­ron fin­ished sec­ond be­hind then mayor Lloyd Gosse.

Bar­ron said he would like to see more em­pha­sis put on green space and recre­ation.

“There is a lot more that could be done in the com­mu­nity than is be­ing done,” he said.

Bar­ron, who is the cur­rent chair­man of the town’s recre­ation com­mit­tee, rec­og­nized that Whit- bourne is a grow­ing com­mu­nity, but said the older part of town should not be left be­hind.

“There are things that don’t re­ally need a lot of money that you can work at,” he said.

Whe­lan, 64, took over from Gosse af­ter he stepped away from coun­cil ear­lier this year. She was the town’s deputy mayor at the time.

Since then Whit­bourne town coun­cil has been op­er­at­ing with a short­age of coun­cil­lors.

Whe­lan made provin­cial head- lines in Jan­uary when she was named win­ner of the in­au­gu­ral Ova­tions Award.

She was given the award for her dogged de­ter­mi­na­tion and con­vic- tion in her 15-year fight that led to many dozens of wid­owed women gain­ing ac­cess to the pen­sion ben­e­fits of their de­ceased hus­bands.

Whe­lan said she wel­comes the com­pe­ti­tion for the mayor’s chair.

“I al­ways say that it is the town’s will,” she said. “I be­lieve strongly in democ­racy, in that it is the town’s de­ci­sion. If they want some­one else to run the then so be it.”

Whe­lan is an avid vol­un­teer in the com­munty and be­lieves she has the sup­port to hang on to her po­si­tion.

There are projects she would like to see to their com­ple­tion.

“Our town, where it is grow­ing so much, we’re work­ing very hard to get our in­fra­struc­ture in place for fu­ture de­vel­op­ments,” said Whe­lan.

If that was not enough, there will be seven can­di­dates in the hunt for six seats.

Re­turn­ing are Deputy Mayor Terry Gil­lam Sr. and coun­cil­lors Thomas Howe, Terry Rose and Roger Mor­gan.

Coun. Sheila Gushue seek­ing re-elec­tion.

Join­ing the in­cum­bents in their bid for coun­cil are Brent Cole, Dou­glas Cor­co­ran and Todd Sears.

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