Race for mayor’s chair in Whitbourne
Seven running for council
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.