Mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions un­der­way

Trin­ity Con­cep­tion vot­ers head­ing to polls on Sept. 24

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYMELISSA JENK­INS

The time is al­most here for the co­pi­ous amount of rain­bow elec­tion signs that have flooded all parts of each mu­nic­i­pal­ity in Trin­ity Con­cep­tion to be taken down — at least the ones that re­main.

Af­ter a month of cam­paign­ing, can­di­dates for the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions will soon learn their fate for the next four years, with the polls open­ing at 8 a.m. on Sept. 24, and clos­ing 12 hours later.

Will they take a seat in the coun­cil cham­ber or be rel­e­gated to the pub­lic gallery?

The re­gion had an abun­dance of can­di­dates — some new and some sea­soned politi­cians — step up to the fore­front, high­lighted by a cru­sade of can­di­dates — 25 in all — in Clarke’s Beach.

In some towns in the re­gion, a large num­ber of can­di­dates have been nom­i­nated on a sin­gle bal­lot, while in oth­ers there are still empty seats, with less than a full slate be­ing ac­claimed, and by­elec­tions in the off­ing.

Com­pe­ti­tion for top seat

Many res­i­dents are say­ing the races this year are go­ing to be tight, es­pe­cially in some of the larger mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties with a may­oral race.

There are, how­ever, a few high pro­file races that have caused heads to turn, in­clud­ing Har­bour Grace, where in­cum­bent Deputy Mayor Terry Barnes is look­ing to oust long­time Mayor Don Coombs. In Bay Roberts, Mayor Philip Wood has been chal­lenged by new­comer Ge­off Sey­mour.

In Clarke’s Beach, where coun­cil voted to do away with the sep­a­rate bal­lot for mayor last year, the big ques­tion is whether Mayor Betty Moore can hold onto the top elected post in the town di­vided by po­lit­i­cal ran­cour in re­cent years. With so many pos­si­ble out­comes to the elec­tion, it is un­known if she will take the top seat again, step back to a coun­cil­lor role or not make the cut at all.

Other may­ors in the area, in­clud­ing Vic­to­ria’s Ar thur Burke , Spa­niard’s Bay’s John Drover and Heart’s Con­tent’s Don Blun­don, have de­cided to re­tire. There is more than 90 years of mu­nic­i­pal po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence amongst the trio.

Mak­ing his­tory

Many com­mu­ni­ties made his­tory across Trin­ity Con­cep­tion on nom­i­na­tion day.

The Town of Small Point-Broad Cove-Black­head-Adam’s Cove will see its first elec­tion in al­most 20 years, with seven names on the bal­lot for five seats, three more than the pre­vi­ous elec­tion which saw an ac­cla­ma­tion of four and a by­elec­tion to fill the fi­nal seat.

In Heart’s De­sire, three sets of cou­ples have joined the run­ning for the op­por­tu­nity to be on coun­cil. Pre­vi­ously there has been a cou­ple serve to­gether, but they have since re­tired from the po­lit­i­cal lime­light.

Har­bour Grace has seen an in­crease in fe­male par­tic­i­pa­tion with six on the bal­lot, the most in his­tory. It is dou­ble what was seen in the last elec­tion.

Also, in Bay de Verde, there are 14 can­di­dates vy­ing for seven spots, a sub­stan­tial amount of in­ter­est for a town of less than 500 peo­ple and pos­si­bly the high­est num­ber in his­tory.

There have also been a hand­ful of ac­cla­ma­tions for the area, but over­all most of the re­gion has seen steady num­bers or sig­nif­i­cant in­creases. In fact, there are some younger faces in the races this year, in­clud­ing a 21-year-old man from Car­bon­ear and an 18-year-old man from New Per­li­can.

The sto­ry­line will cli­max on Tues­day night, af­ter the bal­lots have been counted, and The Com­pass will have the re­sults.

Visit www.cb­n­com­pass.ca for con­tin­u­ous up­dates, and see more com­pre­hen­sive cov­er­age in the Oct. 1 print edi­tion of The Com­pass.

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