Municipal elections underway
Trinity Conception voters heading to polls on Sept. 24
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.
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.