Clarke’s Beach vot­ers clean house

Betty Moore only in­cum­bent re­turned in record-break­ing vote

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

The cit­i­zens of Clarke’s Beach sent a clear and over­whelm­ing mes­sage to the in­cum­bent mem­bers of coun­cil dur­ing the Sept. 24 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion. That mes­sage? It’s time to go. Only one mem­ber of coun­cil — long­time mayor Betty Moore — won re-elec­tion in what many were de­scrib­ing as an his­toric vote in this grow­ing, pros­per­ous lit­tle Con­cep­tion Bay North town.

Af­ter sev­eral years of ran­cor and con­tro­versy, in­clud­ing a na­tional head­line late last year la­belling Clarke’s Beach as “Canada’s most dys­func­tional mu­nici- pal­ity,” vot­ers de­cided to boot out in­cum­bents Kevin Hussey (deputy Mayor) and coun­cil­lors Roland An­drews, Gary Ben­dell, Win­ston Vokey and El­don Snow.

They have been re­placed with a clean slate of new­com­ers, two of whom are close re­la­tions of Moore.

And af­ter years of ques­tions about whether gen­der was play­ing a role in the way Moore was be­ing treated by her all-male col­leagues, the gen­der bal­ance has been turned on its heels, with four of the seven coun­cil seats now held by fe­males.

“I am ec­static,” Moore stated af­ter the re­sults were re­leased, three hours af­ter the polls closed.

Top­ping the bal­lot was Wayne Snow, Moore’s nephew, with 464 votes, while Moore fin­ished sec­ond (444). Also elected were Kelly Ka­vanagh (324), Crys­tal Brett (308), Danielle De­laney-Bussey (292), Nor­man Hillier (284) and Ge­orge Janes (271). De­laney-Bussey is Moore’s niece. A record 25 can­di­dates were on the bal­lot, far more than any other town in the re­gion, and per­haps sec­ond only to the City of St. John’s in the prov­ince.

The new coun­cil will be sworn in dur­ing a pub­lic meet­ing on Thurs­day, Oct. 3, start­ing at 7:30 p.m.

Neg­a­tive head­lines

Clarke’s Beach is home to only 1,400 res­i­dents, so even the most de­tached ob­server could sense a wave of change was spread­ing over the com­mu­nity, which has been dogged by neg­a­tive head­lines and bit­ter in­fight­ing for many months.

The level of ac­tiv­ity at the polling sta­tion was brisk right from the start, and it con­tin­ued all day as nearly 800 cit­i­zens took the time to fill out the can­di­date-laden bal­lot.

Of­fi­cials say voter turnout was 75 per cent, which likely set a new bench­mark for the town.

“The peo­ple wanted change and they soundly got it,” said Wayne Snow.

He pledged that things will be bet­ter, and this new coun­cil will work to­gether as a team.

“We’re go­ing to make some changes to the town, hope­fully for the bet­ter,” said Snow.

The next step is to choose a mayor and deputy mayor. That will be done at the first meet­ing of the new coun­cil.

Un­der the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act, coun­cil can hold a se­cret bal­lot among coun­cil­lors, though tra­di­tion­ally, the two posts have been of­fered to those with the most votes.

When asked if he wants to be mayor, Snow was non-com­mit­tal.

“I need time to think about that,” he said.

Moore added, “That will be en­tirely up to the seven coun­cil­lors.”

When asked why she sur­vived the house-clean­ing, Moore of­fered the fol­low­ing re­sponse: “I sur­vived be­cause of my at­ti­tude and I think peo­ple in the com­mu­nity knew I’ve work hard and I’ve had a very dif­fi­cult time get­ting things done, but I’ve al­ways put the town first.

“I’ve al­ways voted on what I thought was the best in­ter­est of the town.”

As for serv­ing on coun­cil with two close re­la­tions, Moore said it won’t be a prob­lem.

“I’m to­tally de­lighted and re­ally look­ing for­ward to us get­ting back and work­ing hard for the town,” she said.

“I’m cer­tainly look­ing ahead to four great years in the Town of Clarke’s Beach.”

Mean­while, the fol­low­ing is a break­down of the 2013 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion re­sults in the Town of Clarke’s Beach:

• Suc­cess­ful can­di­dates — Wayne Snow (464), * Betty Moore (444), Kelly Ka­vanagh (324), Crys­tal Brett (308), Danielle De­laney Bussey (292), Nor­man Hillier (284) and Ge­orge Janes (271);

• Un­suc­cess­ful can­di­dates — Nor­man Hill (211), Vin­cent Mesher (204), Mary E. Power (185), Dione Pen­ney (177), David Pen­ney (160), Abram Hunt (159), Frank Evely (155), Philip Chay­tor (132), Dean Spicer (122), * Win­ston Vokey (111),

* Roland An­drews (92), * Garry Ben­dell (85), * El­don Snow (82), Tom Comp­ton (76), * Kevin Hussey (75), Boyd Hur­ley (70), Neil Mercer (53) and Philip Fowler (21).

• Note: — * de­notes in­cum­bent

• Note — no sep­a­rate bal­lot for mayor

Mem­bers of the newly elected Clarke’s Beach town coun­cil in­clude, from left, Ge­orge Janes, Wayne Snow, Danielle De­laney Bussey, Betty Moore, Crys­tal Brett, Kelly Ka­vanagh and Nor­man Hillier.

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