A new chapter in municipal politics
It has been an interesting few weeks in Trinity Conception, to say the least. Municipal elections have concluded and new councils are preparing to be sworn in.
For some councillors, it’s a new and exciting feeling. And it should be.
Plenty of new faces have risen from the ashes of defeated incumbents, while others earned their place at the table after incumbent members moved on.
And then there are the few who will take back their previous seat in the chamber, but also many experienced leaders — Don Coombs tops this list — who will not be returning after a failed attempt at re-election. What do these results mean for the region? It’s simple. Some towns will get a fresh start with a whole new council, others will carry on where they left off, and the remainder will mix the old with the new in an attempt to move their town forward.
All three possibilities could have a positive or negative effect on each municipality.
For example, Clarke’s Beach and Harbour Grace residents have decided to overthrow their former councils and start over.
There is some benefit to this, as these newcomers are still trying to build a relationship with the community and will give their right arm to ensure they are doing everything they can to improve their town.
The negative will likely show lack of experience among the council. With a whole new roster it could take weeks, months or even years to catch up on the rules and regulations, the responsibilities of a council, financial expectations and knowing exactly what you can and can’t do.
On the other hand all other municipalities have all opted to keep some or all incumbents.
With this mix of the old with the new in these communities, it is unsure how long it will take for the group to mesh, or if conflict will appear immediately.
It can be assumed most municipalities will just go with the flow of the previous council. But if one decides to go off track — change it up a little — it could make for a very interesting four years.
Whichever municipality you live in, it is important to stay in touch and informed with what is going on with your council. If you like what you see, you can make an informed choice in 2017. If you don’t like what you see, well in four years you can opt for change.