A new chap­ter in mu­nic­i­pal pol­i­tics

The Compass - - OPINION - — Melissa Jenk­ins

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.

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