Two candidates to seek mayor’s post
Former deputy mayors will square off for the top post in Carbonear
In the midst of a provincial announcement that Premier Kathy Dunderdale would be resigning, the Town of Carbonear was taking nominations for its own leader.
From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan 22., two experienced candidates were nominated for the position of mayor — George Butt Jr. and Ches Ash. Both are former deputy mayors.
The seat opened up in early December after the previous mayor, Sam Slade, won a provincial byelection for the position of Carbonear-Harbour Grace MHA.
Butt was the deputy mayor at the time, and sat in the mayor’s chair until Monday, Jan. 20, when he resigned to officially run for the top municipal post.
Butt has recently come under fire for postponing his resignation from council until the last minute, creating the probability of a second byelection to replace his recently vacated seat.
He also served as deputy mayor from 2001 to 2004, assuming the position of mayor after the sudden death of the late Claude Garland. He was named deputy mayor again in September, garnering the highest number of votes of all candidates in the municipal general election.
This will be Butt’s second time on a mayoral ballot. He ran against Slade and local physiotherapist Frank O’Keefe in the 2005 election, but was unsuccessful.
This will be Ash’s second run for mayor, as well. He was deputy mayor from 2009 to 2013, then ran for the position of mayor against Slade in September. He trailed Slade by 785 votes.
Although both men have held the same position on council, they have very few similarities.
Butt has been a longtime mail carrier with Canada Post and has served for more than two decades on council. He is also the former chair of the Conception Bay North joint council.
Ash is a former school administrator at Carbonear Collegiate and has served one term on council. During his four-year stint, Ash was appointed to the Eastern Waste Management service board and was vocal on wastewater management.
The byelection will take place Feb. 18 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with two polling stations, one at the Knights of Columbus on Adelaide Street and the other a mobile station for residents at the Harbour Lodge, Interfaith Home, Luxury Estates home and cottages. There will also be an advanced poll on Saturday, Feb. 15 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the Conception Bay Regional Community Centre.
Two former Carbonear deputy mayors, Ches Ash (left) and George Butt, will both be on the ballot for mayor Feb. 18.