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.

Com­pass file pho­tos

Two for­mer Car­bon­ear deputy may­ors, Ches Ash (left) and Ge­orge Butt, will both be on the bal­lot for mayor Feb. 18.

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