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Carbonear voters give overwhelming support to new mayor
“That’s twice the residents of Carbonear have given me such a good mandate in five months, so I appreciate all the support.” — Carbonear Mayor George Butt Jr.
Carbonear’s newest mayor, George Butt Jr., was greeted with applause from a group of some 50 people Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Royal Canadian Legion after a landslide victory over fellow candidate Ches Ash. The final tally was 1,348 to 458. The guests and supporters of Butt Jr. had a lot to celebrate. Not only was it his victory celebration, but his wife Karen was celebrating her birthday.
“We have two celebrations tonight,” Butt Jr. told the beaming crowd. “Me winning the mayor’s race, and (my) wife’s birthday is tonight.”
Butt Jr. recently resigned his seat on council, where he was serving as acting mayor, to seek the top elected post for the remainder of the fouryear term. He was overjoyed with the response and support he received from the voters of the town.
“That’s twice the residents of Carbonear have given me such a good mandate in five months, so I appreciate all the support,” he explained. “And I will do my best to do my part.”
In September’s general election, Butt received the most support among those seeking one of the six at-large seats on council, with 1,544 votes. His closest counterpart was Frank Butt with 1,371. Butt was named deputy mayor in January on an interim basis, but is expected to take on the position full-time at the next council meeting, scheduled for March 3.
Some of those in attendance at the victory celebration included town office staff, friends, family, Carbonear-Harbour Grace MHA and former mayor Sam Slade, Deputy Mayor Butt and Coun. Bill Bowman.
The byelection became necessary after Slade made the move to provin- cial politics in the fall.
Butt Jr. said he was happy to see Butt and Bowman in attendance, and looks forward to working with them and the other members of council for the remainder of the term.
“We have a good council in place, and we’ll have another councillor in a month. So we’ll have a full council by the end of March,” Butt Jr. said. “Then we get back on track and move the town forward.”
When asked what his first official act as mayor would be, Butt Jr. explained he was considering taking a look at the committee structure, which was implemented by Slade prior to his resignation.
Butt Jr. has been a council mem- ber for 22 years. In that time he served time as mayor, deputy mayor and councillor.
“I got the experience, I’m a team player and I can work with the council that’s in place now.”
Butt Jr. wanted there to be a double celebration with his wife because he considers her his biggest supporter.
“I can’t do this without the support of family, and Karen has been behind me 100 per cent many times,” he stated. “There are times I get pretty discouraged and tired, and want to give up. She’ll keep me going.”
Karen added she really enjoyed campaigning and doing events with him.
“I love going around everywhere and doing everything,” she said.
Butt Jr. spoke to the crowd, and thanked them for being in attendance, and for the support. The group erupted in cheers when he concluded. A lineup of people awaited him so they could shake his hand, give him a hug or just say congratulations.
“I’m just delighted,” he offered.
Newly elected Carbonear mayor George Butt Jr. (right) receives congratulations from town resident Lloyd Curnew during his victory party Feb. 18. In the background is Carbonear-Harbour Grace MHA Sam Slade.
The family of Carbonear’s newest mayor has been a huge support system for him throughout his 22 years on council. They are, from left, wife Karen Butt, Mayor George Butt Jr., daughter Krystal Butt, son Brian Butt and daughter-in-law Michelle (Snow) Butt.
Current and former town office employees went to the Royal Canadian Legion in Carbonear to help celebrate George Butt Jr.’s mayoral victory and his wife Karen’s birthday. They were, from left, Karen Butt (town receptionist and wife of Deputy Mayor Frank Butt), Janice Green (administrative assistant), Mary Greene (clerk) and Bessie Noel (retired town receptionist and mother of Coun. Ray Noel).