Marys­town scraps sep­a­rate elec­tion for mayor


There won’t be a sep­a­rate elec­tion for the mayor’s seat in Marys­town next Septem­ber.

Coun­cil voted unan­i­mously to hold one elec­tion in 2017 on Tues­day evening.

The Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act states the ad­just­ment can be made with a two- thirds vote of coun­cil­lors.

Coun. Leonard Pittman, who put for­ward the mo­tion dur­ing gen­eral busi­ness at the end of the meet­ing, said the change had been dis­cussed dur­ing bud­get talks this fall as a cost-sav­ing mea­sure.

“It re­ally serves no pur­pose to have two ( elec­tions),” he said in re­sponse to a ques­tion from Coun. Mary Beth Far­rell.

Ac­cord­ing to the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act, when there is no sep­a­rate vote for mayor, coun­cil­lors may elect a mayor and deputy mayor by se­cret bal­lot at the first coun­cil meet­ing fol­low­ing the elec­tion.

Tra­di­tion­ally, how­ever, the two coun­cil­lors who poll the most votes are nom­i­nated for the po­si­tions and have the op­tion of ac­cept­ing or not.

The mayor’s seat has been mostly ac­claimed dur­ing cur­rent Mayor Sam Sy­nard’s 16year ten­ure.

Sy­nard, then deputy mayor, moved into the po­si­tion fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of long­time mayor Jerome Walsh in Jan­uary 2000. Walsh ran against Sy­nard and lost in the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion in 2001. Sy­nard has run un­chal­lenged in the three gen­eral elec­tions since – 2005, 2009 and 2013.

Sy­nard was not present for Tues­day’s meet­ing. Coun. Ruby Hoskins par­tic­i­pated by tele­con­fer­ence.

Mayor re­acts

Sy­nard told The South­ern Gazette Fri­day Marys­town has held a sep­a­rate elec­tion for mayor for roughly 45 years.

Grand Bank coun­cil has come out early with a bal­anced bud­get of $ 2.686 mil­lion for 2017.

The bud­get, pre­sented dur­ing the reg­u­lar meet­ing on Nov. 14, will see all res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial taxes re­main the same.

With nearly an ad­di­tional $200,000 in rev­enues and ex­pen­di­tures over last year, it is the high­est bud­get in the town’s his­tory.

The mill rate for home­own­ers, which was dropped from 10.75 mills in 2016 to ac­count for a sub­stan­tial in­crease in res­i­den­tial prop­erty val­ues, will stick at 9.5. The com­mer­cial prop­erty rate re­mains at 10 mills.

The poll tax was kept at $375. Wa­ter and sewer taxes are also un­changed at $5 and $28 a month, re­spec­tively, for a to­tal of $396 an­nu­ally.

As the waste col­lec­tion fee from the Burin Penin­sula Regional Ser­vice Board will re­main at $170 per house­hold for 2017, coun­cil agreed to once again charge res­i­dents $50.

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