UPPER NAPPAN – Voters in District 9 will have a choice on Oct. 20. Welcome a newcomer to county council, or stick with a familiar face.
Mike McLellan will challenge incumbent John Reid for the seat this time around. Both candidates live in Joggins.
“For the last few years I’ve been hearing a lot… things are going and nothing is coming,” said McLellan, who has operated a service station in River Hebert for the past 16 years. “I just want to try and help things out here. I hope we can get some new things in the area, and try to build the population back up.”
He said he would like to work on issues such as improved tourism in the district, to support the local Co-Op store, and to keep the River Hebert school a top priority.
“I have three kids, and I know if they want anything they have to move out of there because there us nothing here for them,” said McLellan. “My biggest concern is that there are a lot of families out there in the same situation. No one wants to see their kids move away.”
Campaigning has been a positive experience for him, and he said he wants to represents all residents of the district.
“I’m not doing this for myself, I’m doing it for the people,” he said.
First elected in 2000, Reid has been a county councilor for the past 12 years. He has served on numerous county committees, has served as deputy warden, and is a former chief of the Joggins Fire Department.
“I have really enjoyed my time on council and am looking forward to continuing to work for the people of my district and the entire county for another four years,” said Reid.
He said the past few years have been great ones in the River Hebert-Joggins area, but he stressed there is still a lot of unfinished business.
“The biggest thing is the River Hebert high school, they promised the work, started it and then left it,” Reid said. “It has left a lot of uncertainty in the community about the future of the school and it’s up to the province and the school board to see that work is completed as soon as possible. The school is an important part of this community and the longer it’s left in its present condition the more uncertainty there will be about its future.”
Looking back at what has been accomplished, Reid said the UNESCO designation for the Joggins Fossil Cliffs has provided a lot of benefits to the community. He’s looking forward to more.
“I don’t think we have been able to capitalize on it as much as we could have,” Reid said. “I think we need to do more in terms of accommodations such as bed and breakfasts and campgrounds so people come to the community and stay here for a couple of days.”