UPPER NAPPAN – Three candidates are offering for District 7 in the upcoming county council election, and the only thing certain is that it will be a new councilor in the seat.
The decision by incumbent Phil Donkin not to re-offer leaves the seat open to either Kelly Milner, Bill Park or Dan Rector, with the voters to decide on Oct. 20.
“I want to be the voice of the people in my community,” said Milner, who works in the senior’s health centre at the All Saints Community Care Centre in Springhill. “This is my first time running for public office, but I feel I’m prepared to represent the people of the district and represent their concerns on council.”
She said her biggest focus if elected will be working with the community and serving as a liaison between residents and council.
Milner said she his disheartened by the declining number of family farms and as a former member of 4-H she would like the county to do more to lobby governments at the provincial and federal levels to provide more support to farmers.
“This is a very good district, but it could be better. There are a lot of empty farms that I would like to see brought back to life and I would also like to see a new fire hall in West Leicester,” she said.
Rector has been involved in helping out with elections in the past for the likes of Gary Gordon and George Henley, but this is his first time offering as a candidate himself. The issues are clear to the Little River resident.
“I’ve lived here all my life and, especially in the county of Cumberland, it seems we’re getting shortchanged,” he said. “I’ve talked to a lot of people, and I don’t think we’re getting good value for our tax dollar.”
One area of neglect he has identified has been road conditions, saying Nova Scotia seems to end at the tollbooths of the Cobequid Pass when it comes to paving.
Rector said he was committed to keeping the people of the district informed on the issues.
“I feel that any elected councilor should represent the wishes of the residents and I will represent the wishes of the residents and I will encourage any suggestions and concerns about the quality of life in my district,” he said.
Park may be new to the county council scene, but he is not new to municipal politics, having served for several years as Oxford mayor before moving away due to business duties.
He said he has always planned to get involved again since moving back to the area seven years ago, and felt the time was right.
“I’ve always had an interest in municipal politics… I find it interesting, challenging and rewarding,” said Park.
People in the district have expressed a number of concerns to him, ranging from education to health care and roads, all of which are mainly under provincial government jurisdiction, but he sees a role for municipal councilors to lobby the other levels.
“The big thing I kept hearing was the worry of a steady increase in day-to-day living costs,” said Park. “We need to hold property taxes to an affordable rate.”