Snow wins Springhill mayoralty race

Dave Mathieson
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Two new faces elected to council

Family and friends gathered for a celebration at Max Snow’s house after he was elected mayor of Springhill on Saturday night. Joining in on the celebration was; (from left) 13-year-old Corey Hunter; Snow’s campaign assistant Tonya Hunter; nine-year-old Jada Hunter; mayor-elect Max Snow; 10-year-old Ryan McCormick; 13-year-old Brandon McCormick; and campaign manager Ed Embree.

SPRINGHILL – 44 votes.

That’s all that was needed for Maxwell Snow to beat incumbent mayor Allen Dill to become the new mayor of Springhill.

“In my heart I believe this was more than a municipal election for Springhiller’s who came out to vote,” said Snow at Springhill Town Hall after the final poll came in. “This was a vote for change, and the change is going to start from top to bottom. There’s going to be some adjustments.”

Snow finished with 661 votes to Dill’s 617, while David Wyatt finished a distant third with 34 votes.

In the end 1,312 people voted out of 2,639 eligible voters in Springhill, meaning that 49.72 per cent of the electorate cast a ballot.

Springhill town council will see two new faces. Incumbents Doug Dobson and Jack MacDonald return to their seats on council, while Harold Delaney and Darrell White will inject new blood into council.

Delaney finished with 981 votes, followed by Dobson with 880, White with 854, and MacDonald with 844. Lance Lockwood didn’t make it onto council after finishing with 715 votes.

Snow wants them to work together as a team.

“We want integrity and we want teamwork,” said Snow. “This team has to be about integrity and we have to work with the people and let the people know what’s going on. They are our taxpayers and we have to look after them.”

Snow said there’s going to be more transparency at town hall.

 “The secrecy of his place is gone. The secrecy of this place is over,” he said.

Asked if he believes there’s been secrecy at town hall, Snow said, “Big time. Big time.

“You try to get information and you can’t get any information,” he said. “If you try to get information they run you in circles. It’s nothing but circles.”

Snow said he’s not the only one who has been demoralized by town hall. He said he met many people on the campaign trail who told him the exact same thing.

“I’m appalled with what’s going on,” he said. “People are beating themselves up from what’s going on at town hall. Town hall has to be open so that common, ordinary people can come down and sit down and let me know their concerns, regardless of who you are and what class they belong to.

“I find Springhiller’s are down on themselves and that shouldn’t be the way it is. That’s got to stop,” he added. “We have to make Springhill a place that people love to call home. We want people to be proud of being from Springhill.

Snow was a pastor at the Salvation Army for six years and was put in charge of the Salvation Army on-and-off again for another three years after his retirement.

The 69-year-old believes his experience as a pastor is an asset to being mayor and will help him keep his ear to the ground.

“I know the people in this town because I dealt with them on a social level. I didn’t sit in an office and say, ‘this is my office, don’t bother me,’” said Snow. “I was in with the nitty gritty, I was out there. I was with the seniors who had to make a decision to pay their oil, or pay there water taxes or pay their property taxes or buy food. I had to say to them, ‘go pay your property tax, go pay you’re water tax and come to me and I’ll make sure the Good Neighbor Fund looks after you for a while until you get over this difficult situation.’

“It’s not just going up and saying ‘we’re going to cut your water off.’ That’s the wrong way to approach it. It’s better to sit down with people and have dialogue with them. If you have dialogue you have a working relationship with you’re people,” he added. “There’s been no dialogue going on around here for quite a while. I have issues myself about water and nobody wants to do anything about it. The buck is passed and somebody else has to take the blame, and if you say too much you’re a disturber. That’s got to stop. That’s going to end.”

Incumbent mayor Allen Dill was gracious in defeat.

“The people of Springhill have spoken and I respect their decision,” he said.

He congratulated Snow on his win and wished him the best of luck.

He also said he was very proud of the town’s accomplishments during his mandate.

“We had a $400,000 deficit that we eliminated,” said Dill, “And we reduced our long-term debt from $7 million to $5 million.”

He also said the business community showed confidence in the town during his mandate.

Dill said that new business and business expansions included; the new Subway, along with the expansion of Surrette Battery, two expansions of Home Hardware, the expansion of Pharmasave, the expansion of the paint recycling plant and the expansion of the prison.

He was also proud that the town was paying off the water utility deficit.

“This year we had a surplus. It’s the first time in the history of Springhill we had a surplus in the water deficit,” said Dill. “That surplus will go to pay the large deficit we’ve had in the water utility. If we continue on the same path, in 2014-2015, we will have that deficit paid.”

He also said that the town was given the go-ahead to raise residential taxes to $2.65 but raised them to $2.25 instead.

He said he had promised to develop geothermal energy and that was going to be a priority if he was elected again. He said he made headway in that direction on several fronts, including working with Cumberland County and Parrsboro to develop a strategic green energy plan, and lining up three developers to help develop Springhill’s geothermal resource.

He hopes the new mayor works to find people who will exploit the potential of geothermal energy.

One area where Dill takes issue with Snow is with regards to secrecy at town hall.

“We have a new website where we posted all our (council) minutes, and our council meetings are open,” said Dill.

He also said the town posted all it’s budgets for anybody to look at and that he was always available to talk to anybody.

“My office was always open. I was there four or five days a week.”

Dill said he is finished with politics and he will dedicate his time to his family.





Organizations: Springhill town council, Salvation Army, Neighbor Fund Pharmasave

Geographic location: Springhill, Cumberland County

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Recent comments

  • Sharon
    October 31, 2012 - 14:15

    Hello John, Yes, I am very familiar with the Springhill Miner's Museum. Yes, I have actually been to the Museum on numerous occasions. However, this Museum is far from its potential. It needs to be revamped. We could bring in many more tourists, if we made positive changes. One only has to drive by to see the lack of tourists visiting this area. There is so much that it needs. In reference to your comment, on the lack of artisans willing to make large quantities/change their rates -it is not accurate. Villages with only a few hundred people have made a go at this. This is not something for all the shops in the area. We do not want this items produced in massive quantities. This creates uniqueness with items that would not be found easily else where. In addition, the product would always be in rotation, so the product never runs its course. This can easily be done. A previous failed attempt does not negate the fact that we have the market to drive this. As for the not knowing anything about Business, you are wrong. I not only have a Business Degree, but a Marketing one as well. I have been in Business for almost 30 years. So I believe that qualifies me as holding some knowledge. Springhill is such a wonderful Town. However, what it needs is people that are not willing to give up on it due to past failures. I also need to correct one last comment that you have made about me. I have not presented myself as Knowledgeable. I have presented only some of the potentials that Springhill has which we have failed to develop. Perhaps, I will take an active role in making some of these changes happen. Springhill needs positive change, and those who believe in her.

  • Sharon
    October 25, 2012 - 23:23

    People in Springhill cast their ballots wisely. Allan Dill ran his office and the Town Council in Secrecy. Allan Dill was not interested in speaking with his Constituents. He was not interested in doing what is best for this Town. How can one criticize someone who has just come into office? I only hope that Councillor McDonald rethinks his position on taxes as we know he wants to continually raise them as his past experience has shown. Springhill is a wonderful Town that unfortunately has not been looked after for quite some time. There are so many businesses that would do well in the Town. If it would only lower the taxes to give new businesses a chance to exist. Springhill still has tourists that come into Town for Anne Murray and the Coal Mines. Why have we not taken advantage of this? Why have we not opened a Museum showing the proud (and sometimes tragic) history of Coal not only in Springhill but in Nova Scotia. Make it not only something to showcase this part of our History but make it educational as well. Why have we not taken advantage of the wonderful talent in and around Springhill for crafts/locally made souvenirs. We have a great history with Maple Syrup not to mention unique and delicious Maple Products that are not available in other parts of Canada and the US? We have so much history. We are a town that has been through so much, and yet we continue to persevere. We used to be such a tight community and would always help others in need. I feel that we have lost some of that. We definitely are there for the fundraisers and benefits. We are quick to help when it comes to those who need monetary funds. We need to be proud of that fact. However, helping those in need, and your fellow neighbour - goes so much deeper than that. Springhill has lost this. We can get it back. We just need to come together as one. Then, we will be able to achieve anything.

    • John
      October 27, 2012 - 13:56

      Hello Sharon: You suggest we open a museum to showcase our mining history. Are you not aware of the Springhill Miners Museum?? This museum has been in operation for 40 years and has been noted by tourism consultant Roger Brooks as one of the best tours he has ever experienced! Obviously, you have not been to the Springhill Miners Museum or you would know that. You also suggest taking advantage of locally produced souvenirs. First of all, none of the local artisans are willing to produce large enough quantities to supply the gift shops nor are they willing to sell at wholesale prices. Therefore, a retailer cannot make a decent enough profit margin. Believe me it has been tried. Local artists can do better selling on their own. You obviously have no experience in business. Since you present yourself as being so knowledgeable, you should take a lead role in making some of your ideas happen in Springhill.

  • Brad
    October 25, 2012 - 22:04

    The fact the new mayor had Tonya Hunter working as his campaign assistant tells you what to expect from the new mayor's office. It will be a long winter in Springhill.

  • Ann
    October 25, 2012 - 15:15

    I find it interesting that someone living in seniors housing expects to have reduced water and property taxes. I thought you had to own property in order to pay property taxes! I think the property owners are responsible for paying taxes!! Good luck with getting money back when you didn't pay any to begin with. As for raising taxes - Mayor Dill was faced with an almost $400,000 deficit when he took office. The provincial government does not allow a municipality to carry a deficit and insists it be addressed by raising the tax rate. Facing that deficit Mayor Dill and Council eliminated the deficit during his term. It seems that more people took a personal approach rather than an economic approach when casting their ballot. It will be interesting to see what happens to the financial situation over the next four years.

  • Joe Smith
    October 25, 2012 - 05:59

    It looks like its going to be a long winter with a big Snow blowing into Springhill on election day. People will be shocked when they find out the future cost of Snow removal.

  • Jules
    October 24, 2012 - 21:34

    Oh springhill you make me laugh. Mr. Dill was the best thing that happened to this town in decades. I think you are forgetting that he is only 1 vote. Why is no one bagging on all the other councillors. All I can say is you get what you deserve. If you for one second think your taxes are going down, I have some swamp land for sale in Florida. Believe me it will be worth millions in a few years. I for one would like to know if the people who voted this man in, even pay taxes? Do you contribute anything to this community? I look forward to watching this all play out. Good luck.

  • The pompous one
    October 23, 2012 - 09:33

    Who is this man that goes by the name of Major Snow, the one they call Maxwell? And what is this army of which he speaks, this so-called army of Salvation? From whence does this army come from and who does it represent? Furthermore, winning by a measly 44 votes does not give this Maxwell the mandate to throw open the gilded gates and back room dealing of town hall to the common peasantry of Springhill. How are the guardians of the gilded gates supposed to get any work done with the mere peasantry peering over their shoulders at every turn? I wash my hands entirely of this rubbish they call elections whereby the common folk think they run this town. HOW DARE THEY!

    • Sharon
      October 24, 2012 - 12:38

      It seems like you are either Allan Dill (who kept raising taxes) or a staunch supporter. I find it unacceptable that you mentioning religion in this context.We have freedom of religion and everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. The race was just won, you have no idea what Mayor Snow will bring to the table and this town. This town needs a Mayor and Councillors who will stop raising taxes. Who will be open with the People of Springhill, and actually care about the Town. Everyone deserves a chance.

  • Elizabeth
    October 22, 2012 - 19:47

    Congratulations to the new Mayor. He is the only candidate for Mayor in the past few elections that has really saying what people in this town want. I must say, I was so happy to have him at my door and talking about how we need real tax cuts for the people in town. It was nice to hear his promises of really lower water and property taxes and fixing these roads that are a mess! As a senior living in seniors housing it made me happy when he told me I would save money on my water and property taxes when he won because living on a fixed income is difficult. He has so many great ideas about fixing the town’s departments and I am glad we gave him a chance. His vision for our public works and police department is good! We need someone to go in to those departments and “clean house” and Max told me he would do just that! I can’t wait for the next four years – A big CHANGE is coming to this town!

  • Dave
    October 22, 2012 - 18:27

    And so it begins, not even sitting in the Mayor's seat and already bad mouthing. To the people that voted for Max, step forward and admit it as time goes on. Keep in mind, the council has the final say on a vote, not the mayor. Thank goodness we have 2 strong people in the town hall with financial back ground. Far as I'm concerned, we elected 4 good mayors and 1 other. There will be more For Sale signs up than there ever was election signs in the coming 4 years (or next 12 months)

  • The pompous one
    October 22, 2012 - 13:03

    How dare Snow talk of such foolishness. Has he given the green light to the common riff-raff of Springhill to storm the gates, break down the barricades and access the hallowed halls of the Springhill Municipal Building? Is this of what he speaks? How dare he utter such nonsensical nonsense.

  • Lenny
    October 22, 2012 - 10:33

    Mayor Dill was up to his eyeballs in the CREDA scandal as a staunch supporter of Rhonda Kelly's. The investigation is ongoing now that the forensic audit is being arranged. As a springhiller, I'm pleased to see one of the players in this mess get the boot. The question now bcomes how much of our taxpayers money went into CREDA thanks to our former mayor. And Many of us are hopeful that Mayor Snow pulls springhill's funding of CREDA so no more money is wasted

  • Sharon
    October 22, 2012 - 09:52

    Congratulations Max Snow! I am thrilled that he won. I know that he will do good things, and it will be nice to have a Mayor that wants to look at other avenues - other than raise taxes in town. I also find it interesting that Allen Dill states there was no secrecy at the Town Hall. The Town Hall was run on secrecy. As for stating that his door was always open, Mr. Dill would not even stop on the street and say hello. This town needs a Mayor who cares about the town, and that is what we now have. The Town needs new business, and to work with Business on exploring new avenues. The Town could support so much. However, in the past the Mayor and Council had made it almost impossible to open a new business. That will now be in the past. Springhill draws a great many to the Anne Murray Centre - we are close to the ocean and we have a great many talented people in and around the surrounding area. Why do we not take advantage of that and open a shop celebrating that fact. Stock it with local and Maritime wide souvenirs, arts, and items celebrating a proud Maritime Heritage. In the Summer, stock Country Market produce, in the Spring - stock it with the local delicious Maple Products. There is so much opportunity here - that it would be nice to see the ideas become a realisation.

    • Andrew
      October 28, 2012 - 13:20

      As usual, the people who always criticize those in office, have all the answers. Well, why don't these people run for office, or go to meetings or get off their a---- and do something besides complaining. Obviously enough Springhillers voted to get change, but it is sad so small a number voted at all. Now we have a mayor that, instead of graciously taking office, the first thing he does is to cut up the hard working staff at the Town Hall. Wow, what a way to get people to get together for the benefit of the town!

  • julie
    October 22, 2012 - 07:24

    Wow...I've heard of poor loosers but poor winners, Come on wheres your vision for the town?

    • Karen
      October 22, 2012 - 10:43

      Wow....what a way to start a relationship with your new staff members! I have had numerous dealings with Town Hall Staff and they have never been anything but courteous and accommodating. I feel sorry for the Town Hall Staff having to work with a new Mayor that has already voiced negative opinions toward them all without ever working with them! So sad for them!