New candidates hold meet and greet in Port Greville
© Jocelyn Turner – The Citizen-Record
District 10 residents have five new candidates to consider for their upcoming by-election. Potential councillors Oralee Colins O’Byrne (from left), John Melanson, Greg Morris, Susan Clarke and Don Fletcher recently gathered at the Port Greville Fire Hall for a Q&A session.
PORT GREVILLE – It’ll be back to the poling stations for residents in District 10 next week. The district will be having their by-election to nominate a new councillor. Over the weekend, residents had the chance to meet all five prospective councillors during the meet and greet held at the fire hall in Port Greville.
Running for the recently available position were Oralee Colins O’Byrne, John Melanson, Greg Morris, Susan Clarke and Don Fletcher. At the meet and greet, residents in attendance had the chance to ask the candidates about local issues that are important to them.
The first question the councillors were asked was how they intended on keep the entire district happy with any decisions they were to make as a newly elected councillor. All candidates had no problem with guaranteeing an open door policy for any of the residents.
“I think community meetings would be great but I also think that the councillors should take a little extra time and periodically go from house to house, maybe taking one area at a time,” Clarke said. “I think that with interaction with another person, you can really obtain more information.”
Another issue brought up at the meeting was how the candidates intended to bring more jobs to the area. O’Byrne said she felt that there was already great potential in the area that needed to be utilized.
“This is a wonderful, marketable place, especially where tourism is concerned,” said O’Byrne. “That’s not the only concern. There are jobs here, we’re connected to the Internet and home businesses can use that to their advantage. There is so much potential in this area and I want to be a part of that potential and I want to do whatever I can to see it grow.”
Melanson agreed with O’Byrne about the potential for tourism in the area, but said his main focus would be on bringing in more jobs and businesses.
“My vision is to help people come up with ideas to start little summer businesses,” he said. “We need to develop the area.”
Morris felt some time should be spent on the upkeep in the area to help draw in more people to boost business.
“I think there’s really good potential here for people, young and old, to make money,” he said. “First, we need signs here on the road and to keep our beaches up.”
Health care was also brought up at the meeting. Although health care and nursing home care is a provincial issue, the councillors all said they had no problem lobbying on the behalf of their residents.
“A lot of the problem is we’re not speaking out enough ourselves to say we don’t like this,” said Fletcher on the issue of lack of medical services in the area. “If enough people phone (the Cumberland Health Authority) and complain, they’ll do something. Health care is a big issue.”
The election date is Feb. 16 with advance polls open on Feb. 9 and 12 from noon until 8 p.m.