AMHERST - Amherst's former town manager has announced he will be seeking a seat on the other side of the council table.
Ed Childs, who was the town's top administrator between 1998 and 2005, announced Monday he will seek a seat on Amherst town council when voters go to the polls Oct. 20.
Childs said he's running on a single platform - lower taxes for residential and business ratepayers.
"I want to reduce the amount people pay in taxes, and the best way to do that is to get control of the town's expenditures," he said. "How I propose we do that is by reviewing all budgeted expenditures and deciding if, and how, each expense will benefit our citizens."
Childs, who lives on Lamy Street and is a chartered accountant with a diploma in municipal administration, said an example of putting his theory into practice concerns the repurposing of the former Dominion Public Building as the new town hall.
"A theatre is a much better use for that building than the town hall, but there also are other good uses that would bring new traffic downtown and should have been considered. That's just common sense. It makes me wonder what the final cost to taxpayers will be for the total renovation project, including the old Bank of Montreal building," he said.
He wants to bring back the Positively Amherst marketing campaign and make the town an attractive place to live by providing new residents with information and assistance on finding vital services such as a family doctor, health-care services and contractors.
Childs said the town has to focus on expenditures that benefit residents as well as businesses throughout the town, including the downtown business district.
He said the town has spent tax dollars beautifying the downtown area with good results, but it needs to get economic development working again to bring new jobs to town.
"How we do that is to bring back the can-do attitude we had a few years ago and start approaching businesses and industries about setting up shop in Amherst," Childs said.
As town manager, Childs said he and staff successfully recruited employers such as Weston Foods, Gordon's Foodservices, Staples, Maritime Pride Eggs, Wal-Mart, the Atlantic Superstore and Kent Building Supplies. He said that work resulted in the creation of 300 full-time jobs.
Childs said he believes strongly in Amherst and wants to create a plan for the future that will bring prosperity to our town.
"Amherst needs to get moving forward and growing again and I have the commitment and experience to help make it happen," Childs said.