Mayor non-committal on whether new term will be her last
© Andrew Wagstaff - The Citizen-Record
Parrsboro Mayor Lois Smith was re-elected by acclamation last week after no opposing candidates filed nomination papers on Sept. 11. She will now be an observer on Oct. 20, when eight candidates will be seeking the four seats on council.
PARRSBORO Mayor Lois Smith has been given the green light for four more years in office, after nomination day came and went last week with no opposing candidates stepping forward.
The mayor said she was not expecting the acclamation victory, but hoped it was a sign that voters are satisfied with the work she has done at the post.
“I feel elated that obviously I must be doing something right… there weren’t a lot of people challenging me,” she said. “All I can say is that I have four more years to complete things we have started in council, and I will certainly be very pleased to work with the people of Parrsboro and the new councillors that are elected.”
Two other potential candidates had picked up nomination papers for mayor, but had not filed them by the deadline on Sept. 11, according to the mayor, who said she was surprised to be facing no opposition in the upcoming Oct. 20 election.
“It’s still in the back of my head that I should be campaigning,” said the mayor.
While there will be no race for mayor, there will be an election for council on Oct. 20, as eight candidates are vying for the four seats. Incumbents David Harrison, Dawn McCully and Lisa Ward will be joined on the ballot by former councillors Ron Shaw, Lloyd Smith and Lyle Yorke, as well as newcomers Betty Atkinson and Robert Fancy.
The mayor said she will not be endorsing any particular candidate, and will be happy to work with whichever four candidates are successful on election night.
“It’s going to be an interesting campaign for those folks, and an interesting time,” said Smith. “I’m pleased people are showing an interest in municipal politics and they want to get involved, which is great.”
Although she has used language to indicate this could be her last term in office, the mayor would not go as far as to make that declaration yet. She said she wanted to have a full term at the position, as her current term saw her elected in a special byelection following the resignation and subsequent death of former mayor Doug Robinson in 2009.
Smith has plenty on her plate for the next four years, having identified priorities such as the repair work on the aboiteau bridge, which is slated to take place within the year, and Phase 2 and 3 of the sewer upgrade project.
“We have to move forward, and, as soon as the applications are ready, we will be applying for funding to continue that,” she said. “It does make sense, while work is being done on the bridge, that it’s an opportune time to start working on Phase 2, which will be the connection of the two sewer outflows from town.”
Other priorities for the mayor include continued repaving of town streets and sidewalks, the acquisition by the town of the tennis court property on Eastern Ave., continued support of the tidal power developments, improvements to Glooscap Park, attracting and retaining local businesses, and the continued search of a long-term care nursing home for the town.
Although she won’t be on a ballot come election night, she said she still hopes to be in the middle of the excitement.
“I think I will be allowed to be there when the returns come in, so I will celebrate with the four councillors that go in,” said the mayor.