AMHERST – Wayne Bishop wants Amherst to become busy once again with new business and industry.
Bishop, 64, is running against incumbent Robert Small for Amherst’s top elected job and says lowering commercial taxes would go a long way toward attracting new industry into the community.
“We need to do a better job attracting new businesses and new industries to Amherst,” Bishop said. “We need to do a better job of promoting ourselves and what we have to offer. I think we’ve gotten away from that.”
Bishop, who served on town council between 1994 and 1997, said the town really needs to take a long look at its tax rate. He believes in a zero-based budget system that’s based on providing the necessities each town department needs as opposed to having a budget based on last year’s expenditures.
“We need to bring our tax rate under control. To do that we need to control our spending at town hall,” he said. “I think we need to scrutinize every single line of the budget to determine if it’s necessary.”
By controlling the budget and attracting new business, Bishop said, the town will increase its tax base, allowing it to offer more services to residents. He would like to see vacant buildings downtown filled with new businesses.
He would also like to see organizations such as the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce, the Cumberland Regional Development Authority and the downtown business advisory committee work with the town to create a committee that would make the town its focus.
Bishop also wants to see more open communication between the town, its residents and business owners. He would like to see more open meetings where citizens can voice their concerns and he would like the town to reach out to those business people who aren’t members of other organizations.
He also wants to improve the lines of communication between the town and the area’s MLA and member of Parliament.
Wayne Bishop was born in Amherst. He is married and has two children, as well as grandson.
He worked at Robb Engineering and Dominion Bridge for more than 30 years as an accountant.
His community involvement includes Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church, Tantramar Community Radio, the Amherst Ramblers, the Kidney Foundation’s golf tournament, the Amherst branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and Relay for Life.