Candidates take stand

Rose Willigar
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

PARRSBORO: As election time draws near Parrsboro's Board of Trade [BOT] hosted a municipal debate giving Parrsboro residents the opportunity to hear what candidates running for the mayor's seat have in store for the town.
First on the Oct. 1, roster for opening statements was Stanford Blenkhorn who began by thanking the BOT for hosting the event then pointing out he as a former two-term mayor and councilor he has experience with the operations of council.
"I want to be mayor because I have concerns with how and why certain projects are being done in the town. More importantly, I'm concerned with what's not being done in the town. Two concerns I hear during this campaign are high taxes and nothing being done to develop Parrsboro. I keep hearing from this council we're a nice little town; that we're a small town and they want to keep us being a nice little town," Blenkhorn said.
"I like the idea that people call this a nice town, but I don't like the idea of remaining a small town, I'd like to see Parrsboro develop, if possible. The problem with a small town is the amount of taxes unfortunately it's going to mean business closures and higher taxes and we all pay enough for taxes now and we don't receive anything," Blenkhorn said.
"I was speaking with a resident who said their taxes five years ago were $800 and now their taxes are $1,300. That's a 62 percent increase over the last five years. To me that's a lot for a small town to be increasing their taxes," Blenkhorn said.
Blenkhorn also said in the years he has spent away from council in Parrsboro he has watched other municipalities and now feels it's time to step back into municipal politics.
"I'm just a guy who wants to see action; wants to see Parrsboro grow. What goes to other parts of the province we're going to get here," Blenkhorn said.
Second in line for opening remarks at the public forum was Parrsboro's current mayor Doug Robinson where he reminded those in attendance that he has represented Parrsboro for the past fourteen years, three as a councilor and eleven as mayor and is seeking to continue to represent Parrsboro and it's residents for another term.
"As mayor I cannot take full credit for what has been done. I would be remiss if I did not include the work of council. The work of council requires the effort and cooperation of all council members and just as importantly town staff. It is through the council system that things get done," Robinson said.
"Let me make it clear, a Parrsboro town council is responsible for setting policy in Parrsboro. In saying that, any town council that sets policy without including staff and many other sources is a council that is standing in the danger of taking a very long walk off a very short pier," Robinson said.
Continuing with Parrsboro's fiscal management over the last five year, Robinson said, Parrsboro has managed over the last five years to build up its reserves with no long term debt and that there are many municipalities that are not in the same position.
"The council has established a five year strategy with the sewer project as one of our top priorities. Talking to people as I walk around town residents definitely agree with us. The purpose of our reserves seem to be misunderstood. Reserves do not mean you have a lot of free money. In fact our reserves already helped towards the purchase of a new fire truck, upgrades to the electrical power at the Glooscap Park and with the ongoing sewer project," Robinson said.
Joel Smith is the third candidate in the running for the mayor's seat in Parrsboro.
Smith who has been a Parrsboro resident for the last five years says he has seen businesses come and go and feels not being from the area gives him a fair and unbiased outlook on the needs of Parrsboro.
"There are three items in my platform that I feel are important to residents. The first being choice. The most important power people possess is the power to choose. I ran in this election because I feel it necessary for people to have a choice. The second is change - it's time for a change and new ideas," Smith said.
The third item of concern in Smith's platform is control.
"Town council sets policy and I believe before any policy is changed or made the people in Parrsboro should have a voice in those policies before they are set," Smith said.
Following opening remarks each candidate answered predetermined questions by BOT Chair Frank Hartman after which those in attendance at the public forum had the opportunity to mingle with the mayoral and councilor candidates at the fire hall in Parrsboro.
Parrsboro's municipal election is set for Oct. 18, with advanced polls on Oct. 9 and 14.

Organizations: Board of Trade, Town council

Geographic location: PARRSBORO, Glooscap Park

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page