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Mood for change remains strong at Amherst town hall

Amherst Mayor Dr. David Kogon
Amherst Mayor Dr. David Kogon

Kogon looks back at first year in office

AMHERST – When Dr. David Kogon was swept into the mayors office last year, he said he was given an agenda for change at Amhersts town hall.

A year after that huge election win, Kogon is still working to engineer that change – even if its going a little slower than he hoped.

Theres still an optimism and positive attitude around town that wasnt there when I was campaigning, Kogon said. I'm not saying this council gets all the credit for that, but its there. You can feel it and its going to help everything grow and develop.

Kogon said Victoria Faire and Dayles Grand Market are examples of the good things taking place downtown and the renewed optimism among business leaders in the community.

When Kogon was elected, winning the mayors seat by nearly 1,000 over George Baker, he led a council that had only one returning member in Terry Rhindress. He said the new team has worked well together during the last year and remains focused on change.

Its been a good year and weve been working to develop a whole new rapport amongst ourselves and with the staff, Kogon said. It has come along nicely. We have a very engaged group. I would have liked things to move along faster, but things do take time and were still headed in the direction we want to go.

At the same time, Kogon and his council have reached out to other municipalities in the region to try to remove any barriers that prevented inter-municipal co-operation from taking place.

Kogon has held several meetings already with Oxford Mayor Trish Stewart and Cumberland County Warden Allison Gillis and there have been several joint council meetings. That spirit of co-operation has also been extended across the border to Sackville, N.B.

Things have been very positive when you think about the long history of that co-operation not being there, Kogon said. Im proud and happy to say that has begun. It has taken time and its going to grow and develop, but the door has been open.

Hes also happy with the rapport that has been developed with MP Bill Casey, former MP Terry Farrell and new Cumberland North MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin.

One example of increased co-operation was a recent meeting between Sackville Mayor John Higham, Kogon, Gillis and federal MPs Bill Casey and Dominic LeBlanc to talk about rising sea levels and their potential impact on key infrastructure such as the rail line and the Trans-Canada Highway.

darrell.cole@amherstnews.ca

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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