By Lawrence Powell
Unlike registered voters in other municipalities across Nova Scotia, Bridgetown residents won’t be marking up ballots on October 18 – in fact there won’t even be an election.
Returning officer Melissa Young confirmed that all incumbent councilors and Mayor Art Marshall had re-offered as of the September 9 deadline and none of them were contested.
Returning councillors are Dennis Kingston, Grant Wright, Richard Fleming, Dick Campbell, John Smith, and Ted Agombar.
On the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board front, incumbent board member Sue Ritchie re-offered and was elected by acclamation.
Marshall believes Bridgetown residents are saying they are satisfied with the current council and are giving councilors the mandate to continue with the work they’ve started.
He pointed out that his council is only about two years old and he has been mayor for about the same length of time. “I think they like what we’re doing and are giving us another four years,” Marshall said.
The mayor said that when the new council took over, there was a lot of work that had been hanging around, including the new fire hall, new library, and the town’s water utility project.
He said the disenchantment of residents towards the town that seemed prevalent several years ago appears to be gone and the relationship with the community has improved. “They (residents) are happy that we took action to get that work done,” Marshall said.
Today the fire hall is actually under construction, the new library plans are proceeding, and the town is close to going full steam ahead with the water project that will cost more than $3 million.
But Marshall said council has not worked in isolation. “We invited participation from the community,” he said. “We invited feedback through public forums, our newsletter, and surveys.”
And council members are part of the initiatives taking place, instead of just sitting back. “We’re a working group,” he said.
The town holds an annual public forum each spring where it presents its plans for the coming year and beyond, updates the public on what’s been done, and provides an opportunity for people to understand and provide feedback.
Marshall said the town’s spring and fall Active Living Fair is another opportunity to provide information to the public. “It’s another way for people to understand what’s going on in town,” he said. “We’re more pro-active,” he said. “We’re not just talking about what we’ve done but what we’re going to do. We use the community as a sounding board. We try to pull people together.”
As for skipping the election, Marshall estimated it will save the town about $3,000 which can be used in other ways. “Balancing a budget every year is a challenge and every dollar is precious,” he said. “The cost of elections is not normally part of the cost of running a town.”
As for running the Town of Bridgetown, Marshall said residents have again bestowed that responsibility on council. “We take that responsibility seriously.”
No elections in Bridgetown
Mayor, councilors re-offer; none contested
By Lawrence Powell
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