Municipal election 2021 – Get to know your candidates; Blacks Harbour

In this edition of the Courier, you’ll find details on candidates running for council seats in our coverage areas in the Monday, May 10 election. All those who provided phone/email contact information to Elections NB were contacted and invited to participate. Each candidate was provided the same questions, and a maximum word count for the return document.

We are running the candidates alphabetically, both geographically and by name. Any late responses will be put online.

There is not a listing for St. Stephen as the council will be named by acclaim.

Coverage for those running for mayor in the region will be in the Tuesday, May 4 edition of The Saint Croix Courier.

BLACKS HARBOUR – Five councillors to elect. There will also be a plebiscite vote on the ticket for Blacks Harbour residents.

Mike Chase

Why are you running for a council seat in your region?

As a tireless lifelong volunteer to many causes, an experienced community leader, and professionally employed individual, I seek to offer sound knowledge of planning and fiscal management. My heart beats for Blacks Harbour and I offer integrity, objectivity, and proven commitment to public service, I want to be a vehicle that encourages residents to get involved, show up at meetings, give council direction, and ideas of their wants and needs. I seek to serve on a diverse team of hard working councillors and mayor that will operate with understanding of the importance of stable tax rates and work with respect for each other and integrity and always put the greater good of all citizens before themselves or before singular issues. I m a hard worker that doesn’t give up easily and works toward reaching goals with a proven track record.

What is the first issue you’d like to tackle if elected?

I want to work on recreation and parks. I will lobby to advocate for the regional financial assistance and taxation changes needed to keep our arena operating. I will work to restore the outdoor ball court facilities for users of all ages. This would include basketball court, hockey court with nets, potential pickle ball court space, and eventual skateboard equipment multi-use area. I want to bring more activities to our beautiful main street park such as summer concerts, and family events like popcorn and movie nights, outdoor bazaar (flea market days). I envision safer and upgraded village owned playgrounds, promotion of the Pea Point Trails and the hopeful addition of a compacted gravel walking track near the outdoor ball courts for residents to walk safely away from traffic. We also have a well maintained and well used ball field and I want to install a permanent washroom for users.

What new program/policy would you like to put in place?

I seek to set a new path in trash collection by providing “ no” cost or “ low’ cost garbage bins to residents for their weekly accumulated garbage. This would enhance safety in accordance with government health standards and Work Safe regulations for trash collection for our workers, permit uniformity of design, and eliminate bird and rodent issues as well as offer convenience to residents and provide a long term maintenance free method of convenient collection. In conjunction this I seek to add one village clean-up day per year that includes yard waste pick-up and community street and parks annual community clean-up days.

Natalie Harris

Why are you running for a council seat in your region?

I was born in and have lived in my community all of my life. We have so much potential here for growth and development. I believe I have the knowledge, experience and foresight to contribute to developing that plan for our future.

What is the first issue you’d like to tackle if elected?

Blacks Harbour needs housing not just for families but for single people as well. The village needs to grow but without housing this is not possible. There is land available for development and I feel that it is essential that we attract developers to our community to build our future.

What new program/policy would you like to put in place?

We need to develop better communications and relationships with the other communities and areas in the surrounding area. We all need to support each other regionally to be able to maintain the services we have and want to have for the future. This co-operation will make our area stronger and everyone’s quality of life better.

Terry James

Why are you running for a council seat in your region?

I’m running for a council seat here in Blacks Harbour, because after 17+ years as mayor, and having no vote, no voice, I’d like to see what it’s like to be part of the decision making process, and get to finally exercise my right to vote in the decisions being made. One term, I was the only elected official at the table – council was acclaimed – yet I wasn’t allowed to vote. The often undeclared conflict of interest, the self-promotion and other negative aspects have made leading council difficult in my opinion. Many mayors have complained about bullying on council. They’re not alone.

What is the first issue you’d like to tackle if elected?

Despite council repeatedly rejecting the Regional Service Commission, and the important work being done there (remember the recycling fiasco), I, on the other hand, am proud of my 8+ years on the RSC board, in leadership roles such as vice-chair and a member of the executive committee. I am especially proud of my work on regional recreation, and I finally had the Regional Recreation Cost Sharing Policy passed by the board at our last meeting. This $0.02 per $100 property tax assessment, will be directed to regional recreation facilities, and in our case, should greatly alleviate the tax burden of our arena. I have been fighting for regional financial help for our arena since taking office 17+ years ago. It is very satisfying for me to see this through knowing how much it’s going to help Blacks Harbour taxpayers.

What new program/policy would you like to put in place?

Previous council could not arrive at a decision with regard to having laying hens in the village. This will be a plebiscite question, one which should be given careful consideration. Democracy will rule either way. We already have draft bylaws from other communities, as well as our own, so implementation should be swift. At our last Council meeting, the 3rd and final reading of a Code of Conduct for Council, was passed. I’m hoping this document will provide Council with much needed guidance.

Ashley Ritchie

Why are you running for a council seat in your region?

I’m running for a council seat because I would like to see the council members have a more interactive relationship with the residents of the village. I envision a community where we come together and actively engage in volunteerism, to create a culture of community giving all year long. I believe that my experience and education will enable me to contribute to my community in an impactful way. In my current role I manage skilled trades programs around the province which has enhanced my skills in budget management, funding proposals, project management, collaborative partnerships, and maintaining organizational goals. I believe these skills will enable me to make sound financial decisions for the residents that are in the best interest of the entire village. Through positive change and collaboration, we can accomplish so much more in our region if we can work together.

What is the first issue you’d like to tackle if elected?

I would like to see something implemented for garbage disposal for all residents. I envision having garbage bins with wheels, much like our recycling bins now. I would however like to see multiple sizes made available to our residents, as large bins can be difficult for some residents to use.

What new program/policy would you like to put in place?

I would like to see a planned community event happen at least once a month within our village that engages all generations within our community. I envision activities that the whole family can enjoy, such as pumpkin carving, wreath making, art and crafts, a community corn boil from our own community garden, outdoor sports tournaments such as ball hockey or basketball, outdoor concerts in our community park, etc.

Those running who did not respond:

Gerald Bernard

Adam Ross Hatt

Shelli Hatt

Donna Legassie

Amber Libby

David Mahar

Beverly Scott

Jordan Thompson

Gerald Wells *The Courier spoke with Wells and he does not own a computer, and understood why he could not be interviewed when no other candidate was provided that opportunity.