Four people are running in a May 18 byelection to fill a vacant seat on Yarmouth Town Council.
The seat was left vacant following the death of councillor Sandy Dennis.
For eligible voters residing in the town of Yarmouth, election day will be Saturday, May 18. A polling station will located in the lower level of the town hall will be open on May 18 from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Voting by electronic ballot will begin on Saturday, May 11 at 9 a.m. and will continue until the close of polls on Saturday, May 18 at 7 p.m.
The Tri-County Vanguard invited the four candidates vying for the seat to each send us a submission that included an explanation of why they are running for council and what they bring to the table. (There was a 350-word count limit on this). We also asked them to identify three priorities the town should be focusing on.
Here are their submissions as they were provided to our newsroom.
Steve Berry: ‘I believe Yarmouth has untapped potential’
A sense of pride from where I am from is something I’ve always had. I believe Yarmouth has untapped potential that I hope to bring to light. Representing these beliefs and being a new voice for those who feel unheard is why I decided to run.
Coming from a close-knit family, my sense of responsibility of looking out for others was instilled at a young age. My interest in school politics, sports and clubs allowed my leadership and teamwork skills to be attained during my school years.
I was Student Council president of YCMHS in my graduating year and went on to attend St. Thomas University. I returned to work at YCMHS for the last 13 years. Working closely with our youth has allowed me to know their wants and needs. I will use this knowledge if elected to help engage and involve them so their voices are heard.
My community involvement includes being a founding member of the JStrong Fund, a local charity that has raised over $100,000 to support youth with the cost of sports; being a member of the Maple Grove School Advisory Committee; and involvement in Restorative Justice initiatives and recently asked to be on the Board of Governors.
I have been a math specialist/tutor at the BEA Cultural Academic Enrichment Program for over 15 years. I’m a recipient of a Nova Scotia Human Rights Award with No Glory Productions, a student-led cultural awareness video. I am president of the Yarmouth Co-ed Softball League with over 350 players involved; head organizer of the JStrong Softball Tournament that has raised over $35,000 in three years, and the JStrong Cup a street hockey tournament, which was held on Main Street last fall.
My brand of politics is to put the people’s needs first. I believe the public should be involved in the decision-making process every step of the way. I am running because I believe a fresh face is needed with new ideas that inspire our town. I promise to stay a humble and true community-minded person who listens, working hard to represent the public’s best interest.
Three priorities the town of Yarmouth should be focusing on.
1. Communication to better inform and involve the public in all aspects of the decision-making process
2. Community building to create a sense of hometown pride and economic spinoff through new community events.
3. Continuing to move Yarmouth forward with such things as ferry terminal upgrades, Mariners Centre expansion, continued beautification of the town and creating an industry-friendly environment for outside investors.
Gil Dares: ‘I know the value of consultation’
As long as I have lived in Yarmouth I have been involved in community service. I have a solid record of long-term commitment and making things happen. I have and continue to serve on numerous boards and committees at the local, regional and provincial level.
With my extensive background in negotiation and mediation I know the value of consultation with those you represent. Combined with my intimate knowledge of the issues, I am confident that I will be able to provide you the service you deserve.
As a community I believe we must take care of each other and as such, leadership is needed to address some important concerns. Child poverty rates, lack of affordable and adequate housing and the recruitment and retention of doctors while not solely municipal responsibilities, cannot be ignored.
As a parent with children living in Alberta and the Northwest Territories, I can personally relate to the lack of opportunities that exist for our youth. It is imperative that we engage our youth in our decision-making processes. We need to reverse the trend of an aging and shrinking population. We must focus attention on the things that make our community a desirable place to be, one that provides activities for young families and seniors alike; a community where everyone feels valued and included.
I have the passion, energy and experience to continue to make Yarmouth a better place to live and work. I am optimistic for our future and I would consider it a privilege and an honour to represent you on council.
Three priorities the town should be focusing on
1) Quality of life issues for our citizens
2) Creating an environment for investment
3) Blending municipal responsibilities and developing partnerships
Daniel MacIsaac: ‘I’m passionate about our town’
I am running for town council because I'm passionate about our town and the people who live here.
My family has lived here for over 100 years. I talk to a lot of people in the town and believe I have a good idea of what the important issues are.
As for what I bring to the table, I bring experience.
I've been a councillor in the past for a total of 11 years and currently serve on multiple committees and boards.
There are more than three things I believe to be priorities in the town and find it hard to limit my choices.
If anyone would like to discuss what those other things are feel free to contact me.
Three priorities the town should be focusing on:
1. Streets and sidewalks/accessibility
2. Mariners center expansion
3. Maintaining and keeping our international airport
Dave Tupper: 'I am prepared to give 100 per cent effort'
Dave Tupper grew up on Tooker Street in Yarmouth. He attended town schools, including Yarmouth high school and Burridge Regional Vocational School in 1970/72.
Dave spent eight years as a cadet, cadet officer/instructor in Air Cadets 299 Squadron. He carried the valuable life skills learned during this time for the rest of his life.
At the age of 21, Dave joined the RCMP and served for 26 years in NL, NWT and NS.
In 1976 Dave married Sylvia (Goodwin) from Melbourne, who he had been dating since high school. In 1998 Dave retired and he and Sylvia started a new life of farming, eventually building an 18-acre vineyard in the Annapolis Valley.
Dave has established three basic areas that he feels should be explored, debated and acted on with serious effort, thought and public input being necessary for success.
Three priorities the town of Yarmouth should be focusing on.
1. To influence conditions in Yarmouth that promote pride in our younger generations, community, culture and economy.
2. Active promotion of Yarmouth as a great place to start a business and to move an established business to.
3. Cease the removal of existing infrastructure that serves only to limit the ability of business to succeed.
The positive promotion of new businesses will help grow the tax base, helping to encourage young people to work here and make a good living.
There are many more legitimate concerns of the citizens of Yarmouth that need to be acted upon. If these are not, then the tax base with continue to erode and disappear as our older generations pass on.
Town council must work together as serious folk who abandon self-interests, conflict of interests and personal egos at the door of council chambers.
“Without any outside job interests to distract my attention away from the tasks at hand, I am prepared to give 100 per cent effort for all the citizens of Yarmouth and act in good faith on their behalf,” he says.
The names of eligible voters must appear on the List of Electors. Voter letters were being mailed to each eligible voter in advance of the first advance polling day. Voters will need the PIN number included in their Voter Letter and their date of birth to vote.
Residents can confirm that their names appear on the voter’s list by emailing the Returning Officer by email at [email protected], by telephone at (902)-742-6574 or in person at the lower level of the Town Hall, 400 Main Street between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. week days.
If you are 18 years old and have not voted in an election before, it is recommended you make sure your name is on the list.