As a nominee in this municipal election, what do you see as the top issue for the future of Stephenville?
In my opinion the biggest issue facing the Town of Stephenville is securing, maintaining and improving our medical, recreation and all services for the benefit of all our citizens to ensure the progress we have made as a council over the last four years will continue. I also want to make sure that Stephenville continues to have a strong voice on council.
Affordable rental housing is just one of the top issues I believe the town could focus on. As the service hub for the Bay St. George Region, I believe the population of the town should continue to grow in the coming years. Seniors, youth and families from the Port au Port Peninsula and Bay St. George move into our community in order to be closer to amenities such as the hospital, banks, retail outlets and government services. In order to retain and possibly increase our tax base we must ensure there is a healthy inventory of affordable rental housing units.
Don Gibbon Sr.
The top issue for the future of Stephenville is economic development, resulting in creating good paying jobs so young people can stay home, work and raise a family. We have to continue to stay on the course that we are on and build on the progress that we’ve made. A lot has been accomplished the past eight years and if we continue to work together with all aspects of government, businesses, organizations, groups, individuals and volunteers, Stephenville's future looks bright, particularly with all the assets that we have. By continuing to work together we can continue to make a difference.
There are many significant issues facing our town, however I am particularly concerned about our ability to attract new businesses and residents. Since the Abitibi mill closure our area has sustained its economy, however I feel this is based on a series of unfortunate events that helped us rebound from the mill loss. Residents were displaced from their homes during the flood, and the turnover of homes worked in unison with those leaving due to the mill closure. This boom will eventually bust. Our town needs new ideas and growth to attract industry and in turn new residents.
My key priority would be to work with the newly elected council in discussions with the provincial and federal governments for sustained economic development to create a better standard of living and economic health for the citizens of Stephenville. This will create a ripple effect with increased job creation and better infrastructure for the community to entice more people to live in Stephenville and create new residential construction on available land in some of our subdivisions. This would create a better tax base for the town and be key in helping council consider a further reduction in the municipal taxes.
I believe the future of Stephenville is positive and over the past four years the town has continued to grow particularly in the areas of residential and commercial development. A leading issue for the future will to deal with the various challenges put before council such as maintaining aging infrastructure, quality education and health services, quality recreation and leisure opportunities while continuing to attract and maintain economic development including maximizing the potential of our airport and other resources. An effective town council is able to work with each other, its staff, residents, and other levels of government to address these challenges.
I believe the top priority for Stephenville is to continue building on our strengths and positive can-do attitude. Our greatest strength comes from the level of communication and cooperation we have achieved between council, town staff, our residents, community partners, businesses and all levels of government. Working together has created a thriving, beautiful place to live. I believe the continued success and growth of our town will be ensured through fostering continued meaningful relations and partnerships. Our community has great people, great infrastructure, both of which have played and will continue to play a significant role in out future successes.
As your elected council member, a top issue for me would be to create an atmosphere for our young people to stay at home and keep them in our town. I feel it is crucial to work with our business community in order to accomplish this goal.
As mayoral candidate for Stephenville and after speaking to many residents and business owners over the past three weeks the issues and priorities are numerous, but growing the economy has to be the top issue. In prioritizing the feedback from Stephenville’s residents a clear message conveyed to me is to ensure Stephenville’s economy gets rolling and new jobs are created. It’s time to start generating Stephenville’s economy to ensure municipal services are enhanced. With the promotion of the economy assets such as our airport and ports can play an integral role in the town’s growth and development. As the economy grows the opportunity to enhance services to our residents will be of the utmost importance. We have to focus on our most important assets – our residents and business establishments, along with the environment. As the economy increases with new business startups, the ability of the town to enhance services to all our residents become more attainable, i.e. children and youth programs along with a new strategy for seniors as our aging population becomes more prevalent. A clear message let’s get Stephenville back on the map, with new hope for a better future. Stephenville’s economy gets rolling and new jobs are created.
A top issue right now is to make sure the West Coast Training Centre gets open and in operation for the people in Stephenville and especially an expansion of programs for the kids. I’m looking forward to having the YMCA run the centre because that will add to the amenities of the town and working towards that end is possibly the main reason I ran in this election. You need as many amenities as possible and having a gym and other sport and recreational facilities helps to attract people to our town.
I think maintaining and even improving on our services and amenities to the people of Stephenville and people who might want to come here is a top issue for the future of this town. Doing these things would lead to creating a climate for business to come to a town like Stephenville.
The town is always open to talking to any legitimate business venture. People moving into your town are looking for educational, recreational, medical, social and cultural services. When a town has these services available that’s going to create a climate for people setting up in your town.