© Cory Hurley
Newly elected Pasadena Mayor Otto Goulding is seen at a Great Humber Joint Council meeting in his file photo. — File photo
PASADENA — As recently elected mayor, Otto Goulding knows the issue that may interest Pasadena residents the most the new recreation centre and dealing with its funding overrun. Getting past the hurdles to a constructed facility is something Goulding said will be at the top of the list in the coming weeks.
The 63-year-old Goulding was elected in Tuesday’s municipal election with 597 votes, beating challenger Tom Wheaton, who finished the evening with 466 votes. Goulding led in most of the town’s seven voting districts throughout the evening and at the end of the night, was ecstatic that voters went his way.
“I guess now I have to get a cellphone,” he laughed as he answered his home phone late on election night.
“People will want to talk to me now.”
Goulding had to give up his cellphone in 2011 when he retired from the provincial Department of Natural Resources, where he was employed as an agriculture specialist. He didn’t really feel the need to go mobile. Anyone looking at the town’s website could get his home number pretty easily anyway, he reasoned, as councillors’ phone numbers are listed.
Born in Gambo, Goulding has been in Pasadena since the early 1980s. He has lived in several places in this province and attended McGill University in Montreal where he completed a bachelor of science (agriculture). He spent more than 35 years with the Natural Resources Department.
Volunteering is what may have given him the urge to run for his first council position four years ago. He also spent a term as president of the Humber Joint Council, which he now has to concede because as a mayor, he cannot be president.
Goulding is one of the founding members of the Humber Valley Strawberry Festival and served as vice-president of the provincial Rural Development Council. He was also vice-president of protocol for the Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games in 2006.
The new mayor said the next step now is to elect a new deputy mayor at the next council meeting on Oct. 7, and after that he hopes to settle the issue of the new recreation centre. News broke recently that the tenders are more than the government granted to build, which the new council will have to solve.
“There’s a lot to do,” he said. “It’s a constant order of business for us but that is an issue we have to deal with,” he sighed. “I hope we can try and find a solution to that and bring it to a close.”
Other issues the new council will have to deal with include the town’s new walking trail system and the plans for a new marina.
Goulding said he was happy with how Wheaton ran his campaign, which Goulding called clean. Wheaton in turn called the new mayor a good man and public servant.
Goulding lives with his wife, Emmie Penney. They have two children each and he has two grandchildren.