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Editorial: Interest varies

['Editorial']
['Editorial']

With nominations now in for a large number of towns in western Newfoundland and for all incorporated municipalities in Bay St. George, campaigns are starting to ramp up.

Two towns on the Port au Port Peninsula have acclaimed councils, with Cape St. George having exactly seven nominations come forward, which is the amount of council members they have and Port au Port West-Aguathuna-Felix Cove coming in with five nominations, which is their regular number.

One advantage is both towns are saving themselves the cost of an election but the loss is robbing the residents of the municipalities’ opportunity to vote for candidates of their choice.

In Cape St. George they have council members with experience, including the newbie who previously worked as town clerk.

Two other towns in the Bay St. George area, Lourdes and Stephenville Crossing, nearly had acclaimed councils but are both ending up with elections since they each had eight nominees.

Both have all their incumbent council members running once again and have one nominee currently not on council. In both these municipalities it will be interesting to see if the candidates not on council will be able to unseat one of the current council members.

In Stephenville Crossing, the candidate not currently sitting had previous experience on council as a councillor and a mayor. Whether that former experience on council will be enough of an advantage to unseat an incumbent remains to be seen.

The other four towns in Bay St. George have larger slates of candidates ranging from Kippens with two on the mayoral ballot and nine councillor nominations; tied with Port au Port East with 11 on the council ballot (mayor decided by council); St. George’s with 14 council candidates (mayor decided by council); to Stephenville with two mayoral candidates and 19 councillor nominations.

Some wonder why the big discrepancy between towns when it comes to the number of candidates offering themselves to serve.

There have been times in the past when there haven’t been enough people in some communities to make up a full slate for council, so even getting a full slate by acclamation is a good thing.

It’s understandable a town like Stephenville, where council members get paid a decent stipend, would have lots of candidates coming forward. It’s a little surprising having a total of 21 people seeking election but good in the sense that it gives voters alternatives.

Unless something has changed, Kippens, Port au Port East and St. George’s council members are all there on a voluntary basis with no remuneration, so it’s kind of surprising to see so many candidates come forward.

It’s nice to see voters on those towns have alternatives and likely will make good choices. With not all incumbents running in either of these municipalities there will be some new members of council to help move those communities forward.

Whether there is distaste for the current sitting council members remains to be seen and should be reflected in the polls.

Hopefully all candidates have a genuine interest in serving the community and are there for that reason.

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