Representing a broad swath is what Ward 5 is all about

James
James McLeod
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The trick to being a good politician in Ward 5 is representing everybody.

The sprawling electoral district takes in everything from Fort Amherst out to Cape Spear and down to Southlands, including Goulds, Kilbride, Shea Heights and Black Head.

It’s a big job.

“There’s a lot of issues, and it’s hard to please everyone where the ward is so big. You know, you do something for Southlands, that’s no good for someone in Black Head. You do something for Kilbride, that’s no good for someone in the Goulds,” says Wally Collins, who’s represented the ward since 2005.

“You’ve got to go where the need is to, you know? Like, schools. We’ve got to get sidewalks in front of our schools now — one in Shea Heights is a big priority, and one in the backline in the Goulds.”

Sherwin Flight, who’s trying to unseat Collins in Ward 5, said basically the same thing in a different way.

“They’re just looking for someone that’s going to listen to their concerns and really act in their best interest,” he said.

“The issues in Shea Heights are somewhat different from the issues out in the Goulds, so it’s kind of hard to sum it all up easily like it is in some of the other wards.”

Flight acknowledged that in a lot of ways, he’s the underdog in the election, but he said it’ll be up to voters to decide whether they’re satisfied with the job Collins has been doing.

“In one way, it feels like an uphill battle because I’m just getting into this and he’s been around for a while and all,” he said.

“I know for Wally Collins, he’s been there for a few years now. Some people have said he’s been there long enough to get some of these things done, but the issues are still there.”

Both Flight and Collins said the issues in Ward 5 are different than other parts of the city. Development is big on the agenda, but basic things like water, sewer and sidewalks are what people want.

“Water and sewer is a million dollars a mile. So you know, we were so far away from Water Street, say, you had to hook it all the way in through Kilbride to get to the Goulds,” Collins said.

Flight said being on the outskirts, he hears people saying that they feel like they’re left out.

“They’re sort on the outside of the city,” he said.

“Some of them say, you know, they’re the last to get snowclearing. Some of them are saying, you know we don’t have very good public transit or we don’t even have a full-time fire station, even though 20 years ago we were promised the same services.”

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

Geographic location: Goulds, Shea Heights, Southlands Water Street

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  • Sherwin Flight
    September 21, 2013 - 17:58

    Whether water & sewer costs $1 Million per mile or not is not the problem, the problem is there's not even a plan to bring those services to all residents in the Goulds. If the funding requirements prevent this project from being done all at once, that's one thing, but to say we're not even going to put a plan in place to bring those services in, to me, is unfair. Wally Collins advocated in previous elections that he would fight to remove the "Goulds Ultimate Service Area", but in this article he sounds like he's making excuses for why is can not be done. Either he wants the water and sewer issue resolved or he doesn't. As the Ward 5 representative on Council he should be advocating for the Goulds, not making excuses why they should not get services. Services, which I might add, were promised to residents 20 years ago when the Goulds was amalgamated with St. John's. Some Goulds residents were also told that once a certain number of homes were built in the area services like water and sewer would be installed. Many people built homes with this in mind, and then were told after "actually, you are outside of the area we are going to service, so you will never have water and sewer." I think the Goulds residents have had the wool pulled over their eyes on more than one occasion, and now they have a chance for change. They can elect someone that will stand up for them and their concerns, and not let them slip out of view. If residents want change, but vote for 'more of the same', all they will get is more of the same. Mr. Collins has been around long enough now to get some of these problems addressed, and a plan should be in place to bring things like water and sewer to the Goulds. Residents have the power to bring about change in this election. Vote, and make an informed choice. Another 4 years of the same thing, or a chance to change things, to be heard, and make things happen. The choice is yours!

  • TB
    September 19, 2013 - 08:06

    Good to hear Wally is actually around to do interviews. He has been AWOL most of the election.