Field of 10 candidates vie for seven seats at town hall
There will be a few new faces sitting at the table when Bay Bulls town council holds its first monthly meeting following Tuesday’s municipal election.
The community of Bay Bulls will have several new faces represent them on council following Tuesday’s municipal election. — Telegram file photo
Two current councillors are not seeking re-election, leaving a field of 10 that includes five incumbent candidates left to seek seven seats on council (see sidebar).
Coun. Aiden Maddox, who has served on council for 23 years, is not running this year, nor is Deputy Mayor Don Drew.
“I’d like to wish all the past councillors I served with the best of luck, and the same with the new councillors coming in,” Maddox said. “I’m delighted to see people throwing their hat in the ring.”
A historic fishing community located along the Southern Shore, Bay Bulls has developed into a hub of industrial activity, in large part due to its harbour. It’s also a popular destination for tourists interested in bird watching and spotting whales.
Located a short drive from
St. John’s, Bay Bulls has experienced its fair share of new housing starts. Maddox said managing that development will prove to be an important issue for the new council.
With extreme weather becoming more prevalent, Maddox said paying attention to drainage is essential to mitigate the potential for flooding. He said there remains a need to upgrade aging infrastructure with those issues in mind.
“I guess the thing is, for smaller councils like Bay Bulls, we don’t have the staffing that say the cities have,” he said.
“Generally, the councillors are hands-on when they’re doing these development plans with the contractors, so they really need to be sure that things are air tight as to what the contractor is going to do.”
Irene Ploughman, a crab plant worker who has lived in the community for more than 30 years and served on council in the 1980s, said the community has its issues, including the need to upgrade roads. With that said, she is generally pleased with how its affairs have been managed by recent councils.
“We’re a pretty busy, growing place here now,” she said. “It’s a big difference from when I moved here 30-something years ago.”
Ploughman sees Bay Bulls as a fairly self-sufficient community, with most people having their own wells for water and sewer. She cited the establishment of the Bay Bulls Regional Lifestyle Centre as a great addition to the community.
Like Maddox, Ploughman was pleased to see so many candidates in place for the election, though she would have liked more women to run — the lone female is incumbent candidate Christa Luby.
With new councillors in mind, Maddox said it is important to consider the long-term benefits of spending taxpayers’ money on specific town projects. He also encourages taking advantage of municipal training sessions and participation in the Northeast Avalon Joint Council and the Southern Shore Joint Council.
“It’s important for members to be active in those. Those meetings are great training (opportunities).”
Maddox was pleased to see that many of the current council members are seeking re-election.
“The last thing that any council needs is all new members, because while I was there 23 years, I found the first two years it really (took) a while to learn the ropes. It’s great to have good ideas, but you’ve got to learn what you can legally do.”