Plenty of interest in Gander politics; popular mayor unopposed
Residents of Gander have eight names to choose from for a spot on the town council in the municipal election Sept. 29.
Robert Anstey, Dave Blundon, Doug Foley, Wilson Hoffe, Allan Scott and Zane Tucker are all seeking re-election, while Nicole Lanning and Stephanie Winsor are new contenders.
Mayor Claude Elliott had no competition when nominations closed on Sept. 4, so he'll be acclaimed on election day. He's been on council since 1990 and has been mayor since 1996.
Anstey, who works for Canada Post, is seeking a third term on council.
"I was born here and grew up here, and have put a lot of time into the town through volunteer organizations like the Lions Club and Boy Scouts. And I just want to see the town continue to grow," he said.
Blundon is also seeking a third term. He'd like to see roadwork remain a priority, and he'd like to see Gander be a key aerospace player.
Foley joined council following a byelection in October 2008.
"Being from Gander and growing up here, I want to make the town as good as it can be," said Foley, who works for Nav Canada.
"I learned a lot on the first year, and now I really want a chance to capitalize on that experience."
Hoffe is hoping to serve a second term on council. A chartered accountant, he said Gander needs to build on its importance as a service centre.
"Enhancing that will ensure the stability of the town over a long period of time," he said.
Lanning has a business degree and is a stay-at-home mom. Now that her daughter has started kindergarten, she figures she can put her free time to good use serving council.
"I thought it would be a good challenge to run for council," she said. "I know it involves a lot of work, and usually it's retired people who have the time to run for council. But I'm a young person with time. I just want to make sure that Gander is a possibility for my children to have successful careers and be able to settle down with the family here."
Scott is seeking a third term. A former general manager at Gander International Airport, he chairs the Central Newfoundland Waste Management Authority.
He said the town's finances are in great shape and the number of new homes being built in Gander shows that the economy is growing.
"We've looked at becoming the retail hub for central Newfoundland, and it certainly appears we've accomplished that," he said.
Tucker, who served as deputy mayor since 2001, said there are still initiatives he'd like to see finished.
"I think there's still some more work I'd like to see get done and come to completion, so I've got my name in the hat again to run for council," he said.
Tucker is a sales manager at Jerry's Car Sales.
Winsor, a nurse manager at James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre, has run for council before.
The founder of the local Book Bag Blitz charity, she said she has a unique voice to help the town meet the economic, social, and environmental needs of a growing community.
"Diversity on council makes a productive council," she said.