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Englee acclaims Stephanie Fillier as first female mayor

Stephanie Fillier is the new mayor of Englee.
Stephanie Fillier is the new mayor of Englee.

ENGLEE, NL – Stephanie Fillier knows it’s going to be a big change for the Town of Englee.

The 35-year-old postal worker is the first female mayor of the town, assuming the position by acclamation earlier this month. She is also the youngest person on council.

She will be taking over for Rudy Porter, who served as mayor for the last eight years.

“I’m hoping that they’re (the townspeople) going to be happy with the decision,” she said. “I’m going to try my best.”

Fillier has been on council the last 18 months, assuming a seat through byelection. She’s been running the recreation committee for the last seven years and runs the school council.

“I just like being involved with the town,” she said. “I like to keep my eyes and ears open. Anything I can do to better the town, I’ll try.”

Fillier knows there are challenges ahead, including trying to bring back jobs for younger people.

“Englee is a wonderful little town,” she said. “We have beautiful people, but our biggest issue is that we have mostly senior people and it makes for a hard lifestyle.

“We need some more young blood in town. We need to revive the whole downhome feeling of the community, to get it back to where it needs to be.”

Fillier hopes to see some kind of industry enter the region. Specifically, she believes a possible pellet plant in nearby Roddickton would create jobs and bring people back to Englee.

“There’s no major economy, it’s all just men working away,” she said. “We need to be bringing them home, not sending them away to work.”

Fillier is familiar with this situation first hand as her husband works away for several weeks of the year.

She is also a mother of two and wants to maintain a future in Englee for her children.

Fillier says taking on this new role will entail a learning process, and she intends to call on out-going mayor Rudy Porter and her father, former deputy mayor Ron Twyne, for support and guidance.

One of the first matters to tend to will be filling out the council.

The town has acclaimed three councillors for the September municipal election, but will be calling for more nominations in October.

Fillier says, ideally, they need three more people to have a full council of seven, including the mayor.

“I’m hoping that I can get some new, young interest,” she said. “There are lots of opinionated, educated people in Englee and I think they should be on council.”

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

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