2008 Apr 22
ST. ANDREWS Incumbent mayor John Craig will be facing a challenge from former town councillor Mary Dowling for the town’s top position in the May 12 municipal election.
Craig has been mayor now for seven years two terms and was a councillor for one term prior to that. Dowling served for 12 years as a councillor from 1992 until 2004. She ran for mayor in the 2004 elections and lost to Craig.
A lifelong resident of St. Andrews, Dowling said she feels it’s time for a change at the helm and time for someone with new ideas.
She describes herself as a voice for seniors as well as an advocate for youth and said she would love to see the hockey school come back to the W.C. O’Neill Arena.
“I think it is a terrible thing what happened there. The arena is my major thing. I am also definitely against LNG and we will continue to do whatever is necessary to lobby government because nobody wants LNG,” she said.
Dowling said people should be involved with their community and would like to see each councillor given certain streets to look after where they would be obligated to go to the houses every year to find out what the residents feel is right and wrong with the town and what they would like to contribute.
She grew up in St. Andrews and has lived in the town all her life. She raised her three sons in the town and two of them live there.
“Ever since I have been old enough I have been involved in community things minor hockey, PAC, council, coaching kids’ sports, volunteering at the youth centre,” Dowling said.
Dowling, who spent 21 years with Canada Post in both St. Andrews and Blacks Harbour but is now retired, said she is a good listener and also a good fixer.
”All my life I have had people come and call me for this and for that. If you don’t know how to do it, you have to find out how to do it. You have to be willing to help people.”
Dowling has taken the restorative justice course with the RCMP, which she said helps her deal with people.
If elected, she said she will lobby for the return of eight councillors around the table instead of the current six. Prior to the 2004 election there were always eight councillors in St. Andrews.
”My reasoning for that is because of historic significance. We call ourselves an historic town then we start taking away the things that are historic,” she said.
“St. Andrews was the shiretown and there were eight counties in New Brunswick and there was a representative from each one making eight councillors so the number eight is significant.
“To say they took two away because of finances is stupid because they wasted their money on something else. We have to work to keep the historic designation. It is a calling card for the town with some people.”
Dowling believes the town also has to attract some industry because she said St. Andrews cannot exist solely on tourism, which has been unstable in recent years.
Craig said the major issue for the town continues to be the threat of liquefied natural gas in Passamaquoddy Bay. He said the people of not only St. Andrews but the entire bay need a strong, unwavering and committed voice to stand up and fight this major threat.
“I have done that in the past and I am willing to do that in the future,” Craig said.
He said he is also very concerned about any quarrying in the Chamcook Lake watershed area, which is the source of the town’s water supply.
He said he understands it is Jamer Materials’ intention eventually to quarry on the opposite east side of Highway 127 and council will fight anything that endangers the town’s water supply.
Another concern is the ambulance service and Craig said Ambulance New Brunswick must be brought to task to live up to their promises and commitments.
Right now, he said, there is a strong possibility that the second ambulance will be taken out of St. Andrews but last August Ambulance New Brunswick promised that the town ambulance service would not be changed at all and they would retain everything they have now.
“Now they are talking about the second vehicle leaving. They are not living up to their promises,” Craigsaid. “It is something I will be dealing with right away and not waiting for the election. I will continue to work on it.”
Craig said he wants to make sure there are washrooms and changing rooms built at the Harry Mallory Sports Field now that the second phase the soccer field has been completed. He also wants to see one of the town’s aging fire trucks replaced.
“We are working on creating more business and jobs and housing opportunities for the town. We have been working with some companies that want to come to St. Andrews. We want to help create more jobs and more business opportunities.”
During his past term as mayor, said Craig, the town completed the second phase of the sports field as well as saw the opening of the new youth centre and the new water treatment plant and they have not raised the taxes in seven years.
“The assessments have gone up because of new housing in the town the new sub-division and different businesses have built on. Because of our expansion in the sub-division we have been able to keep the tax rate down.”
© 2008 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.
The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB