TRURO - For the first time since 2004, Truro residents will have to decide who they want to be mayor when the fall municipal election takes place.
Bill Mills, who has been mayor since 1997, defeated Truro lawyer Al Begin in the 2004 election and was uncontested in 2008. He will have competition again this fall.
Keltie Jones confirmed with the Truro Daily News on Tuesday of her intention to run for the town's top position.
"I feel like it's a good time. The last election was by acclamation and I think people want to talk about who they want as mayor," said Jones. "A lot of people encouraged me to run."
About a month ago Jones posted ‘Keltie Jones for mayor' on her Facebook page to gauge interest in her possible candidacy. She said as of early this week she had 100 people voice their support on her page and it was late Monday night when she officially decided to run for mayor.
Jones said there are some issues she wants to address during the election campaign and on council if she's successful.
"We need transparency on council and we need to celebrate Truro. It's a great community that we should be really proud of," said Jones. "We need leadership who will promote our town and we should be one of the premiere towns in Nova Scotia."
Jones is also hoping a new online voting process will increase the number of ballots at election time.
"We need to dramatically increase voter turnout. It's embarrassing to have such a low turnout," she said referring to the fact only 35 to 40 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the last municipal election four years ago.
One issue Jones isn't interested in revisiting, she said, is the topic of gay rights that became a contentious issue in past elections.
"I'm not running against the past. I know people will bring it up but that's not what it's about. My experience in this town has been very inclusive. It's what you do and not who you are married to," said Jones.
Jones said she's not sure what her chances are of defeating Mills, who has been on Truro council for 24 years.
"I honestly have no idea. I'm not running against a mayor, I am running for the town," Jones said, adding she believes it's time for some new people to join town council.
"There's a lot of talent on council (but) having a mixture of (new and old) people there is a good thing."
TRURO - Keltie Jones has announced her intention to run for Truro town council for the position of mayor during this fall's municipal election. The following is an introductory bio of Jones.
Who: Keltie Jones
Truro resident: Since 2009
Employment: Associate vice-president for students at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College
Running for: Mayor
Family: Wife Joy and two daughters, ages 18 and 21.
Grew up in: Bridgewater and also lived in California.
Hobbies: Walking and running in Victoria Park, kayaking and quilting.
Major issues she sees in the town: Sustainability, needing a vibrant community with goods jobs, buying local and paying attention to environmental concerns.
Why she believes she's a good candidate: She was elected as an official on a school board in California for five years, one of those years as president; she's president of the Truro District School Bands auxiliary and is a board member on Colchester Adult Literacy Association.